eBook - 2020
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""One of the most visionary, original, and quietly influential writers currently working" (The Boston Globe) returns with a sequel to the New York Times bestselling The Peripheral. Verity Jane, gifted app-whisperer, has been out of work since her exit from a brief but problematic relationship with a Silicon Valley billionaire. Then she signs the wordy NDA of a dodgy San Francisco start-up, becoming the beta tester for their latest product: a digital assistant, accessed through a pair of ordinary-looking glasses. "Eunice," the disarmingly human AI in the glasses, soon manifests a face, a fragmentary past, and an unnervingly canny grasp of combat strategy. Verity, realizing that her cryptic new employers don't yet know this, instinctively decides that it's best they don't. Meanwhile, a century ahead, in London, in a different timeline entirely, Wilf Netherton works amid plutocrats and plunderers, survivors of the slow and steady apocalypse known as the jackpot. His employer, the enigmatic Ainsley Lowbeer, can look into alternate pasts and nudge their ultimate directions. Verity and Eunice have become her current project. Wilf can see what Verity and Eunice can't: their own version of the jackpot, just around the corner. And something else too: the roles they both may play in it"--
Publisher: New York :, Berkley,, 2020
Edition: First Edition
ISBN: 9781101986950
Branch Call Number: e-book
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Alternative Title: Library2Go


From Library Staff

Agency is a great science fiction novel about the implications of a future with AI, augmented reality, mass surveillance, robotics, and alternate realities! This is William Gibson’s sequel and prequel to The Peripheral, yet it stands as a riveting read on its own. It is stylistically evocative of... Read More »

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Jul 10, 2020

A suitable sequel to "The Peripheral," with plenty of extra backstory and even more depth of mental triangulation of the "stub" branches of history. In addition, we get a fascinating exposition on the branches of sub-routines (and sub-personalities?) to an advanced AI. However, the character development in the sequel is less compelling, and the relentless and breakneck pacing of the plot seems cramped, as if the characters and by extension, the reader, has no agency in the plot at all.

Mar 29, 2020

Maybe, for me, not reading the first book, Peripheral, was a mistake. If I hadn’t picked up a review copy from NetGalley, it is probably a book I would have not read. Time travel isn’t my thing and I was not able to relate to the characters. I’m happy being in the minority because there are books for everyone’s interests. It was an okay read. I need to be pulled out of my reading comfort zone occasionally.

Mar 16, 2020

This is my third William Gibson novel. Read his first, years ago (Neuromancer) and recently, the decade-old Pattern Recognition. Loved Neuromancer, quite liked Pattern Recognition.

This new one is for somebody. But not for me. I tried everything: re-reading passages that I thought I understood--but did not--tried not to overlook detail that could be important--and failed. Avoided reading when I was tired (even though I didn't know I was THAT tired.) This book is VERY HARD WORK.

I certainly appreciate Gibson's take on a possible future, and, as usual, how people act, their various electronic "assists" and their everyday speech patterns. All nifty stuff. Genius writing. But, so much "stuff" that whatever plot's in there gets smothered by it.

Did I say it was a very hard work? I did. It was. And in the end--or rather, half-way through--decided that whatever possible pay-off there was at the end just...wasn't worth the effort.
YOU, however, might think differently...

Mar 15, 2020

Similar to the previous comment, the lack of congruent structure, choppiness and cyber-technology terms makes this a confusing story whose plot is hard to follow. Characters lack
depth, and the plot is unwieldy to say the least. This came as a Goodreads recommendation corresponding to Blake Crouch's "Dark Matter" and "Recursion" both of which are FAR better in my opinion.

Mar 15, 2020

A tedious techno-triumphalist mess. The social satire and cultural insight displayed in some of Gibson's work (Blue Ant series) has given way to a steady stream of gadgetry and jargon. The cardboard characters -- faultlessly virtuous goodies and hopelessly incompetent baddies -- only serve as props to demonstrate the gear. A magically all-powerful AI entity saves the world. One long deus ex machina.

Feb 09, 2020

Have read all of Gibson's previous work, greatly anticipating this one... and it pays off in many ways. Various subtle hints of current tech, potential future tech, the future, etc... work well when sprinkled here and there. The stories mesh well, a lot going on, but 'from above' so to speak... not spending 100 pages describing things, you get it because he has written it very well. The ending will be familiar to some, not necessarily a disappointment, but a bit underwhelming, but also within character.
Read it.

Feb 06, 2020

A very disappointing sequel to Gibson's terrific "The Peripheral" (2014). The primary problem (there are others) is that the dramatic structure falls apart midway through, and the remainder of the novel unfolds in almost deus ex machina (in this case deus ex AI) fashion. The anti-climactic conclusion, which wraps up far too neatly and antiseptically, is so boring that I found myself skimming whole pages near the end. I probably wouldn't be quite so negative if I hadn't keenly anticipated this sequel. Still, I wish I hadn't wasted my time reading this.

Jan 31, 2020

Another great (exciting, imaginative, ahead of its time) book from William Gibson. "Agency" is the sequel to "The Peripheral" from 2014, and I wish I had re-read that before tackling Gibson's latest. Highly recommended, but read (or re-read) "The Peripheral" first.

Update: Just re-read "The Peripheral" and "Agency" again just after, and it is much more cohesive, knowing who is where and why (can't say more without spoilers).

Really good reads....

Nov 29, 2019

What it's disappointing is that Publishers Weekly calls the book "The Periphery" instead of The Peripheral. Maybe they should read it first.
(all that assuming that in The Agency Gibson doesn't call The Peripheral's whole realm "the periphery")

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Mar 07, 2020

jlstrait thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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