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About Bruce Sterling
was born in 1954. Best known for his ten science fiction
novels, he also writes short stories, book reviews,
design criticism, opinion columns, and introductions
for books ranging from Ernst Juenger to Jules Verne.
His nonfiction works include THE HACKER CRACKDOWN:
LAW AND DISORDER ON THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER (1992),
TOMORROW NOW: ENVISIONING THE NEXT FIFTY YEARS (2003),
and SHAPING THINGS (2005).
He is a contributing editor of WIRED magazine
and writes a weblog. During 2005,
he was the "Visionary in Residence" at Art Center
College of Design in Pasadena. In 2008 he
was the Guest Curator for the Share Festival
of Digital Art and Culture in Torino, Italy,
and the Visionary in Residence at the Sandberg
Instituut in Amsterdam. In 2011 he returned to
Art Center as "Visionary in Residence" to run
a special project on Augmented Reality.
He has appeared in ABC's Nightline, BBC's The Late Show,
CBC's Morningside, on MTV and TechTV, and in Time,
Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, the New York Times,
Fortune, Nature, I.D., Metropolis, Technology Review,
Der Spiegel, La Stampa, La Repubblica, and many other venues.
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Their adventure begins with the discovery of a box of punched Engine cards of unknown origin and purpose. Cards someone wants badly enough to kill for….
Part detective story, part historical thriller, The Difference Engine is the collaborative masterpiece by two of the most acclaimed science fiction authors writing today. Provocative, compelling, intensely imagined, it is a startling extension of Gibson’s and Sterling’s unique visions—and the beginning of movement we know today as “steampunk!”
The Storm Troupers are a group of weather hackers who roam the plains of Texas and Oklahoma, hopped up on adrenaline and technology. Utilizing virtual reality, flying robots, and all-terrain vehicles, they collect data on the extreme storms ravaging an America decimated by climate change. But even their visionary leader can’t predict the danger on the horizon when a volatile new member joins their ranks and faces a trial by fire: a massive tornado unlike any the world has seen before.
“A remarkable and individual sharpness of vision . . . Sterling hacks the future, and an elegant hack it is.” —Locus
“Lucid and tremendously entertaining. Sterling shows once more his skills in storytelling and technospeak. A cyberpunk winner.” —Kirkus Reviews
“So believable are the speculations that . . . one becomes convinced that the world must and will develop into what Sterling has predicted.” —Science Fiction Age
“A very exciting coming-of-age story in a wild future America . . . What’s it got? Cyberpunk attitude, genuine humor, nanotechnology, minimal sex but some cool medications and very big weather systems.” —SFReviews.net
“Brilliant . . . Fascinating . . . Exciting . . . A full complement of thrills.” —The New York Review of Science Fiction
Acclaimed science fiction luminary and a godfather of the genre’s remarkable offspring—cyberpunk—Bruce Sterling carries readers to a far-future universe where stunning achievements in human development have been tainted by a virulent outbreak of prejudice and hatred.
Many thousands of years in the future, the human race has split into two incompatible factions. The aristocratic Mechanists believe that humans can only achieve their greatest potential through technology and enhancing their bodies with powerful prosthetics. The rebel Shapers view these “improvements” as abominations, and their faith in genetic enhancements over mechanical ones has led to violent, even murderous, clashes between the two sects.
One man is caught in the middle. The child of Mechanists, Abelard Lindsay is a former Shaper diplomat who was betrayed and cast out of the fold. Scrupulously trained in the fine art of treachery and deceit, he travels freely between the warring camps during his never-ending exile, embracing piracy and revolution all along the way. But while saving his own skin is Lindsay’s main motivation, a greater destiny awaits him, one that could offer a bold new hope for a tragically sundered humankind.
A breathtaking flight of unparalleled imagination, Bruce Sterling’s Schismatrix Plus also includes every subsequent excursion into the Mechanist and Shaper universe, complementing his acclaimed novel with the complete collection of mind-boggling Schismatrix short fiction. The result is is a total immersion into the Mechanist/Shaper universe from the Hugo, Campbell, and Arthur C. Clarke Award–winning author called “a writer of excellent fineness” by Harlan Ellison and “one of the very best” by Publishers Weekly.
Two decades into the twenty-first century, the world’s nations are becoming irrelevant. Corporations are the true global powers, with information the most valuable currency, while the smaller island nations have become sanctuaries for data pirates and terrorists. A globe-trotting PR executive for the large corporate economic democracy Rizome Industries Group, Laura Webster is present when a foreign representative is assassinated on Rizome soil during a conference for offshore data havens. Dispatched immediately on an international mission of diplomacy, Laura hopes she can make a difference in a volatile, unsteady world, but instead finds herself trapped on the front lines of rapidly escalating third-world hostilities and caught up in an inescapable net of conspiracy, terrorism, post-millennial voodoo, and electronic warfare.
