4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great collection of stories,
This review is from: Visionary in Residence: Stories (Paperback)
I really enjoyed this collection of short stories from Bruce Sterling. Thematically the stories range all over the place from post-human to ancient history and ancient alternate history. The thing that ties all these stories together and made the book so great for me was that these tales reflect many of the futurist ideas posited in his non-fiction work Tomorrow Now. If you haven't read Tomorrow Now I highly recommend it, it's a five star read all the way. Frankly, even though I tend to read more fiction than non-fiction, his Tomorrow Now was one of the better reads I've undertaken this year and the quality of the prose was shockingly good. For a non-fiction work on ideas and what the future may hold it couldn't have been more engaging, easy to read, and mind-expanding.
I read this collection shortly after Tomorrow Now and it felt to me as if they were almost complementary books. The non-fiction work describes many of things we may see in the future and the way society may change with new technologies, including fascinating ideas about the future of biotechnology and the changing nature of employment and what people may wind up doing on a day-to-day basis for work. His concept of work in the future is almost hard to grasp it is so alien, yet extrapolating from the changes over the past twenty years his ideas are entirely plausible too. The short stories take these ideas and wrap them up in engaging tales exploring how these changes affect discrete individuals; the fictional accounts cover the world changes from individual perspective rather than a general societal overview. Some of the stories are better than others naturally but there are some real gems in here, including a colloboration with Rudy Rucker and two stories set in the Middle East roughly 1200 and 1400 A.D. Don't worry, they're both still sci-fi, and expand on some of the better ideas on society and culture that Sterling comes up with. This is a great book, I enjoyed it a lot, and it's well worth the money, but for an even better appreciation I recommend reading Tomorrow Now first and then this one directly after. I am so glad that I did that way.