Cayce Pollard is a new kind of prophet - a world renowned "coolhunter" who predicts the hottest trends. While in London to evaluate the redesign of a famous corporate logo, she's offered a different assignment: find the creator of the obscure, enigmatic video clips being uploaded on the Internet - footage that is generating massive underground buzz worldwide.
Almost two decades ago, Gibson's début novel, "Neuromancer," which coined the term "cyberspace," established him as the oracle of postmodern science fiction. His new book, though, is set entirely in the present -- specifically, in the aftermath of September 11th. Cayce Pollard is a brand consultant whose father disappeared on September 11th. She becomes fascinated by mysterious scraps of film footage -- seemingly random scenes, luminously shot -- that are disseminated on the Web and have spawned cults of viewers. Gibson wisely avoids addressing the import of 9/11 head on, but he somehow establishes a powerful correlative for it in Cayce's strange quest -- through the Tokyo red-light district and the Moscow underworld -- to find the anonymous filmmaker. In Gibson's eerie vision of our time, the future has come crashing upon us, fragmentary and undecipherable; as one character declares, "We have no future because our present is too volatile."