Someone amazing mentioned Cayce Pollard in a comment the other day and i was like ‘fuq yeah’ because i love this character. If you don’t know her, she is the heroine of William Gibson’s (he is the genius Piscean author of Neuromancer) book Pattern Recognition.
Named after the cult psychic Edgar Cayce (another Pisces, born day after William Gibson fyi) Ms Pollard is an elite cool-hunter hired by corporations to detect trends. But of course the book turns into a major thriller. Cayce’s skills come not from a love of fashion but because she is actually allergic to it. She dresses in such a way that she would not stand out in any era from 1945 onward. Fiercely intelligent, eccentric and observant, i’ve always seen her as Uranian Virgo type with a strong Scorpio Moon.
“…CPUs for the meeting, reflected in the window of a Soho specialist in mod paraphernalia, are a fresh Fruit T-shirt, her black Buzz Rickson’s MA-1, anonymous black skirt from a Tulsa thrift, the black leggings she’d worn for Pilates, black Harajuku schoolgirl shoes. Her purse-analog is an envelope of black East German laminate, purchased on eBay if not actual Stasi-issue then well in the ballpark.
She sees her own gray eyes, pale in the glass, and beyond them Ben Sherman shirts and fishtail parkas, cufflinks in the form of the RAF roundel that marked the wings of Spitfires.
CPUs. Cayce Pollard Units. That’s what Damien calls the clothing she wears. CPUs are either black, white, or gray, and ideally seem to have come into this world without human intervention.
What people take for relentless minimalism is a side effect of too much exposure to the reactor-cores of fashion. This has resulted in a remorseless paring-down of what she can and will wear. She is, literally, allergic to fashion. She can only tolerate things that could have been worn, to a general lack of comment, during any year between 1945 and 2000. She’s a design-free zone, a one-woman school of anti whose very austerity periodically threatens to spawn its own cult.
—Pattern Recognition, 2. “Bitch”, page 8.“
You can read the first chapter here btw.
Cultural Wishlist Du Jour: That Pattern Recognition be made into a movie (who could play Cayce? Carey Mulligan?) and that the rumored Blade Runner sequel be real.
So what sign do you think Cayce Pollard is? And hands up who likes William Gibson? Thoughts?