Review of The Gernsback Continuum by William Gibson

18586183Having read Neuromancer and enjoyed it – once I got into the world with all the new terminology – I was looking forward to The Gernsback Continuum.

I’ll be honest: I come away a bit confused. Firstly, I’m not sure if this story was ever intended to be considered time travel (I read it in The Time Traveller’s Almanac), but time travel it is not. Alternate reality, sure, but not time travel. Secondly, it is very art deco, particularly around the 1930s/40s, so if you don’t know your stuff from back then, then you’re clueless (like me) through most of the story.

Aside from that, it’s an intriguing story. A photographer goes to London. He’s having a bad day – trying to take photos that don’t exist (I loved that imagery!) – when he’s introduced to a lady who’s gathering eclectic art/architecture/design from the 1930s/40s for a project. A mutual friend enlists his help and he returns to the West Coast to photograph the various items of interest. Somewhere along the way, he starts to see the futuristic world in real life.

I can’t say I took away any deep thoughts or lasting images from this – although perhaps a 12-engined boomerang-shaped aircraft is one… and a mirage-city… oh, and the photograph that doesn’t exist.

3/5 rating.

My other reviews of this collection can be found here.


About Laurel C Kriegler

A born and bred South African, I was educated at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, South Africa, where I graduated with an Honours Degree (post-graduate) in Economics at the end of 2001. After spending several years gaining work experience in the UK, I returned to South Africa to get married. It was during the ensuing period that my pursuits of writing and editing took hold.
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