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Rewired : The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology
Following the rapid evolution of cyberpunk from Bruce Sterling and William Gibson into the current millennium, this vivid anthology welcomes a new generation of exciting writers to take the genre in new and unexpected directions. Cyberpunk freewheels with punk rock energy, careening between the internet, bioengineering, and international politics, its influence saturating entertainment and the mass media. Drawing on the traditions of the pioneering cyberpunk manifesto, Mirrorshades, each story delves into the gritty world of technological change. Legendary Mirrorshades editor and contributor Bruce Sterling is back, alongside such cutting-edge writers as Cory Doctorow, Jonathan Lethem, Gwyneth Jones, Hal Duncan, Charles Stross, and Pat Cadigan. With a daring introduction from James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel, editors of the controversial Feeling Very Strange: The Slipstream Anthology, this collection is an exhilarating snapshot of a vibrant literary movement.
Arranged loosely in order of publication, the 16 diverse selections in this decade-spanning anthology add up to a plausible snapshot of cyberpunk's short-form evolution. Kelly and Kessel (Feeling Very Strange) clearly describe cyberpunk counterculture in a cogent introduction, yet draw only one story from a nongenre source (Greg Egan's Yeyuka) and greatly undervalue the subgenre's ability, at its most popular, to reach beyond SF's core audience. While some entries (Charles Stross's Lobsters; Cory Doctorow's When Sysadmins Ruled the Earth) focus strongly on techno-geek culture, others apply high-tech ideas in more down-to-earth contexts (Mary Rosenblum's Search Engine; Paolo Bacigalupi's The Calorie Man). The critical matter is too scant for academic readers and too intrusive for genre fans; discussion of specific stories is extremely sparse, and excerpts from correspondence between Kessel and Bruce Sterling distract rather than enlighten. Readers seeking a thorough critical study should look elsewhere, but those looking for well-told stories will be satisfied. (Nov.)
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September 30, 2007
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