- Mass Market Paperback: 239 pages
- Publisher: Ace Books; 1st edition (July 1, 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0441533825
- ISBN-13: 978-0441533824
- Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 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: #204,013 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 1988
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Top Customer Reviews
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. These stories are much better realized-and much more cyberpunk-than his choice. I would also have liked to see a more appropriate Rucker story...Rucker is great, but Tales of Houdini just wasn't appropriate.
Still, there are some great stories in here. Cadigan, Shirley, Shiner, Bear, Maddox, and others all contribute great works. If anything, Mirrorshades should be a starting point; find authors you like here, and then read the really groundbreaking stuff by them; John Shirley's Eclipse trilogy, everything by Gibson, Bear's Blood Music, Cadigan's Synners, Mindplayers, and Tea from an Empty cup, Rucker's Software trilogy, Sterling's Schismatrix, Maddox's Halo, and so forth.
However, if you want to simply read good cyberpunk short fiction, get the short story collections by the individual authors. As I said before, this is just a jumping-off point.
One final thing: if someone understands "Tales of Houdini", please contact me and explain. I just don't get it!
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
That's not the ultimate anthology, but you can get reading it some hints on this mouvements...Read more