It s important to me to not know what a book is about too much before I read it, and so I had no idea this was a short story collection I was a bit surprised, but rolled with it I was not feeling great about this book after the first ten pages, but the ending of the first short story was a delight, so I kept going.
The book is divided into sections, with the first part being stories that center around a collective world of Shaper Mechanists Investors I would have been fine if the whole book had been located there A few of the stories in the other sections felt haphazardly placed, but were engaging enough to ignore this disconnect.
There is a definite 80 s vibe and Heinlein flavor to the whole book the throwaway comment about normally being nude, for instance , although it stretches beyond this pulpiness into deeper, original territory as the book goes Word choice and tone remain tight and advanced throughout This is dense reading, but a rewarding exercise in letting yourself dive down those layers.
Muchas tem ticas, buenas direcciones G nero Relatos.
Lo que nos cuenta Recopilaci n de relatos escritos por el autor entre 1982 y 1987 en los que prima la Ciencia Ficci n por un lado, como parte de un planteamiento conocido como Formador Mecanicista, y por otro lado ejercicios de g nero sin hilo com n pero que tiene lugar tambi n para la Fantas a Quiere saber m s de este libro, sin spoilers Visite SHAPER MECHANIST Set in Sterling s science fiction universe of the same name, this volume contains all of the short stories from the Shaper Mechanist universe It leaves out only the novel, Schismatrix.
Swarm 1982 5 5 Stars Captain Doctor Simon Afriel takes an alien ship out to a colony known as the Swarm Within it, he meets up with Doctor Minry and they commence their study of the Insectoid Swarm They hope to harness its power to elevate humanity s status in the universe A creepy tale of man s desire for expansion coupled with the pride that comes from brilliance Several moral issues are touched on and left for the reader to decide what s right The ending is straight out of a science fiction horror and is a perfect end to the tale This collection opens with my favorite story of them all.
Spider Rose 1982 3.
5 5 Stars A woman dulled by medication and loneliness runs an asteroid mining operation with her genetically altered cockroaches She discovers a large gem and wants to trade it with the alien Investors However, rather than the usual currency of energy or even advanced tech, she decides to get a pet This is definitely one of the stranger tales with a fascinating first half However, the ending just disappointed me I think this could have done with being a bit longer.
Cicada Queen 1983 4 5 Stars Landau is inducted into the higher levels of his society and comes out from under their direct watch However, their society has begun to crumble with the rumors of the Queen s abandonment of the colony With his loyalties split between his mentor s Mars terraforming project and his young love He must decide what he wants to do as his world crashes in around him I m sure a lot of men can relate to Ladau s struggles with immature love That, coupled with the lush culture of the colony make this story an excellent read It is a bit confusing at sections, but it culminates in a harrowing end.
Sunken Gardens 1984 3 5 Stars Outcasts are taken in by the regal faction They participate in terraforming competitions for the Regals and the Lobster King of Mars Mirasol is trying to win life for herself and her Patternist faction An interesting spin on the competition for survival The idea of altering parts of a planet as sport is really interesting The moral twist at the end was interesting, but a bit underdeveloped.
Twenty Evocations 1984 3.
5 5 Stars The life of Nikolai in twenty segments This fleshes out of the Shaper Mechanist universe in much broader strokes than the other short stories SCI FI A collection of tales set in the future, but not in the Shaper Mechanist universe.
Green Days in Brunei 1985 4.
5 Stars Turner Choi has come to Brunei to repair shipbuilding robots As he goes about his work he meets a mysterious woman in a bar who turns out to be the princess of Brunei However, their family obligations interfere with their romance The country is poor and the internet only allows for text based chat, so the lovers converse through instant message Finally things come to a head and both must make a choice their family or their love A fantastic love story that reminds me of my younger days talking to girls I liked over MSN messenger The setting and the characters are rich and the plot is great if a bit overly romantic.
Spook 1983 2.
5 5 Stars A man called Eugene is given the task of stopping some upstarts in South America He is cybernetically enhanced and doesn t care about much of anything The biggest issue with this story is the main character s lack of identity and care It is part of the plot and necessary, but it kills any attachment or care about what happens to him I applaud Mr Sterling for attempting to write this kind of story and this is certainly the best outcome that could have come from it.
The Beautiful and the Sublime 1986 1.
5 5 Stars Rich assholes vie for the attentions of noble ladies by embarrassing their rivals There are some great love stories in this collection, this is not one of them All the men are unlikeable bastards, the women are flirtatious bitches and most of them get happy endings seriously About the only cool thing in this story is the dragonfly glider This is definitely the worst story of the lot FANTASY Some tales featuring one magical thing or event per story.
Telliamed 1984 3 5 Stars An interesting tale about a man coming to terms with the meaning and results of his life Short and decent.
The Little Magic Shop 1987 3 5 Stars A surprisingly flippant story about the price of immortality.
Flowers of Edo 1987 3.
5 5 Stars Several men reflect on the past after a night of drinking in Meiji era Edo It is basically a night of drunken adventures with travel, forgein liquor and demons This probably would have gotten four stars, but the end gets a bit murky Other than that, I loved the Japanese flavor and how the story treated the protagonists as another group of guys.
Dinner in Audoghast 1985 3 5 Stars Men deal with an angry psychic over dinner who predicts bad futures for all of them Interesting and amusing.
This collection is definitely worth the read even if the most of the best stuff is at the beginning I really need to read Schismatrix now, but I don t have it Ah well, all things in good time.
Spook is just not up to professional standards, and Twenty Evocations fails as an experiment, but the rest of this book is delightful Green Days in Brunei is the archetype of the cyberpunk short story, enhanced now by its technological anachronisms rather than diminished by them In The Beautiful and the Sublime Sterling covers Ballard, quite well The four fantasy stories make me wish Sterling had written fantasy, and historical fiction And, of course, Cicada Queen is one of the ten or so greatest SF short stories ever written.
Essential collection of early Sterling shorts Complete TOC above, details athttp www.
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cgi 8394Many of these stories have multiple reprints, and include such classics as Swarm Shaper Mechanist 1982 novelette Green Days in Brunei 1985 novella Flowers of Edo 1987 novelette Dinner in Audoghast 1985 short storyCheck out this cool cover art for Cicada Queen 1983 I should reread it.
I had no idea Bruce wrote such great sci fi The reading is dense and challenging the worlds he creates are very vivid and take some time to settle into, but you are rewarded for your diligence with mind blowing glimpses of the future I found this collection of short stories at a second hand book store following watching Sterling s many lectures on tech art, new technology, and futurism Despite his style having been labeled cyberpunk, these stories cover a wide range of genres I enjoy his references to art and music Also, many of the stories seem Transrealist I feel as if I am present suspending the narrative of now while still consciously observing the pushing operations of the present, formatting new interpretations in immediate currents transverifying the activity of transference of the present real I hope to write some interdiscliplinary sonic realizations of the Shaper stories I also really enjoy Green Days in Brunei , as it seems right out of Warm Worlds and Otherwise What a creative and imaginative author whose aesthetic is always consciousness of the contemporary while remembering the past Great references to Heordotus in some of the stories.
Short Stories Which Depict Worlds Full Of Scientific Advancement, Genetic And Surgical Modifications Of People, Colonization Of The Solar System And Alien Contact But They Also Show Concern For The Future Of Real PeopleNTENTS Swarm Spider Rose Cicada Queen Sunken Gardens Twenty Evocations Green Days In Brunei Spook The Beautiful And The Sublime Telliamed The Little Magic Shop Flowers Of Edo Dinner In Audoghast