“William Gibson’s Archangel” #1-2 (review)
IDW Publishing, May-June 2016
Writer: William Gibson
William Gibson made his fame with the enormously successful novel “Neuromancer” (1984, Doubleday Press). In this novel and its sequels, each helping define the science fiction genre known as “cyberpunk”, Mr Gibson predicts many moments of what was then his future and what is now our present: the Internet, virtual reality, the cashless society, the rise of global conglomerates, the paramount status of big pharma, drug culture where users have the knowledge of chemists, automated cars, and private space travel.
Having explored the future in a variety of novels, Mr Gibson seemed to recognise at one point that he was now living in the future, and turned to writing about it. The first point in that transition was a novel called “Pattern Recognition” (2003), concerned with esoteric contemporary themes such as the inescapability of consumer brands, the ease and alienation of international travel, the cutting edge value of cool-hunters, the ice lake world of Russian oligarchs, and America post 9/11. The novel has the fingerprints of science fiction all over it. Through the prism of the strangeness of someone’s future, “Pattern Recognition” is one of the 2010s most piercing novels.
In this comic, Mr Gibson takes some of today’s “almost-but-not-quite” scientific developments and lands them in late World War Two England. This is not the first time Me Gibson has visited the past – with writer Bruce Sterling, Mr Gibson co-authored the classic, “The Difference Engine” (1990).