Sunday, August 26, 2007

Itzkoff on Gibson

Our Man Itzkoff returns to the New York Times Book Review this weekend, with a full-page review of William Gibson's new novel Spook Country. I haven't yet read Spook Country -- I still haven't read Pattern Recognition, and Spook is a sequel to that -- so I can't say if I agree with Itzkoff's judgments on it. But Itzkoff doesn't make any laughably sweeping pronouncements along the way, which I guess counts as a win for his side.

And we see once again that having been a SF writer is not necessarily a detriment to one's being seriously reviewed in the pages of the NYTBR, but one should have already given up the dirty genre stuff if one wants to be taken seriously.

A lesson for us all.


Cheryl said...

Actually Itzkoff seems to have thought about the book rather more than a lot of the newspaper reviewers I have seen, most of whom can't get past the "this is the man who invented Cyberspace" thing.

Tim Pratt said...

It's not really a sequel to Pattern Recognition. It takes place in the same world, and a minor character from Pattern Recognition also appears in Spook Country, but the latter stands alone just fine. They're both worth reading, though.

Unknown said...

I listened to Itzkoff discussing his review on the NYTBR podcast. The conversation was going quite nicely until the very end when he concluded by stating that: William Gibson is no longer just a science fiction novelist, but a real novelist. I wish I had written down the exact quote, it's possible I'm off by a word or two, but the "real novelist bit" is definitely accurate. And I had been beginning to warm to Itzkoff!

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