[[ DOWNLOAD EPUB ]] ⇣ Schismatrix ↰ PDF eBook or Kindle ePUB free
I had written Bruce Sterling off as a relic of the cyberpunk era, big mistake The wow factor is pretty big on this Mind mutating, WTF, idea per sentence science fiction with shades at time of Bester, Triptree jr Delaney, Barrington J Bailey who blurbs it William S Burroughs, and Ballard Dense, filled with absurd humor and grotesque surreal visions, as human future and form breaks and cascades into increasing odd shapes I feel a little buzzed after finishing this This and a couple of short stories have put Sterling on my favorites list This book also had a profound influence on the books of Charles Stross and Alastair Reynolds, the former taking the zany idea flinging and economic speculation and the latter the grim, fractured weirdness.
[[ DOWNLOAD EPUB ]] ↠ Schismatrix ⇻ THE FUTURE OF MANKIND CAN TAKE ONE OF TWO DIRECTIONSThe Mechanists Are Ancient Aristocrats, Their Lives Prosthetically Extended With Advanced Technology The Shapers Are Genetically Altered Revolutionaries, Their Skills The Result Of Psychotechnic Training And Artificial ConditioningBoth Factions Are Fighting To Control The Schismatrix Of HumankindThe Shapers Are Losing The Battle, But Abelard Lindsay A Failed And Exiled Shaper Diplomat Isn T Giving Up Across The Galaxy, Lindsay Moves From World To World, Building Empires, Struggling For His Cause But Often Fighting For His LifeHe Is A Rebel And A Rogue, A Pirate And A Politician, A Soldier And A Scholar He Can Alter The Direction Of Man S Destiny If He Can SurviveSCHISMATRIX The only other book I ve read that comes at all close to kinship with this fascinating space epic is Stross s 2005 Accelerando, which appears to have been influenced both indirectly in form style and directly posthumanism lobters by Schismatrix, which predates Accelerando by two decades In both cases there is at least one tongue lolling, brain boiling, oh wow SF concept worked into the story in every paragraph Such a high ratio of idea to story weighs a little heavy on the reading at times, sometimes making ciphers out of secondary characters and making blatant macguffins out of interplanetary political conspiracies and intruige, but it never veers too far into the superficial, and Sterling occasionally lets his left brain cool down for stretches and allows some real depth and pathos to seep into his story before resuming the SF pyrotechnics There were occasionally whole stretches of the story that made only a passing amount of sense to me i.e are they really transforming themselves into modified deep sea creatures and colonizing the subterranean oceans of Europa, or did I miss something , but such parts were still a deliriously pleasurable experience.Considering how much of this book, first published in 1985, still feels new and mind blowing, and given the influence it has had in the genre these past two decades Swanwick, Stross, et al it is a must read for sf devotees. I read this due to a recommendation at the end of Alastair Reynolds Galactic North I thought it was pretty good, but definitely intellectually stimulating than entertaining He has some pretty fascinating ideas, although the overall plot itself is a little lackluster Definitely worth reading, if only to see some ancestral ideas that evolved their way into Reynolds Revelation Space universe. This book has been on my list after reading an excellent short story by Sterling dealing with this same universe Well after finally finding a copy of this and reading it, I can say I wasn t missing much Like a lot of SF, the characters seem like cardboard cutouts, and the plot is not good to say the least Actually, this book is confusing as hell Why are the characters doing what they are doing What is motivating them Sterling does present a colorful vision of the future where humans abandon Earth and live out on lunar colonies, on asteroids, and moons of Saturn They are divided up into Mechanists and Shapers They apparently don t like each other but it s never made clear why There is an alien race called The Investors who arrive and there is a period of d tente Then the Investors go away or something Who knows This really seems like a several short story pieces that are clumsily cobbled together to make a novel The chapters are sometimes several years apart in the timeline with no decent grounding of what happened during the intervening years or why There s also dozens of characters who drift in and out of the novel at various times Like I said, confusing as hell. A very difficult book to get through And honestly not a well written because the book s ideas are all over the place and near impossible to figure out what is going on It took me almost the entire book to unravel the main premise was two cousins with different philosophies of life are out to get each other There is plenty of political manipulation and deception A couple of interesting ideas but far and few between. Eh Hard science sci fi with a psychedelic edge Mechs versus shapers in a diplomatic battle for the something or other Covers centuries, feels like it took months to slog through.br br I m reading it twenty five years too late. Bruce Sterling was one of the leaders of the Cyperpunk movement in science fiction and Schismatrix is the central novel of Sterling s shaper mechanist universe The Schismatrix is the whole extraterrestrial mankind after departure from exploited and polluted earth to orbital stations around the moon, in the asteroid belt, the Saturn rings or other places in the solar system A schisma of mankind into shapers and mechanists took place with shapers focussing on genetical engineering and mechanists using mechanical implants to extend and improve life The factions are fighting each other in wars lasting generations At the fringes of societies diverse subcultures have formed Their participants are called sundogs Schismatrix mainly tells the story of one of them, Abelard Lindsay, spanning almost 200 years of his life A main theme is the arrival of alien races and their influence on mankind.The book is termed a cyberpunk novel, although it is not about the seemingly constitutive element of the genre, cyberspace It s linked to the genre in its generally pessimistic attitude toward human development and man technology integration Mankind will continue to fight each other for power and wealth, exploit their environment notwithstanding any technological progress Technology s role is to provide new ways of living after man has destroyed his environment again It can t help to overcome human weaknesses Nonetheless, Sterling leaves a remainder of hope as mankind is inventive enough to always find new ways to survive and he hints at a future in what he calls post humanism.To me it s a punk novel in so far as the author s wants are larger than his skills which could be said of almost any early punk musician The book is full of half baked philosophy, the writing appears dilettantistic than stylish which is not helped by one of the worst German translations I ve read.It has enough strengths though Sterling has lots of ideas thoughts on future issues, many of them just hinted at to be explored in other stories There s a richness of settings and concepts that could fuel ten other SF stories The disintegration of mankind into many different social systems is interesting enough and the characterization of alien races so facetted that I would love to read a hypothetical history book of Sterling s shaper mechanist universe where the weaknesses of his story telling wouldn t matter. I picked up this book because I couldn t remember it from the first time I had read it, twenty years ago I needed a bathtub book one that I wouldn t mind if it fell in the water , and I wanted to decide if I should keep it on my shelf or pass it on Within the first thirty pages I had dropped all my other books and was secretly heading off to my room to sneak in a few pages.I loved the way Sterling balanced almost overwhelming creativity with cool, calm, and precise prose I loved the way he balanced the inhuman stretch of time that the book covers almost 200 yhears with unexpected jumps forward in time, which to kept the story fresh and new It must have been exhausting to write, although it was a delight to read I understand why Sterling said he never wants to revisit this world, and I guess I better get caught up on what he has been doing since this novel been meaning to read this for a really, really, REALLY long time finally got around to it i was expecting cyperpunk but it s not, it s far future space opera feels a lot like varley s The Ophiuchi Hotline only a lot longer and not as much fun the ideas are great and they just keep coming , and the book s written in a kind of hallucinogenic countercultural michael moorcockian mode, but the story is just really slow like, wait, is there even a story type slow it was hard to finish.