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

18 April, 2009

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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Quote of the day

27 January, 2009

“With that sweet, frank way she had of cutting to the core of an issue without ever delivering anything useful, Rabbiteen Chandra was the very soul of bloggerdom.”

From Bruce Sterling and Rudy Rucker’s latest collaberation, the short story Colliding Branes.


Anathem

12 September, 2008

Just started Neal Stephenson’s latest doorstop epic novel Anathem. Not a light-weight read, in any sense – but after the first seventy-or-so pages, one does settle into the universe he creates. By page 300, I’m completely enthralled.

Only six hundred to go…

In short, if the size and sheer amount of data thrown at you by the Baroque Cycle was manageable, you’ll dig this.

For a taster, here’s an interesting¬† and about 90+% accurate video trailer for the book (yeah, weird idea but increasingly common one), with some of the heavily math-inspired music recorded for the book.