MIRRORSHADES: The Cyberpunk Anthology by Sterling Bruce--Ed.

MIRRORSHADES: The Cyberpunk Anthology

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Cyberpunk""? Well, call it what you will, savvy readers will recognize the science-fiction movement of the 1980's--actually it's more of a cozy club. The general scenario involves a high-tech Heavy Metal near. future, featuring punk rockers, a vast gulf between rich and poor, a global awareness, bionic implants, gang warfare, corporate dirty tricks, the exploitation of space, and an often reptilian unconcern for such trifles as ethics and morals. Some of the authors have worked out a common backdrop, which emphasizes the clubby image. Eleven of the 12 stories here, 1981-86, are from exemplars of the movement/club. The best story is wildly out of place: Greg Bear's famous, astonishing, surreal ""Petra,"" wherein objective reality has collapsed, cities have turned into forests, stone has become flesh, and the offspring of a gargoyle and a nun documents the emergence of a new social order. Elsewhere, more typical cyberpunk yarns are to be found: amusing alternate-worlds variations (Bruce Sterling & Lewis Shiner, William Gibson), space rescue (Bruce Sterling & William Gibson), a brain-implanted computer that tries to take over its host (Tom Maddox), gang warfare (Marc Laidlaw), designer drugs (James Patrick Kelly), genetic engineering (Lewis Shiner), and more. With the exception noted, then, this collection forms an above-average introduction to cyberpunk writing. The stories entirely aside, however, it's hard to take all the movement/club paraphernalia seriously: would that editor Sterling's introductions were more firmly tongue in cheek.

Pub Date: Dec. 18th, 1986
Publisher: Arbor House