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Bruce Sterling and Schismatrix

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MadArchitect

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Bruce Sterling and Schismatrix

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Digging through a storage container of books I'd put away since college, I recently stumbled on a copy of Bruce Sterling's "Schismatrix Plus", which compiles his full length novel "Schismatrix" and all of the short stories taking place in the same fictional universe. I thought I'd bring it up here because I know a lot of you are science fiction fans, and I think Sterling has an interesting angle on cyber punk.The concept behind all of these stories is that humans are expanding out into the universe, encountering alien races like the Investors, and as they do, various cultural models are vying for dominance within human kind. In essence, we're trying to decide what face we're going to present to the rest of the universe, and battling one another in the process. The two main factions are the Shapers, who genetically engineer themselves towards an ideal of perfection, and the Mechanist, who combine organic and mechanical components to fashion a cyborg humanity.On the whole, I think the short stories are a bit better. In general, I'd say that's true of the genre; science fiction is usually better suited for the short story than the novel. I'd be interested in seeing what some of you think of the stories -- I'm gearing up to re-read the novel, too -- so I'm hoping that you'll track down a copy and give it a whirl.
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Re: Bruce Sterling and Schismatrix

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I have never read Sterling but have always wanted to, as I have seen his name around the genre so much.I will see about getting a copy of this from the library.Mr. P. Edited by: Chris OConnor  at: 5/22/07 8:00 am
MadArchitect

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Re: Bruce Sterling and Schismatrix

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Cool.Late last night (or early this morning, depending on how you look at it) I read the second story, "Spider Rose". I'm not sure how I feel about the ending to that one, but I will say this for Sterling -- he's got a knack for conceiving an unusual setting and fleshing it out in an interesting way. I can't quite visualization the setting of the story in minute detail (it was late, and I was drinking a glass of red wine) but I have a pretty vivid sense of the whole thing (sense being less precise than visualization).Anyway, I'm looking forward to seeing what you think of it. Let me know when you start the novel itself and I'll start reading that, too. That way we can talk about it without either one of us getting too far ahead or behind.
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Mr. P

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Re: Bruce Sterling and Schismatrix

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I just put it on hold at the library website. Usually it takes 1-3 days for it to arrive.Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Re: Bruce Sterling and Schismatrix

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Awesome. If the copy you end up with has them, and if you don't mind, start with "Swarm" and "Spider Rose", please. Those are fresh in my memory, and I'd like to discuss some of the short stories before I plow into the novel.
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Mr. P

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Re: Bruce Sterling and Schismatrix

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Will do. Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Re: Bruce Sterling and Schismatrix

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I have never read Sterling, and you've piqued my interest (I'm a huge sci-fi fan). I'll see if I can find it, too. "Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody is watching." -- Keller Williams
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Re: Bruce Sterling and Schismatrix

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Hey, the more the merrier. I've held off on reading anymore, though I may be inclined to read the third story, "Cicada Queen", in the next night or so. But I'll definitely wait for you and Mr. P to get a copy before I move on to the novel itself.Anyone else interested?
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Re: Bruce Sterling and Schismatrix

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I have the copy. I will start reading the first two shorts you mentioned shortly. Mr. P. The one thing of which I am positive is that there is much of which to be negative - Mr. P.Once you perceive the irrevocable truth, you can no longer justify the irrational denial. - Mr. P.The pain in hell has two sides. The kind you can touch with your hand; the kind you can feel in your heart...Scorsese's "Mean Streets"I came to kick ass and chew Bubble Gum...and I am all out of Bubble Gum - They Live, Roddy Piper
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Re: Bruce Sterling and Schismatrix

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I have been unable to track the book down at any of my book stores, so I ordered it yesterday. It will be here in a week or week and a half. I'll try to catch up to you guys as soon as I can! "Work like you don't need the money. Love like you've never been hurt. Dance like nobody is watching." -- Keller Williams
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