Many science fictions critics see gibson as the

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Many Science Fictions critics see Gibson as the standard for comparison for imagining and writing about the future (see for instance the review by Donnelly of Look at Me, who wonders if Jennifer Egan will ‘ ever be spoken of in the same breath as your techno-doomsday prophets like William Gibson?’ ). In his article “Fear and Loathing in Globalization,” Fredric Jameson already pointed out that many ‘old fashioned’ critics have a hard time letting go of Gibson as an author who is merely writing in the genre of Science Fiction. They continuously mention that Gibson ‘has stopped writing Science Fiction’ (105) and has now moved on to a more serious genre. But Jameson likes to argue that with Pattern Recognition, Gibson is closer to SF than he ever was: the genre has ‘gone through innumerable generations of technological development and well-nigh viral mutation since the onset of that movement, [and] is sending back more reliable information about the contemporary world than an exhausted realism (or an exhausted modernism either)’ (105 ). “More MacGuffin than Holy Grail” In the reviews of Pattern Recognition , the online mystery footage has gotten some attention. In a review in Wired, the importance of the online footage is foregrounded and seen as the ‘story’s central McGuffin [sic] ’ ( Rucker). 6 The reviewer argues that protagonist Cayce Pollard, as an expert in PR (in the sense of Pattern Recognition as well as Public Relations ’), knows so much about the 6 A MacGuffin is a plot device in fiction in the form of a desired object, place or person pursued by the protagonist, which advances the story. The MacGuffin was made popular by Alfred Hitchcock and used in many of his films. Both spellings, ‘McGuffin’ and ‘MacGuffin’, can be found in film theory. This thesis follows the OED spelling of MacGuffin.
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34 processes in product development, that she is doubtful anything more is going on in life. But the footage is there to prove her wrong: The Web makes it possible for an independent artist to gain a global following for no commercial purpose whatsoever’ (Rucker). For Wired , the origin of the footage in the novel is more important than the lively discussions that have emerged around the footage. The lacking commercial factor and the considerable artistic value Cayce ascribes to the footage, is for Wired the most important feature of the novel. Moreover, the assumption is made that the Web in general is a place where Cayce can see that world does not only revolve around product development. For Wired, the web in relation to Pattern Recognition is seen as something intrinsically good. Adam Mars-Jones mentions that ‘the footage is surely more MacGuffin than Holy Grail, valuable (to the writer) only for what it makes happen’ (Mars -Jones). Gibson himself has said this as well in Distrust That Particular Flavor : ‘My novel Pattern Recognition was gestating, as I wrote this, the “Garage Kubrick” morphing from protagonist (or antagonist,
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