It's the year 2044, and America has gone to hell. A disenfranchised U.S. Air Force base has turned to highway robbery in order to pay the bills. Vast chunks of the population live nomadic lives fueled by cheap transportation and even cheaper computer power. Warfare has shifted from the battlefield to the global networks, and China holds the information edge over all comers. Global warming is raising sea level, which in turn is drowning coastal cities. And the U.S. government has become nearly meaningless. This is the world that Oscar Valparaiso would have been born into, if he'd actually been born instead of being grown in vitro by black market baby dealers. Oscar's bizarre genetic history (even he's not sure how much of him is actually human) hasn't prevented him from running one of the most successful senatorial races in history, getting his man elected by a whopping majority. But Oscar has put himself out of a job, since he'd only be a liability to his boss in Washington due to his problematic background. Instead, Oscar finds himself shuffled off to the Collaboratory, a Big Science pork barrel project that's run half by corruption and half by scientific breakthroughs. At first it seems to be a lose-lose proposition for Oscar, but soon he has his "krewe" whipped into shape and ready to take control of events. Now if only he can straighten out his love life and solve a worldwide crisis that no one else knows exists. --Craig E. Engler --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
It's 2044 A.D. and America has gone to the dogs. The federal government is broke and, with 16 political parties fighting for power, things aren't likely to improve soon. The Air Force, short on funding, is setting up roadblocks to shake down citizens and disguising its tactics as a bake sale. The governor of Louisiana, Green Huey, is engaging in illegal genetic research and has set up his own private biker army. The newly elected president of the U.S., Leonard Two Feathers, is considering a declaration of war against the Netherlands, a country that finds itself half under water due to global warming. Trying desperately to hold things together is Oscar Valparaiso, political consultant and spin doctor extraordinaire, who has just engineered the election of a new liberal senator for the state of Massachusetts, only to discover that his boss suffers from severe bipolar disorder. Looking for a new challenge, Oscar takes a job with the U.S. Senate Science Committee. His first assignment is to investigate the scandal-ridden Collaboratory, a gigantic, spaceshiplike federal lab in East Texas. Oscar, himself the result of an illegal Colombian cloning experiment, immediately falls head over heels for a gawky but brilliant young Nobel laureate, with whom he sets out to save both the lab and the nation from Green Huey. In his latest novel (after Holy Fire), Sterling once again proves himself the reigning master of near-future political SF. This is a powerful and, at times, very funny novel that should add significantly to Sterling's already considerable reputation.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The writer has a great descriptive capability and made his case, but went on far too long. It felt to me like "stream of consciousness" writing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Charles
I have to admit that I've read very little cyberpunk - Neuromancer comes to mind - but I generally enjoyed this book. I did find the pace a bit uneven, though. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Nigel R. Guest
A poignant and satirical extrapolation of what America might end up as. Again as with Sterling ..better texture than plot. Really enjoyed it although a bit silly most of the time. Read morePublished on September 3, 2012 by GRINGO
I just finished reading this book and I am still trying to get over it. Shades of The Economist and Miles Vorkosigan. Read morePublished on February 3, 2012 by Daniel M. Bensen
I read Sterling's" Distraction" and though it was very clever until I read Walker Percy's "Love in the Ruins" published in 1971. Read morePublished on September 23, 2011 by sadie
I'm not Bruce Sterling's biggest fan, but I am a fan, despite his glaring limitations as a writer. Let's get them out of the way up-front: Bruce Sterling cannot write convincing... Read morePublished on June 27, 2009 by J. Bradley Hicks
Distraction shows why fiction was really mostly a warm-up for Sterling's current career as non-fiction writer and design futurist agitator. Read morePublished on April 29, 2009 by Andrew Otwell
Distraction by Bruce Sterling will make you think until your dendrites grind while scaring the @#$% out of you, but you'll be laughing so hard you won't notice. Read morePublished on May 7, 2008 by Sylvia Wadlington
Rating: "B": masterful writing and funny/clever satire, undermined
by gross implausibilities and clunky auctorial manipulations. Read more