A new William Gibson novel, Agency, takes place in a world where Hillary Clinton won the 2016 presidential election. (I know, it hurts. Bear with me.) Agency will take place both in present-day San Francisco and in the distant future in London, The Guardian reports:
“Due out in January 2018, the novel will travel between two periods: one in present-day San Francisco, where Clinton’s White House ambitions are realized; and the other in a post-apocalyptic London, 200 years into the future after 80% of the world population has been killed.
In the present-day strand of Gibson’s story, a shadowy military organization develops and tests artificial intelligence on a young woman named Verity. The parts set in the distant future show that time travel has been discovered and used to create a ‘stub’, a way of interfering to create an alternative future, starting in 2017.”
Gibson says this new book will function as a sequel to his 2014 novel The Peripheral. He wrote the manuscript for Agency before the presidential election, but Donald Trump’s win necessitated an extensive rewrite. Considering the story’s dark synopsis, it’s not clear if the President Clinton version of Agency is significantly more positive than the alternative would have been. But Gibson made his political leanings clear when he said last year, “To not vote for Clinton *is* to vote for the candidate Putin and David Duke so badly wants you to.”
Gibson is an incredibly important figure in science and speculative fiction writing. In his 1984 book Neuromancer, he coined the popular term “cyberspace.” He has become widely known for predicting a variety of scientific and technological advancement in his writing. According to The Guardian, “He has predicted, among other developments, the rise of reality television, virtual sex and technologies such as Google Glass.”
Agency will be published in January 2018.
YouTube Channel: Chicago Humanities Festival
Featured image via Politico
h/t The Guardian