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Holy Fire (Bantam Spectra Book) by Bruce…

Holy Fire (Bantam Spectra Book) (original 1996; edition 1997)

by Bruce Sterling

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903159,768 (3.5)12
Title:Holy Fire (Bantam Spectra Book)
Authors:Bruce Sterling
Info:Spectra (1997), Paperback, 368 pages
Collections:Your library

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Holy Fire by Bruce Sterling (1996)



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Struggling to find a character I can connect with. Maybe the dog. The "tech" of the science fiction is .. unique but being made to feel outdated, even by the story's standards. The whole story seems to be linked to an older brain, older generation. Maybe that's why I'm struggling. Will keep attempting for now...


I'm not 100% sure how I feel about this book. None of the characters grab me... except maybe the dog. And the dog disappears after a couple pages. It is a story about later parts of life and how things happen. It covers someone in their 90s realizing they're old. And wanting change.

Maybe it doesn't set because I'm not nearing that age range or something...

Definitely leaning toward a dud book on this one. A shame, the writing isn't bad, but the story line just isn't catching...

The book moves so slow, that it takes 46 pages to get the first chapter complete and frankly, not much happens until the last four pages. I just can't find the energy to keep reading. Dropping this into the nice try pile and moving to my next book. ( )
  gilroy | Jan 9, 2017 |
I've kinda always regarded Bruce Sterling as something of a wanna-be William Gibson, and I *do* like Gibson's stuff better - but this is a pretty good cyberpunk book.
Mia Ziemann, a careful, cautious and rather stuffy old woman in a future mainly controlled by the old, signs up for an experimental rejuvenation treatment which not only gives her the appearance of a gorgeous 20-year-old, but causes a radical personality shift as well... soon she's running away from her medical staff, and making her way through a kaleidoscope of radical friends and lovers - the disillusioned, the disenfranchised, artists and hoodlums, anarchists and junkies....

The book manages to both incorporate a host of hilarious details, and meditate seriously on issues of youth vs. age, power vs. the lack thereof, and the nature of true artistic inspiration....
( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Mia Ziemann is 93, but looks thirty thanks to advances in medical technology and living life very carefully. The world has survived a prolonged bout of plague and disease, and a significant portion of the global economy is devoted to keeping people alive and healthy for as long as possible, an interval that is growing all the time. After a radical new treatment gives her the appearance of a twenty year old, Mia experiences side effects which appear to give her the mind of a twenty year old, too, and in a sort of fugue state, she ditches the paraphernalia that is carefully monitoring her every move and takes off for Europe. There she encounters a typically Sterlingian cast of drop-outs, thieves, artists, intellectuals, bohemians and radicals. These are the young in a world dominated by the old and the rich. Stifled and coddled by a society made utterly safe but with no way to compete with or replace the dominant gerontocracy, the young foment and plan and strive to make their own stamp on the world.

This is a thoughtful, mature, ultimately moving novel about creating art and rebellion in a society where everything seems wrapped in cotton wool, where the only thing to rebel against is the indifference of those in power and where the people may not be human anymore, and therefore no longer capable of creating art. It's stuffed with big ideas and, unlike a lot of the books that came out of the cyberpunk movement, seems as relevant today as when it was first published. ( )
  Nigel_Quinlan | Oct 21, 2015 |
As always, I find Sterling to be one of the most prophetic writers of our times. This book describes how man will break through the age barrier, and begin his ascent into immortality. Scary to think, but this will all one day become true in one form or another. A must read for all cyberpunk fans of Sterling. A writer who dares to guess our future just 50 years out. And without surprise-- who turns out to be right! ( )
  sgarnell | Jul 10, 2012 |
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bruce Sterlingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Dinyer,EricCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warburton, HollyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Mia Ziemann needed to know what to wear at a deathbed.
A marriage always seems such a good idea when you're about to commit one.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 055357549X, Paperback)

In an era when life expectancies stretch 100 years or more and adhering to healthy habits is the only way to earn better medical treatments, ancient "post humans" dominate society with their ubiquitous wealth and power. By embracing the safe and secure, 94-year-old Mia Ziemann has lived a long and quiet life. Too quiet, as she comes to realize, for Mia has lost the creative drive and ability to love--the holy fire--of the young. But when a radical new procedure makes Mia young again, she has the chance to break free of society's cloying grasp.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:15 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In the 21st Century, suffering and illness have been banished as everything from food to education is free, but boredom still plagues mankind. So after undergoing an operation to rejuvenate herself by 75 years, Mia Ziemman travels to Prague to join bohemians seeking meaning in life.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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