Distrust that Particular Flavor

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 February, 2012, 12:00am


Distrust that Particular Flavor
by William Gibson
G.P. Putnam's Sons (e-book)

In 1993 Singapore banned William Gibson's Wired article about the city state, making it, he writes in Distrust that Particular Flavor, 'the most controversial of the pieces collected here'. Readers hoping to learn something new about the Lion City will be disappointed, however. The story, published among other essays, reviews and speeches in this hodgepodge, has Gibson telling it the way he sees it, but nothing he uncovers is original, which, ironically, is a criticism he levies against Singapore, along with observations that it is a humourless, G-rated place where 'the physical past ... has almost entirely vanished'. Gibson, the fiction novelist who professes a discomfort with non-fiction, nevertheless is persuaded to play reporter because he's paid handsomely and because, he says, it benefits his fiction-writing. One topic he tackles is science fiction, about which he says he learned early that imaginary futures are always about the present. Fans will love the book, which includes explanations about the circumstances behind the essays.