William Gibson’s Agency

It’s a sensual, remarkably visual ride, vigorous with displays of conceptual imagination and humour. There’s a man wearing a “chocolate brown terrycloth tactical bathrobe”; there’s a bar called “3.7-sigma”; there’s a shopping bag that returns itself to the shop after you’ve used it, by origami-ing itself into a butterfly. Want to eat breakfast at “The Denisovan Embassy”? The name is only Gibson’s opening bid: before you’ve been there half a page, Lowbeer herself arrives in full-sail steampunk, wearing “a Victorian lady’s riding habit, but reimagined as having been cut from nylon aviator jackets” and carrying a top hat. Almost all of the author’s interests, from the political aesthetics of technology to the technology of political fashion, are collected in this near-Moorcockian curation of images. Gibson’s ability to simultaneously destabilise and entertain is both celebrated and used to the full. But it’s also linked firmly to his signature themes, the prime one here, of course, being agency.

from M John Harrison’s review of Agency in The Guardian