Ascendancies: The Best of Bruce Sterling

Ascendancies: The Best of Bruce Sterling

by Bruce Sterling

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Overview

Two dozen tales of future shock and twisted history from an undisputed king of cyberpunk science fiction, including Nebula Award finalists “Sunken Garden” and “Dori Bangs.”

Time magazine describes Bruce Sterling as “one of America’s best-known science fiction writers and perhaps the sharpest observer of our media-choked culture working today in any genre.” Sterling’s abilities are on full display in Ascendancies, a collection of speculative fiction from a world-class world-building futurist, alternate historian, and mad prophet operating at the peak of his extraordinary powers. Here are twenty-four stories that span the illustrious career of the author who, along with William Gibson and Neal Stephenson, injected the word cyberpunk into the science fiction lexicon. These tales not only traverse galaxies and employ mind-boggling technologies, they also cut back across the centuries into a richly imagined past with style and a sharp satiric edge.

Sterling’s unparalleled imagination and courageous originality carry the reader into the future universe of the warring Shapers and Mechanists, rival sects of exiled humanity with radically opposed views of human augmentation. Several stories feature the questionable adventures of the footloose con man Leggy Starlitz in a somewhat-skewed and still-dangerous post–Cold War world.

Sterling explores the cyberpunk trope of technology gone wild and the resultant decline of civilization with appropriate gravity, while presenting parables of strangers stuck in very strange lands in a more whimsical vein. Whether chronicling an alien’s encounter with Crusaders in disputed Palestine, depicting the discovery of the key to immortality in a nineteenth-century Times Square magic shop, or portraying bicycles and bad guys in a near-future Tennessee, Sterling’s stories are smart, surprising, genre bending, bold, and outstanding, one and all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781497688124
Publisher: Open Road Media
Publication date: 12/30/2014
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 539
Sales rank: 232,103
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Bruce Sterling is an American author and one of the founders of the cyberpunk science fiction movement. He began writing in the 1970s; his first novel, Involution Ocean, about a whaling ship in an ocean of dust, is a science fictional pastiche of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. His other works, including his series of stories and a novel, Schismatrix, set in the Shaper/Mechanist universe, often deal with computer-based technologies and genetic engineering. His five short story collections and ten novels have earned several honors: a John W. Campbell Award, two Hugo Awards, a Hayakawa’s SF Magazine Reader’s Award, and an Arthur C. Clarke Award. Sterling has also worked as a critic and journalist, writing for Metropolis, Artforum, Icon, MIT Technology Review, Time, and Newsweek, as well as InterzoneScience Fiction Eye, Cheap Truth, and Cool Tools. He edits Beyond the Beyond, a blog hosted by Wired

Sterling is also involved in the technology and design community. In 2003 his web-only art piece, Embrace the Decay, was commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and became the most-visited piece in the museum’s digital gallery. He has taught classes in design at the Gerrit Reitveld Academie in Amsterdam, Centro in Mexico City, Fabrica in Treviso, Italy, and the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. Sterling lives in Austin, Texas; Belgrade, Serbia; and Turin, Italy. 
Bruce Sterling is an American author and one of the founders of the cyberpunk science fiction movement. He began writing in the 1970s; his first novel, Involution Ocean, about a whaling ship in an ocean of dust, is a science fictional pastiche of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. His other works, including his series of stories and a novel, Schismatrix, set in the Shaper/Mechanist universe, often deal with computer-based technologies and genetic engineering. His five short story collections and ten novels have earned several honors: a John W. Campbell Award, two Hugo Awards, a Hayakawa’s SF Magazine Reader’s Award, and an Arthur C. Clarke Award. Sterling has also worked as a critic and journalist, writing for Metropolis, Artforum, Icon, MIT Technology Review, Time, and Newsweek, as well as Interzone, Science Fiction Eye, Cheap Truth, and Cool Tools. He edits Beyond the Beyond, a blog hosted by Wired

Sterling is also involved in the technology and design community. In 2003 his web-only art piece, Embrace the Decay, was commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and became the most-visited piece in the museum’s digital gallery. He has taught classes in design at the Gerrit Reitveld Academie in Amsterdam, Centro in Mexico City, Fabrica in Treviso, Italy, and the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. Sterling lives in Austin, Texas; Belgrade, Serbia; and Turin, Italy. 

Table of Contents

  • Cover Page
  • Title Page
  • Contents
  • Introduction by Karen Joy Fowler
  • Foreword by Bruce Sterling
  • Part I: The Shaper/Mechanist Stories
    • Swarm
    • Spider Rose
    • Cicada Queen
    • Sunken Gardens
    • Twenty Evocations
  • Part II: Early Science Fiction and Fantasy
    • Green Days in Brunei
    • Dinner in Audoghast
    • The Compassionate, the Digital
    • Flowers of Edo
    • The Little Magic Shop
    • Our Neural Chernobyl
    • We See Things Differently
    • Dori Bangs
  • Part III: The Leggy Starlitz Stories
    • Hollywood Kremlin
    • Are You for 86?
    • The Littlest Jackal
  • Part IV: The Chattanooga Stories
    • Deep Eddy
    • Bicycle Repairman
    • Taklamakan
  • Part V: Later Science Fiction and Fantasy
    • The Sword of Damocles
    • Maneki Neko
    • In Paradise
    • The Blemmye’s Strategem
    • Kiosk
  • Acknowledgments
  • About the Author
  • Copyright Page

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