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Zero History

by William Gibson

Gibson keeps his finger on the pulse of the zeitgeist in this third instalment of the Blue Ant trilogy delivering a high tech, internet-dominated present which seems as futuristic as his cyberpunk SF novels. In a world of industrial espionage, iconic fashion and branding, he highlights the amoral, darker side of marketing. Can be read stand-alone, but I would advise readers new to Gibson's style to read it in sequence for maximum benefit.

Extract

'Brand vision transmission' he said.
'Yes?' She raised an eyebrow.
'Narrative. Consumers don't buy products, so much as narratives.'
'That's old,' she said. 'It must be, because I've heard it before.' She took a sip of cooled coffee.
'To some extent, an idea like that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Designers are taught to invent characters, with narratives, who they then design products for, or around. Standard procedure. There are similar procedures for branding generally, in the invention of new products, new companies of all kinds.'
'So it works?'
'Oh, it works,' he said, 'but because it does, it's become de facto. Once you have a way in which things are done, the edge migrates. Goes elsewhere.'
'Where?'
'That's where you come in,' he said.

Parallels

Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
Makers by Cory Doctorow
 

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