During the 1980s, science fiction luminary Bruce Sterling envisioned the future . . . and hit it almost dead-on. The author who, along with William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, and Rudy Rucker, helped create and define the cyberpunk subgenre imagines a world of tomorrow in Islands in the Net that bears a striking—and disturbing—resemblance to our present-day information-age reality. Nominated for the Hugo and Locus Awards and winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, Sterling’s extraordinary novel is a gripping, eye-opening, and remarkably prescient science fiction classic.
The powerful narcotic syncophine, commonly known as Flare, comes from only one source: the oil of the gargantuan whale-like beasts that swim the dust sea of Nullaqua. It was John Newhouse’s addiction to the substance that made him a dealer and forced him to move to this airless, inhospitable planet But when the all-powerful galactic Confederacy declares Flare illegal, the needs of Newhouse and his clientele leave the desperate off-worlder no choice but to sign on as an able seaman aboard a dustwhaler and hunt the giant creatures himself. Joining a crew of junkies and misfits, including a mad captain with his own dark and secret agenda and a bewitching, batlike alien woman who is pained by human touch, Newhouse sets out across the silica ocean at the bottom of a seventy-mile-deep crater in search of release and redemption . . . and sails toward a fateful confrontation between man and beast that could lead to catastrophe.
Bruce Sterling’s debut novel is a remarkable feat of world building—imaginative, provocative, and smart, featuring an unforgettable cast of colorful characters. If Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick unfolded on Frank Herbert’s Dune, the result might be something akin to Sterling’s extraordinary Involution Ocean.
Time magazine describes Bruce Sterling as “one of America’s best-known science fiction writers and perhaps the sharpest observer of our media-choked culture working today in any genre.” Sterling’s abilities are on full display in Ascendancies, a collection of speculative fiction from a world-class world-building futurist, alternate historian, and mad prophet operating at the peak of his extraordinary powers. Here are twenty-four stories that span the illustrious career of the author who, along with William Gibson and Neal Stephenson, injected the word cyberpunk into the science fiction lexicon. These tales not only traverse galaxies and employ mind-boggling technologies, they also cut back across the centuries into a richly imagined past with style and a sharp satiric edge.
Sterling’s unparalleled imagination and courageous originality carry the reader into the future universe of the warring Shapers and Mechanists, rival sects of exiled humanity with radically opposed views of human augmentation. Several stories feature the questionable adventures of the footloose con man Leggy Starlitz in a somewhat-skewed and still-dangerous post–Cold War world.
Sterling explores the cyberpunk trope of technology gone wild and the resultant decline of civilization with appropriate gravity, while presenting parables of strangers stuck in very strange lands in a more whimsical vein. Whether chronicling an alien’s encounter with Crusaders in disputed Palestine, depicting the discovery of the key to immortality in a nineteenth-century Times Square magic shop, or portraying bicycles and bad guys in a near-future Tennessee, Sterling’s stories are smart, surprising, genre bending, bold, and outstanding, one and all.
In the late twenty-first century, technology has lengthened lifespans far beyond what was once medically possible. Existence itself has become relatively easy—if boring. In this futuristic paradise, ninety-four-year-old Mia Ziemann longs for something different and undergoes a radical new treatment that restores both her body and mind to that of a twenty-year-old. After her dramatic transformation, Mia finds herself lost in an avant-garde world of passion, designer drugs, and creative expression . . .
“Ideas—big ideas—lurk beneath Mia’s romp through Sterling’s delightfully imagined newly post-human Earth. Art, artifice, the pursuit of immortality, and youth and aging bounce around the story, the characters, and their conversations in imaginative, engaging fashion. . . . In the end, Holy Fire is one of the most interesting, imaginative, and subtly humorous—and relevant for it—novels the cyberpunk/post-human era has produced. . . . Holy Fire may very well be [Sterling’s] best work.” —Speculiction
“An intellectual feat, it is also a treat for the spirit and the senses.” —Wired
“A patented Sterling extra-special.” —Newsday
“The future Sterling traces is plausible and provocative, particularly his consideration of several contrasting cultures, and of the disenfranchised who are unable to become ‘post-human.’ Those interested in serious speculative conversation set within a very strange near-future will find this much to their taste.” —Publishers Weekly
Bruce Sterling delves into the world of high-tech crime and punishment in one of the first books to explore the cyberspace breaches that threaten national security. From the crash of AT&T’s long-distance switching system to corporate cyberattacks, he investigates government and law enforcement efforts to break the back of America’s electronic underground in the 1990s. In this modern classic, “Sterling makes the hackers—who live in the ether between terminals under noms de net such as VaxCat—as vivid as Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. His book goes a long way towards explaining the emerging digital world and its ethos” (Publishers Weekly).
