Thoughts about Flynn's peripheral and about the Jackpot

Having just finished reading this for the first time there are a couple of odd things I can't stop thinking about.


The first is just who Flynn's peripheral looks like, who it's modelled after. Anyone have any feel for this? It seems to be a figure that people in both times almost recognise - so it could easily be a celebrity that we'd have head of. I wonder if Gibson himself has an idea, or just intended for the reader to fill in her face for themselves.

Personally, I half think that it might be Jane Birkin, she of the Cayce Pollard comparison. That would be a neat little joke.


The second is that all WG's previous trilogies have ended with something that is more or less a singularity, in the sense of something that has or will transform the world beyond recognition and beyond prediction - a doozy of a nodal point.

But the Peripheral has the Jackpot instead of the big 'S' Singularity. And one of the most import parts of chapter 79, I think is the paragraph describing how "science started popping" and the slow scientific/techological progress at least made people "sit up and blink", and moderated the slow apocalypse for a little while each time, especially for the rich.

The Jackpot seems like a new vision of the future to me. Not quite Apocalypse, not quite Singularity, no silver bullet from science or technology. But still, progress happens and changes our lives in the small and sometimes in the large, in the way I think we're all quite used to now, even though things get worse on the global scale, the way we're getting used to.

Because, of course, it's a vision of the present too. And it's a neat distillation of something WG has been working away at for quite a while now, from the old line about the future being here but not evenly distributed to various musings he's made about the "endless digital now", e.g.


The third thing, that I'd forgotten when I titled the thread was the description of reality TV merging with politics and then with performance art. And checking the dates, The Peripheral was published well before Trump's presidential campaign launched...

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