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Love Is Strange (A Paranormal Romance) [Kindle Edition]

Bruce Sterling
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

«In a gothic decade getting steadily gothicker, that's by far the funniest book I ever wrote.»
[Bruce Sterling]


«It’s a weird, lumpy, sometimes uncomfortable comedy about shitty people. It is the best and only romance novel you should read this year. It is fun and evil.»
[Warren Ellis]

«I haven't had a chance to read it yet, but Warren Ellis has, and he's written up a review that makes me want to read it RIGHT NOW»
[Cory Doctorow]

«Few romantic stories are as complex as those written by a futurist; and Bruce Sterling proves this case to the elegant extreme.»
[Jamie Marriage]


They're futurists in love. They don't believe in romantic happy endings.

Farfalla Corrado is a globetrotting Italian witch, trained in Brazilian voodoo. Farfalla can tell real fortunes, see real ghosts and speak real curses. Farfalla doesn't just know the future – she can feel in in the dark, twisted depths of her heart.

Gavin Tremaine is a high-tech Seattle venture capitalist. He can forecast the future, spot its trends, and invest in its business models. Gavin has a big future ahead of him – unfortunately, Gavin knows what that big future holds for the little people.

When their worlds collide, history itself begins to crumble. They already know how this love story is bound to end – and it's not what the other expects.


About 137.000 words


Bruce Sterling lives in Austin, Turin and also Belgrade. He is married to the Serbian feminist and novelist Jasmina Tesanovic.

He is an American science fiction author, best known for his novels and his work on the Mirrorshades anthology, which helped define the cyberpunk genre.

His nonfiction works include The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier; Tomorrow Now: Envisioning the Next Fifty Years; and Shaping Things.

Product Details

  • File Size: 687 KB
  • Print Length: 370 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: 40k (December 22, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #316,946 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Weird, funny, and true January 4, 2013
By Käthe
Format:Kindle Edition
Foretelling the future is hard. It's so hard that we award Grand Master status to writers of science fiction who manage to name any one thing that actually comes to pass. It's so hard that Sylvia Browne has made a vast fortune without ever getting one specific prediction right. (To be fair, she is really good at cold reading.)

I mention this because the paranormal here isn't vampires or werewolves running about buff and shirtless. Gavin and Farfalla can predict the future. For him, this means a lucrative career in accountancy in a venture capital firm in Seattle. For her, this means accurate personal fortune-telling of a kind that would make Cassandra squirm. He's a white boy from the US at the top of his game, she's an Italian who grew up in Brazil, and now tries to scrape together an existence as a translator.

And since a romance on its own can be tedious, we have the unlikely addition of a Cosmic Cupid sculpture to be found for a odd US academic, and the backstory of an unusual woman, <a [...]Virginian novelist who married first an Astor heir, and then a Russian prince.

There are Futurist conferences, philosophy, fashionable Italians, Brazilian voodoo, Swedish Methodism, steampunk novelists, time travel and state secrets. Although set now, amid the ongoing international financial turmoil, I would expect this to appeal to those who enjoy all the similar sorts of elements of [book:The Diamond Age|827]. Best of all, it's a romance likely to appeal equally to men and women, tech fanciers and artists. It is amusing, quirky, earnest, and charming.

review (e)copy from publisher
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A surprisingly difficult book to read March 3, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I would recommend against this book if you prefer to have:
* Relatable or rational characters
* A resolution that addresses the majority of the plot points (such as they are)

The first quarter of the book actually starts out fairly strong (don't be fooled by the Kindle sample!) but devolves into the characters having ranting monologues at each other. I started to hate the book and the characters, only hung on to the end because I wanted to see if there was any kind of satisfactory resolution. (Spoiler: partially, but it wasn't enough to make it worth the effort of reading it.)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gonzo Cinematic European SciFi RomCom Romp January 30, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In his 2009 SXSW closing keynote Bruce Sterling said that he thought his latest book, The Caryatids, would be the last book of its kind. The Kindle and its ilk were going to kill the hardcover. He handed out copies to the kids. It's was a very fin de siècle sort of thing. It's now 2013, and Bruce has a new book out, Love is Strange (A Paranormal Romance), and it's only available on the Kindle. The future is what you make it.

