The Peripheral - William Gibson

The Peripheral

By William Gibson

  • Release Date: 2014-10-28
  • Genre: High Tech
Score: 4.5
From 619 Ratings


The New York Times bestselling author of Neuromancer and Agency presents a fast-paced sci-fi thriller that takes a terrifying look into the future.


Flynne Fisher lives down a country road, in a rural America where jobs are scarce, unless you count illegal drug manufacture, which she’s trying to avoid. Her brother Burton lives on money from the Veterans Administration, for neurological damage suffered in the Marines’ elite Haptic Recon unit. Flynne earns what she can by assembling product at the local 3D printshop. She made more as a combat scout in an online game, playing for a rich man, but she’s had to let the shooter games go.

Wilf Netherton lives in London, seventy-some years later, on the far side of decades of slow-motion apocalypse. Things are pretty good now, for the haves, and there aren’t many have-nots left. Wilf, a high-powered publicist and celebrity-minder, fancies himself a romantic misfit, in a society where reaching into the past is just another hobby. 

Burton’s been moonlighting online, secretly working security in some game prototype, a virtual world that looks vaguely like London, but a lot weirder. He’s got Flynne taking over shifts, promised her the game’s not a shooter. Still, the crime she witnesses there is plenty bad.

Flynne and Wilf are about to meet one another. Her world will be altered utterly, irrevocably, and Wilf’s, for all its decadence and power, will learn that some of these third-world types from the past can be badass.


  • Do not watch the tv show first!

    By Tjhappel
    This would be the rare exception that I think a show is better than the book. It could totally be my fault for having watched 5 episodes first then buying the book…. It’s a great idea but a little hard to keep up with. Still great work
  • Not worth the effort

    By ExtremelyUnimpressed
    I read the 85 page sample. Completely incomprehensible and nothing of interest that would make me want to press on. Don’t waste your time.
  • 🙃🙃🙃

    By amandax345
    Hard to understand, hopefully the show will be better.
  • Gibson’s top form

    By Winstondeath
    My favorite William Gibson is the one where he builds a sci-fi world that’s both fantastical and yet completely believable, and he’s back to that form in this book. Fantastic.
  • Well written and comes together nicely!

    By 01010010 01010011
    Like many of his books, the first few chapters are a bit of a tough read. It takes me that long to adjust to his brilliant writing style. Then I'm hooked! Well written with a good story line and a nice implementation of not so distant future technology to start. Highly recommend.
  • Gibson's best since Neuromancer.

    By tgeorgo
    Thank you.
  • Please endure the first 100 or so pages

    By jaxxstatic
    It is really worth it. This is one of those books that I will reread soon because it is so worth it. Characters, environment, plot, and pacing all flesh out eventually, like all of Gibson's recent work. If you can push through the beginning, you'll end up--just like any great book--in a place you don't want to leave.
  • A finely crafted novel

    By ERDuggan
    Gibson explore two alternate futures, each with uncomfortable echoes of our present, in this compelling book. The short, fractured chapters generate a kind of narrative vertigo, a sensation entirely appropriate to this tale in which so many of the characters are dealing with disorientation of one kind or another. The only negative is that I found the resolution of the book just a a bit too pat, even a bit mawkish. I hope the ending doesn't preclude a future novel (or two, as he tends to work in thematic trilogies), exploring both the enigma of the continua-creating server, and the almost equally enigmatic character of Ainsley Lowbeer.
  • Sooooooo tedious

    By Kbayham
    I can't even begin to describe all of the ways I hated this book. It was a slog, a chore, an incessantly unoriginal story, made even worse by the prose. Just. Plain. HORRIBLE.
  • Well written

    By Jake R. Paulson
    I found the book to be well written and contained a fresh perspective. I passed it on to my brother I liked it so much. Happy reading!