Sunday, February 06, 2011

The Rough Guide to Space Opera: Bruce Sterling - Blue Tyson

Bruce Sterling is most well known for being a leader of the cyberpunk movement an the editor of an anthology of such. In this subgenre he produced a groundbreaking and high quality series of stories in his Shaper/Mechanist setting, of economics and posthumanity that has greatly influenced the New Space Opera. An unproductive novelist, he has only just made it past double figures in over thirty years, but has written around sixty short stories, several of which are also very quality. His fiction these days seems to grow ever more banal with an obsession with mundane architecture.

Schismatrix Plus collects all the Shaper/Mechanist stories. Swarm has some Shapers meet insectoid aliens. Spider Rose has a very old Mechanist making a new Investment. Cicada Queen has a Shaper and her Mechanist mentor Wellspring doing a deal. Sunken Gardens has a terraforming competition. Schismatrix is a novel and follows the life of a Shaper diplomat and his conflict with an old friend, and encompasses the whole period of the previous stories and more.


Spider Rose

Cicada Queen

Sunken Gardens