This edition features a new preface by the author that analyzes the sobering increase in computer crime over the twenty-five years since The Hacker Crackdown was first published.
“Offbeat and brilliant.” —Booklist
“Thoroughly researched, this account of the government’s crackdown on the nebulous but growing computer-underground provides a thoughtful report on the laws and rights being defined on the virtual frontier of cyberspace. . . . An enjoyable, informative, and (as the first mainstream treatment of the subject) potentially important book . . . Sterling is a fine and knowledgeable guide to this strange new world.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A well-balanced look at this new group of civil libertarians. Written with humor and intelligence, this book is highly recommended.” —Library Journal
Founded centuries ago by the enigmatic genius Moses Moses, the planet Reverie can either be heaven or hell, depending on whether you live on or above it. The superrich orbit the world in luxury abodes, keeping their sometimes-lethal ennui at bay by watching homemade sex and violence videos created by the peons dwelling on the coral continents miles beneath them. The most popular entertainer of all is the Artificial Kid, an unbeatable combat artist whose bloody, self-produced martial arts videos have made him beloved both above and below. But the Kid is about to stumble onto something no one was ever meant to discover—a mind-boggling conspiracy of science and antiquity that forces him to run for his life into the strange and dangerous wilderness known as the Mass. And when Moses Moses returns to Reverie after seven hundred years of cryogenic sleep, things are about to get much worse.
Written long before the era of YouTube, Ultimate Fighting, and reality TV, Bruce Sterling’s prescient, thoughtful, and wildly satiric novel previews the nascent cyberpunk sensibilities of the acclaimed author’s later works.
The world of 2060 is divided into three spheres of influence, each fighting with the others over the resources of fallen nations and an environment degraded almost to the point of no return. There is the Dispensation, centered in Los Angeles, where entertainment and capitalism have fused with the highest of high-tech. There is the Acquis, a Green-centered collective that uses invasive neurological technology to create a networked utopia. And there is China, the sole surviving nation-state, a dinosaur that has prospered only by pitilessly pruning its own population. Products of this monstrous world, the daughters of a monstrous mother, and–according to some–monsters themselves, are the Caryatids: the four surviving female clones of a mad Balkan genius and wanted war criminal now ensconced, safely beyond extradition, on an orbiting space station. Radmila is a Dispensation star determined to forget her past by building a glittering, impregnable future. Vera is an Acquis functionary dedicated to reclaiming their home, the Croatian island of Mljet, from catastrophic pollution. Sonja is a medical specialist in China renowned for selflessly risking herself to help others. And Biserka is a one-woman terrorist network. The four “sisters” are united only by their hatred for their “mother”–and for one another.
When evidence surfaces of a coming environmental cataclysm, the Dispensation sends its greatest statesman–or salesman–John Montgomery Montalban, husband of Radmila, and lover of Vera and Sonja, to gather the Caryatids together in an audacious plan to save the world.
Original introduction by Warren Ellis, author of Transmetropolitan and Gun Machine
Who are these bold rebels pillaging their European neighbors in the name of revolution? The Futurists! Utopian pirate-warriors of the tiny Regency of Carnaro, unlikely scourge of the Adriatic Sea. Mortal enemies of communists, capitalists, and even fascists (to whom they are not entirely unsympathetic).
The ambitious Soldier-Citizens of Carnaro are led by a brilliant and passionate coterie of the perhaps insane. Lorenzo Secondari, World War I veteran, engineering genius, and leader of Croatian raiders. Frau Piffer, Syndicalist manufacturer of torpedos at a factory run by and for women. The Ace of Hearts, a dashing Milanese aristocrat, spymaster, and tactical savant. And the Prophet, a seductive warrior-poet who leads via free love and military ruthlessness.
Fresh off of a worldwide demonstration of their might, can the Futurists engage the aid of sinister American traitors and establish world domination?
“Compelling and important . . . A darkly comic fable of info-war, the black budget, über-geek idealism, and the politics of Homeland Insecurity.”—William Gibson, author of Pattern Recognition
Pioneering computer wizard Derek “Van” Vandeveer has been living extra-large as a VP for a booming Internet company. But the September 11 attacks on America change everything. Recruited as the key member of an elite federal computer-security team, Van enters the labyrinthine trenches of the Washington intelligence community. His special genius is needed to debug the software glitch in America’s most crucial KH-13 satellite, capable of detecting terrorist hotbeds worldwide. But the problem is much deeper. Now Van must make the unlikely leap from scientist to spy, team up with a ruthlessly resourceful ex-Special Forces commando, and root out an unknown enemy—one with access to a weapon of untold destructive power.
“Great fun . . . A cyberthriller of 21st-century technologies [that] peeps wittily behind the national security scenes of a modern superpower.”—New Scientist
“A comedic thriller for the homeland security era.”—Entertainment Weekly