I recently stumbled upon this Inkblots review of William Gibson’s Pattern Recognition. I found this passage thought provoking:
In one sense, Gibson succeeds â€“ the story does flip enough switches in the back of the reader’s mind to think about the way we deal with searching for meaning after 9/11, and dealing with what’s been lost. However, in another sense Gibson doesn’t go quite far enough into the literary end of things, electing to keep the plot rolling instead of truly investigating the depths of the theme. This is both good and bad. It’s good because, hey, this is William Gibson, and if I’ve laid down my twenty bucks for a hardcover William Gibson book I’m going to expect some people getting chased, some shit blowing up and a whole mess of geek candy. Gibson doesn’t disappoint. It’s bad because there’s sort of a sense of cheapness lingering in the air when you’re done. There’s a feeling that he took a fairly stock Gibson plot (“computer geeks with unlimited funds use high-tech toys to chase McGuffin, chaos ensues”), and laced it with 9/11 references to lend it some depth, if only because all the 9/11 stuff in the book is so tangential. You’re not sure whether there is real meaning here, or if Gibson is another celebrity using 9/11 to draw some attention. Like Cayce, we’re rather left staring at the book, trying to separate the signal from the noise.
I am wondering is there a higher expectation when the subject touches on 9/11? Do we, will we, expect more than just a plot device on this event? Perhaps time will change things but right now I think anything touching on that day in a flippant or un-serious way will seem out of place. Thoughts?