William Gibson’s “Agency” : Chapter 33 : Clarion Alley


CAMP is thrilled to be included in William Gibson’s new novel Agency as Chapter 33: Clarion Alley:

Verity always enjoyed the murals in spite of the smell of pee, the alley’s walls doing double duty as public gallery and casual urinal, but it had been over a year since she’d last been here. Eunice had suggested it, after some surprisingly enjoyable aimless wandering, like walking with someone you didn’t know very well but found interesting. Arriving at the Valencia Street end, Eunice had seemed to be looking for something. She’d sent one of the drones ahead to find it.

And here it was, Verity assumed, midway between Valencia and Mission, on a prime two-story stretch of smooth brick: a celebration of the president’s bravery during the campaign, rendered in shiny black and white, like a giant Victorian steel engraving executed by OCD fairies. The president stood smiling, her arms outstretched to America. Her opponent loomed behind her, as he once actually had, Verity having watched this debate live. Seeing this now, she recalled her own sickened disbelief at his body language, the shadowing, his deliberate violation of his opponent’s personal space. “I don’t think anyone I know believes there was ever any real chance of him winning,” she said to Eunice, “I don’t know whether I did myself, but I was still scared shitless of it.” She was looking at how the artist had rendered his hands. Grabby.

“Smells like piss,” Eunice said.

“You can smell?”

“Google says. I wanted to see this one.”


“Branch plant thing. You want to see the rest?”

Verity noticed one of the drones now, like a displaced black pixel, yo-yoing slowly up and down, in front of the monochrome mural. Recording it, she assumed. “Not so much. Where would you like to go?”


“Anybody there?”

“Your favorite barista.”

Verity started back toward Valencia, past other murals. One of Aztec pyramids, covered in Monarch butterflies. She glanced up, passing a two-story, ferociously maternal Venezuelan goddess, her tits prominently out, holding aloft a human pelvis with both hands.

Visit one of your local bookstores to get Agency and learn what happens to Verity and who Bojangles is …