Last night we welcomed William Gibson back to BookPeople, this time to read from and discuss his new stand alone novel, The Peripheral. An author receives a true stamp of approval when booksellers show up on a day off to hear him speak. We had more than a few off-the-clock booksellers hang out last night to hear Gibson talk about his characters, his process, and technology at large. His eye has been on the tech needle over the course of several decades of spectacular advancement. He recalled first using the word (in the lowercase) “microsoft” back when it was a small company whose long term consequence and eventual size no one could predict.
One of the audience members asked Gibson what he’s been reading. We were, of course, all ears, prepared to run to the shelf and grab whatever work he was about to recommend. Instead, Gibson put a book on our radar: Glow by Ned Beauman.
Beauman is a British writer with two previous novels: Boxer, Beetle and The Teleportation Accident. Gibson calls his latest, Glow, the “…most insane thing I’ve read in the 21st century. I found it hilariously funny.” He went on to describe the novel as being, “Like if you inscribed all three (of Beauman’s) novels on the head of a pin, then inscribed Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49 on that same pinhead. This doesn’t do it justice. It’s a slender little novel and immensely clever, very funny, horribly sad.”
We’re sold. The book is scheduled for a January 2015 release date, but you can pre-order it now right here.
After the book recommendation, Gibson went on to win our hearts (again) by citing one of our patron saints of all that is good in this world, Neko Case. He said he listened to Fox Confessor Brings the Flood while writing The Peripheral because Case’s songs and storytelling provided the perspective he needed to access the personality of Flynne, one of the novel’s main characters.
Gibson signed books for a long line of people, then signed many stacks of additional stock for us. If you’re looking for a signed copy of The Peripheral, you can find one in our online store, bookpeople.com, and on our physical shelves. (We ship all over the world.)
If you’re looking for booksellers with stars in their eyes who are ready to go on at length about how humble, kind-hearted William Gibson is human greatness personified, we can help you out there, too. Just ask.