Want a new free Bruce Sterling short story? ‘course you do!

Via Boing Boing, who said this:

In White Fungus, an “architecture fiction” published in the first issue of Beyond magazine, Bruce Sterlng marries the sardonic and the hopeful in a gripping, hilarious story about how every aspect of civic life from schools to tomato-farming will be reformed after ecotastrophe and econopocalypse destroy our present way of life.

Sample:

Logically, industrial farmers should move into places like White Fungus and industrially farm the lawns. Derelict buildings should be gutted and trans formed into hydroponic racks. White Fungus was, in fact, an old agricultural region: it was ancient farmland with tarmac on top of it. So: rip up the parking lots. Plant them. Naturally, no one in White Fungus wanted this logical solution. Farming was harsh, dull, boring, patient work, and no one was going to pay the locals to farm. So, by the standards of the past, our survival was impossible. The solution was making the defeat of our hunger look like fun. People gardened in five-minute intervals, by meshing webcams with handsets. A tomato vine ready to pick sent someone an SMS. Game-playing gardeners cashed in their points at local market stalls and restaurants. This scheme was an ‘architecture of participation’. Since the local restaurants were devoid of health and employee regulations, they were easy to start and maintain.Every thing was visible on the Net. We used ingenious rating systems.

Enjoy a small glimpse at a very possible near-future, but one where survival, and even creativity, thrive.

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