pattern recognition reader response

As I was reading this novel, I kept thinking about how I do not like works of science fiction to be set in the reality of the time it was written in, as was done in Pattern Recognition. If a science fiction story is supposed to be set in reality, then the author will have to incorporate markers of the present reality into the story to give the readers a sense of when it is taking place - in the case of Pattern Recognition, one way in which this was accomplished was constantly dropping brand names and products.

The Forum in Pattern Recognition

Upon reading William Gibson's novel "Pattern Recognition", I noticed that the main character Cayce's life is sort-of divided into two different "realms". The first is reality, or better put her life outside in the city meeting people, working, discussing trends, etc. The second, and the one that caught my interest, is her life and interaction on the forum, Fetish:Footage:Forum, which almost ends up being another world for Cayce and the other major posters.

reading Pattern Recognition as a postmodern novel

In class on Monday, the issue of genre classification was discussed at length. The question was posed as to whether "Pattern Recognition" should be read as a science fiction novel. A glance over Gibson's previous works would have one believe that indeed, "Pattern Recognition" is a piece of science fiction genius, similar to "Neuromancer." Besides the obvious observation that "Pattern Recognition" differs greatly in style and plot from "Neuromancer," I would also argue that they do not fit in the same genre.


A significant theme in William Gibson's "Pattern Recognition" is the functionality of dysfunction. Cayce, as the protagonist, establishes this as an important subject. She is cursed/blessed with strong reactions to corporate logos. This sort of ability is frequently problematic for her. Some logos are so offensive that they stimulate a physiological reaction in her. Ultimately, her ability functioned like an allergy in her younger years. When she first saw the Michelin Man in a magazine when she was a child, she puked. And it still affects her that way.

Neuromancer vs. Pattern Recognition: Evolution towards Ambiguity

A quick internet search revealed to me that Pattern Recognition, the eighth novel by William Gibson, was the first to be on the New York Times Bestsellers list, and the first to be set in a contemporary world instead of a fantastical one. The increased overall popularity of the more recent William Gibson novels ( as opposed to Neuromancer, whose popularity was more of a word-of-mouth cult hit ) may be due to this; however, speaking personally, I found the contemporary world of Pattern Recognition less compelling.

dialect & language in midnight robber

Wow, as the end-of-year-tiredness sets in, I keep on forgetting to do these...sorry about that...anyway, I was in the second group of presenters on Wednesday, and I was the one who talked about dialect and the use of language in the novel.

language in Pattern Recongition

So, I've been reading Pattern Recognition, and I've noticed that Gibson writes with what I perceive to be a British tone, with British vernacular - "bin it" rather than "throw it away," "come round" instead of "stop by" or "go over," casual use of the often-still-forbidden-in-America "C-word", stuff like that. However, he is apparently from Vancouver. Is he affecting a British tone because it's set in London, or do Canadians speak/write more British than American? It seems a really silly/trivial question, but it's been bothering me and I'm supercurious now.

little things

I just wanted to comment on the time-space things that bothered me in Midnight Robber. I thought it was interesting how the two parallel worlds developed to be entirely the same, except in one, the humans colonized, and in the other, they didn't. It implies to me that there is something about humans which makes them extra-temporal. Somehow, everything but humans are constrained to carry out the same rolls in these two separate universes. To me, it implies that there is a physical and tangible aspect to human free-will.

quick question

If we wrote a reading response for Neuromancer, do we write another for Pattern Recognition or no, since it's another Gibson? (same question goes for Oryx and Crake/Atwood)

Gender role confusion


There's an interesting construction of gender roles in Midnight Robber. Nalo Hopkinson seems to be paying a certain amount of lip service to the idea that in the future envisioned, people will be able to choose their roles and occupations regardless of gender. She accomplishes this sometimes by reference to olden times in which roles were more stratified, as when the eshu tries to explain to a confused Tan-Tan how once, women weren't allowed to play the Midnight Robber.

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