I recently read "The Peripheral" by William Gibson, and I had fun trying to keep track of when it could have taken place (similar to "Neuromancer", it's vague). I have some guesses, but does anyone have the definite years it takes place (possibly something I missed in the book, or possible to work out)? If not, what are the possible year-ranges the book could take place in?


2096 - 2138(ish)

In the book, there is a passing reference to the protagonist's receiving a souvenir from Clanton's bicentennial when she was 8 years old.

She found herself looking at the plastic tray propped on the mantelpiece, the one with the aerial-view cartoon map from Clanton’s bicentennial year. Her mother had driven the three of them over for the celebrations, when she was eight. She remembered it, but it seemed like somebody else’s life.

Assuming she's in her 30's, this places the lower bound in the late 2090s.

There was the mantelpiece, the one with the commemorative plastic tray whose duplicate he’d seen in Clovis Fearing’s shop in Portobello Road, a pale oblong propped against the wall. He rolled forward, the camera bobbing annoyingly, until he could make out “Clanton Bicentennial,” and the dates. And seventy-some years on from the year of celebration, he sat at Lev’s grandfather’s desk in the Gobiwagen

This places the upper bound in the 2130s.

  • 1
    This answer does, of course rely on the assumption that Gibson used the founding of the real Clanton, Alabama as his source date. – Valorum Apr 24 '15 at 19:56
  • ^ I was thinking the same thing. Originally I thought the 2090s would be the upper bound, since (I believe) Netherton made reference once to the 1900s as the century before Flynne's, which was the century before his, putting Flynne in the 2000s and Netherton's the 2100s. – Jeff Apr 24 '15 at 21:34

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.