SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 907 Schismatrix Plus, by Bruce Sterling Book Review |

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Schismatrix Plus, by Bruce Sterling
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Ace
Published: 1996
Review Posted: 9/21/2006
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: 10 out of 10

Schismatrix Plus, by Bruce Sterling

Book Review by Sheri Fresonke Harper

Have you read this book?

Schismatrix Plus is a novel with an additional set of short stories that take place in Bruce Sterling's Shaper/Mechanist reality. The first story, Schismatrix starts slow while the reader learns about politics, technology and people, but overall, Schismatrix has a fascinating premise about how humans spread through our solar system. The other stories take place in the same reality, with my favorite of the bunch being the story about Spider Rose.

At it's heart, this book's all about a younger generation fighting against the stagnation of an older generation. The older generation is living a great deal longer due to mechanical augmentations, whereas biotechnology has shaped many of the youth for specialized purposes and given them physical superiority. The book contains an interesting analogy to how new technology is developed and sold by entrepreneurs, then taken over by a big corporate machine. The entrepreneur hero Lindsay, augmented by Shaper technology to be a diplomat, is always just one step in front of his former best friend Constantine who is now head of the machine. The plot moves fast toward a resolution in each new challenge, but then when he moves to a new home, the story becomes slow again as Lindsay experiences a new variation of the same reality, one that is much more advanced technologically. In fact, it becomes quite humorous discovering how Lindsay will escape once more.

With well-wrought descriptions of life in an artificial habitat revolving around a planet, to strange asteroid weaponry, mind and body enhancements, spacesuits, and high-tech greenhouses, the reader never gets bored with the panoply of technology.

This book will delight the hard science fiction reader and cyberpunk aficionado. Lindsay's relationships with woman are sometimes cold, sometimes touching, and he's not afraid of love. Lindsay's salesman personality is a delight to experience because through it all, he's a survivor.
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