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Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1988


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 239 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Books; 1st edition (June 1, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441533825
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441533824
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #379,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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:
LAW AND DISORDER ON THE ELECTRONIC FRONTIER (1992),
TOMORROW NOW: ENVISIONING THE NEXT FIFTY YEARS (2003),
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.

Customer Reviews

Recommended to all fellow cyberpunk fans!
Maxim Inshakov
This is simply a fantastic collection of the best stories of my favorite literary subgenre, the Cyberpunk Movement in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Jordan Stalker
It is also a coming of maturity for science fiction as the dominant form of postmodern literary expression.
Gregory Alan Wingo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 83 people found the following review helpful By "consolecowboy" on September 2, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Now, I'm not saying that Mirrorshades was bad. Not only did it contain one of the most definitive PR essays on cyberpunk (Sterling's introduction) but it also conains some very good stories. On the other hand, it could have been much, much, MUCH better.
Bruce Sterling, who edited Mirrorshades and similarly hand-picked the stories, clearly has his own agenda to the particular stories...at least, in some cases. Sterling assembled this almost as if it were an extension of his short-run newsletter, Cheap Truth (which he wrote under an assumed name of Omniveritas). In Cheap Truth, he attacked the existing science-fiction structure. He continues this trend in Mirrorshades.
The clearest example would be his choice of Gibson short work. Of the possible short stories, he picked The Gernsback Continuum and Red Star, Winter Orbit. Gernsback Continuum is, simply, not cyberpunk. It is Gibson's attack on Gernsbackian science fiction (Hugo Gernsback was really to blame for the "fantastic" science-fiction which used amazing gadgetry and no actual ideas). Sterling's view of the Movement (cyberpunk lit) was to erase the old Gernsbackian sf and replace it with real life rather than daydreams, so he picked this story as Gibson's contribution. This is absurd. The definitive cyberpunk short story is Burning Chrome. It is clear that Sterling chose to further his own political ends as opposed to providing a good overview-the best of the best-of cyberpunk fiction.
I could also have done without Sterling's final story, Mozart with Mirrorshades. This was, of course, an attempt to weave in the token item of the genre, the mirrored sunglasses. Sterling would have been much better off to include one of his Shaper-Mechanist stories, especially Spider Rose or Swarm.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Babytoxie on March 16, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a collection of short stories by authors associated with the "cyberpunk movement" within the science fiction field. I enjoyed the book overall, but I wouldn't necessarily call this a representation of cyberpunk. In fact, three of the stories to me (and more among others) absolutely do not qualify as such, and two of them actually seem to be more rooted in the fantasy field than anything else. However, it's a good read, definitely worth it for the stories by Willam Gibson, both solo and collaborative. Interestingly, my favorite was "Petra" by Greg Bear, which is one of the fantasies I referred to: a very original idea and superbly written.
One final thing: if someone understands "Tales of Houdini", please contact me and explain. I just don't get it!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 2, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A gorgeous collection bursting with imagination. Eerie extrapolation on biotechnology, space migration and other staple SF fixtures. "Mirrorshades'" stories handle the future in intimate detail. This is a great guide to some of the best writers working today--a telling indication, since "Mirrorshades" is over a decade old. Bruce Sterling's introductory essay is fascinating.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 5, 1996
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Mirrorshades offers a host of short stories that not
only give a good read but will acquaint you with the very
beginnings of the cyberpunk genre. Included is "Johnny Mnemonic", the short story story that was the inspiration for
a somewhat disappointing film adaptation in 1995.
The crowning jewel of the collection is "Mozart in
Mirrorshades" by Sterling himself. Picture Wolfgang Amadeus
Mozart ("...call me Wolf, okay?") writing pop music, time
travel to paralell universes, mongol warriors on Harleys,
Thomas Jefferson catching the hypersonic VTOL to discuss oil
drilling in Texas, and Marie Antoinette in a leopard skin
bikini screaming for burritos and pizza... This
while the Freemasons organize for guerrilla war in Europe
to drive out the invaders from the 21st century.
"Mirrorshades" is a must-have for anyone interested
in science fiction written after 1979.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By 2theD on April 8, 2012
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Call is noir, call is new wave... this is Cyberpunk because that's what it says on the cover! I guess I have some misconceptions about what cyberpunk exactly entails... my first thoughts are of Johnny Mnemonic, but with the cornucopia of stories found in this anthology, themes of time travel and gothic cathedrals can sit side-to-side with drugs, rock and roll, and computerization. If you have the same misconceptions as I have regarding Cyberpunk, then you'll be in for a disappointment.

The Gernsback Continuum (1981) by William Gibson - 4/5 - An architectural photographer is hired to snap pictures of derelict Californian gas station. On his trip to the west, he experiences time-era specific hallucinations on mono-winged luxury planes, metallic shark-finned cars, and sterilely-clad perfect American couples. (11 pages) ----- The dawn of the age of science fiction (alá early sci-fi publisher Hugo Gernsback) was more than a birthing of a new genre of fiction, but also an American affection for the future. The result of the futuristic projections onto everyday objects was the production of a series a sterile-looking and backward-functioning contraptions; hence the 1980s era exhibiting none of these technophilia creations. Fast-forward 30 years from the date of this stories publication through the sci-fi era of Cyberpunk and witness the growth of society's affection for digital technology. Can the two eras' scientific visionary be comparable? When the human-machine interface becomes a reality, we'll know if Cyberpunk technology was careless or crafty.

Snake-Eyes (1986) by Tom Maddox - 4/5 - George was trained as a cerebrally wired jet fighter for the war in Thailand, but has been pulled out at the last minute.
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