Well, it’s here. The big one.
Because he is one of the reasons I became a writer, I read this as quickly as possible. So here’s my review, pinched from Goodreads.
Agency is pure classic William Gibson in one way and a new Gibson in another. On the one hand, the futurism, the wry insights into the way we interact with and integrate technology into our lifestyles, is wonderfully intact. Gibson’s language is as dense, precise, and striking as ever.
Wow, it’s been a while since I did one of these things, but here we go.
I’m a fan of Hideo Kojima. Have been ever since the first Metal Gear Solid on the PS1 back in 1998. Holy crap, has it really been 21 years!? So the release of a new Kojima game is always something of an event in my gaming life. Kojima is one of those game developers who easily slides into the “auteur” category. There’s never any chance of mistaking a Kojima game for anyone else’s. He has his motifs, the rambling philosophy, the extended cutscenes, the unexpected gamey playfulness at inappropriate moments. And he brought all that to his first, unfettered, Konami-Ain’t-Holding-Me-Back-Anymore game, Death Stranding. This game is divisive as hell, but I won’t keep anyone in suspense; I dug it.
When I first started watching anime as a kid, it was as a complement to the science fiction I was reading. Books like Starship Troopers and Armor came to life in anime like Robotech, Bubble Gum Crisis and Black Magic M-66. The things in my head had form, color, and gratuitous explosions with shell casings raining to the ground. But as time went on, I found that anime was also doing something completely unexpected. It was teaching the hell out of me.
For a long time, I felt embarrassed by the things that inspired me as a writer.
I mean, for most people, the decision to be a writer means putting in the work. Looking at what has come before. It means studying the masters of the craft, going back over your Shakespeare, your Milton, your Joyce, and your Hemingway. If you’re slumming it in the ghetto of genre fiction, then, begrudgingly, some will acknowledge the necessity of referring to the masters. In the case of science fiction and fantasy, your Tolkien, Asimov, Le Guin and maybe some newer names like Gibson and Jemisin.
For many writers at the start of the I-Want-To-Get-Trade-Published journey, there’s the belief that there’s only one really big, obstacle-ridden, steeple-chase laden, struggle, and that’s getting the literary agent. And if you get that literary agent, or, you decide to dispense with trade publishing entirely, and go self-publishing, then everything else is easy street, and the success will come with the inevitability an anvil dropped in a high gravity planet.
These beliefs are horribly, horribly wrong.
[SPOILER: It Wasn’t Quick Or Easy]
If you’re reading this now, you’re probably here because you saw an announcement on social media, or maybe just saw me ranting or commenting about something on a forum, or the aforementioned social media, or hey, maybe you even found me on Goodreads, in which case, you’re trying to find out more. One of the things I found useful during my process of trying to get published is the way others did it. Everyone is going to have a distinct road, though there are some similarities. Some will get an agent fast, experience quick publication success and generally enjoy a smooth journey. Others will walk on roads of broken glass, cross country, for several years. And, when publication arrives, just be thankful to be able to sit down. Maybe raise their feet and stop bleeding for a while, rather than think, “HOLY HELL, I DID IT! WHOO!”