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Ascendancies: The Best of Bruce Sterling Hardcover – September 25, 2007

4.2 out of 5 stars 9 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Sterling (Visionary in Residence: Stories), the godfather of cyberpunk, demonstrates his full range, from far future to forgotten past, in this well-stocked career-spanning collection of his finest SF pieces. His blend of uncompromising realism and irrepressible optimism shows up wherever his protagonists do, whether working for a stranded alien in Crusader-era Palestine (The Blemmye's Stratagem), investigating a mock space journey inside the cavern left from a Chinese H-bomb test (Taklamakan) or just hanging around (literally) in 2037 Chattanooga, fixing bikes and foiling a black ops agent out to protect her senile senator boss (Bicycle Repairman). Sterling is both Cassandra and Scheherazade, always forced to spill the ugly truths about what's to come in spite of our unconcern, but always willing to see if the doom can be held off for another night by one more good story. Readers who like a hard-eyed view of the future combined with a wry wink at the past, with a few inventive postmodern narrative kicks mixed in, will be greatly rewarded. (Aug.)
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From Booklist

Sterling's speculative fiction dazzles from the get-go, bombarding the reader with one extraordinary concept after another. The Sharper/Mechanist stories depict posthumans living in a society divided between those who have been modified by genetic engineering and others who have been altered by technology. But Sterling's early sf and fantasy are as likely to be set in the past as in the present or near future. Dinner in Audoghast is a startling cautionary tale of a society convinced it has reached the pinnacle of sophistication; in it, the guests at a feast in the Ghanaian empire that prospered a millenium ago arrogantly dismiss a fortune-teller's (highly accurate) apocalyptic prophecies. In Flowers of Edo, denizens of Edo (later called Tokyo) quixotically battle new technologies imposed by Western powers. The Leggy Starlitz stories feature that hero, a crafty opportunist with a can-do attitude. In Hollywood Kremlin, Starlitz smuggles contraband as the Soviet Empire crumbles and Armenian-Muslim antogonism brews. This significant retrospective of Sterling's career reveals a prescience that is bold and astounding. Segedin, Ben

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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
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Top international reviews

Martin Stiglio
5.0 out of 5 stars Uno scrittore di fantascienza che aveva anticipato tutto. Anche la morte della fantascienza cosi' come era intesa prima di lui.
Reviewed in Italy on July 7, 2016
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