Love is Strange is a story about two Futurists, her an Italian by way of Brazil, him a Seattle startup accountant geek. They meet at a futurist conference in Capri, and proceed to fall in love. Terrible, fraught, cinematic love. The book reads very much like a self-aware 60′s gonzo romantic comedy about an American visiting Europe. Things happen because they are fun, things work out because they make you happy to read about, and the only suspenseful conflicts are in the characters hearts. The novel's soaked in the 2009 era, women like Carla Bruni and the post-election Sarah Palin are recurring themes. The Italian heroine is oh so very cinematically Italian. She is Adorably Fraught With Concerns And Drama!

Readers and critics like to make connections between creators and their life situations. Oh, this character is really that person, and he wrote this because of that. It's hard not to see that in this book. In 2005 Bruce married Jasmina Tesanović, a very inspiring, out there Serbian futurist translator. (She's very nice, by the way.) Bruce started spending a lot of time in Europe, a lot of time being less of a novelist and more of a futurist. It wouldn't be much of a stretch to imagine this book as a happy ode to their sort of romance.

Love is Strange isn't a quick read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The weirdest novel for our times January 6, 2013
By Kitsune
Format:Kindle Edition
Gavin and Farfalla are futurists, but not of the same kind. She is an Italian witch trained in the arts of Brazilian vodoo to foresee the future; he, an American tech geek who forecasts trends as a way of life. Both are in love and already know that they will live happy ever after, but not exactly the way they imagine because their stories are weird and stranger than love itself.

In Love Is Strange, future is like a tale, a narrative that only happens when it's told by someone like Gavin, Farfalla, a victorian novelist who was an American princess, an old academic searching for a peculiar statue, a Goth fashionista, a steampunk writer, trendy Italians or exotic Brazilians. Future happens when they meet, space-time wraps and love is not a pink romantic feeling.

In this novel, love is something more than paranormal. Yet it's also similar to World of Warcraft, Amazon, iPhones and Brazilian vodoo. Love is something that happens not only in cheesy novels. Love happens.

Bruce Sterling's narrative is fluid, funny and fantastically geeky. He, one of the parents of cyberpunk, created the weirdest novel for our times of technological human interaction. Definitely a must read.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a really paranormal novel
It's a romance and a meta romance and a commentary on romance. And it was fun. I particularly liked how the sparks flew every time the rational and the romantic worlds collided.
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Strange maybe but paranormal?
I really enjoyed the first 2/3. Interesting topics and I learnt some new things but the last part of the book seemed to lose it and a bit forced. Maybe that was the paranormal bit. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Colin Marshall
3.0 out of 5 stars A strange twist for Sterling. Different, yet familiar.
I've been a Sterling fan for years. I discovered him back in the late 80s cyberpunk movement, and followed him into his speculative fiction in the 90s. Love is Strange is... Read more
Published 7 months ago by M. Alberghini
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CyberPunk romance of 2010s
Love the story, which is kind of reminiscence of author's life. Found something very much about myself, and wish you find it too
Published 10 months ago by Tacci
5.0 out of 5 stars Well written, light and crisp, with delicate complexity and a humorous...
Those readers who appreciate new novel, Mexican Magical Realism, and eclectic settings will be very happy with this read. Read more
Published 10 months ago by GoManVanGogh
1.0 out of 5 stars Avoid this like the plague!
What a tedious read! I read it through to the end, thinking it would rise to the level of other Bruce Sterling books, but it never did. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars interesting story but a tough read
I have read a lot of Sterling's books and this one was distinctly different; lots of fascinating concepts but no real flow or energy to the story. Read more
Published 13 months ago by J. J. Spatarella
2.0 out of 5 stars Finally done
I didn't care for this book. I didn't care for any character in this book. The characters just were so long winded and blah. I wouldn't recommend this book.
Published 14 months ago by Tony
3.0 out of 5 stars hilarious and insightful
Always a wild ride. Some pretty bad editing and OTT dialog but thoroughly enjoyed it and would recommend to futurists
Published 14 months ago by Leslie Simmons
2.0 out of 5 stars hard going
I really had to skim a lot of this.
I definitely wouldn't recommend it.
The conversations between the lovers are meaningless babble that takes up most of the book.
Published 14 months ago by Makka
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More About the Author

Bruce Sterling, author, journalist, editor, and critic,
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:
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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