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Distraction by Bruce Sterling

Distraction (original 1998; edition 1999)

by Bruce Sterling

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9101114,058 (3.44)15
Authors:Bruce Sterling
Info:Spectra (1999), Mass Market Paperback, 544 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:political, quasi cyberpunk, science fiction, near future, minor work by an important author, disappointing

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Distraction by Bruce Sterling (1998)

Recently added byinextinguishable, LexFern, JasonBraun, AnthonyTFS, private library, corky7411, jmireland



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» See also 15 mentions

English (10)  Romanian (1)  All languages (11)
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Fun and strange. ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
  mcolpitts | Jul 31, 2009 |
Politics is the art of the possible, the "doable", as Sterling's skewed hero, Oscar Valparaiso, keeps calling his wild improvised plans as if saying the word made them so. Oscar's usually successful schemes are as cobbled together as his own genetics--Oscar is not quite human. Investigating a genetic research facility for a Senate committee, he finds a potential power base, and an enemy worth his attention--the Governor of Louisiana has taken to conquering federal facilities using gangs of the homeless as his deniable mercenaries, and his interest in biotech makes the genetically anomalous Oscar, and the scientist he has fallen for, attractive acquisitions. Having a senator he has just help get elected go stark mad, and finding himself on the Net-wide hit list of every nut with a grudge, are the sort of things with which Oscar copes all the time--love and other altered states of consciousness are a bit more of a problem. Endless witty extrapolations of social and scientific paradoxes and a constant cheeky elaboration of already convoluted plot lines give this the brio of Sterling's best short fiction
  edella | Jul 15, 2009 |
I've read most of Bruce Sterling's books, and I think this is the best since Schismatrix. Many of his stories are about characters who find their situations in constant motion - not adventures as such, but adaption and evolution to events that coincide with them. This sees the pattern reach a kind of high-point - Oscar Valparaiso is essentially addicted to social change and crisis management.
Sterling uses Oscar as a lightning rod for the sorts of changes that he has speculated about in blogs and essays - biotech, IT, alternative social structures, environmental issues - in what is a romp through the almost total collapse of mid 21stC America. It's funny, weird and times breathtaking in the extremity of change envisaged. Reading it ten years later, many aspects seem almost familiar, proving Sterling once again to be an ace futurologist.
It is big, and a little daunting, best read slowly in little chunks. But it is bulging with imagination, and the author's clear concern about how the rapid changes surrounding us now will reap disaster or otherwise in the future. ( )
  aarch235 | Jun 15, 2009 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
It's a powerful concoction, this book, and now, ten years after its initial publication, it's possible to assess just how prescient, how visionary, Sterling is.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (May 17, 2008)

» Add other authors (1 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bruce Sterlingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Nielsen,CliffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scobie, TrevorCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Seinem Laptop zufolge sah Oscar sich das Video über die Unruhen in Worcester bereits zum einhundertfünfzigsten Mal an.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553576399, Mass Market Paperback)

It's the year 2044, and America has gone to hell. A disenfranchised U.S. Air Force base has turned to highway robbery in order to pay the bills. Vast chunks of the population live nomadic lives fueled by cheap transportation and even cheaper computer power. Warfare has shifted from the battlefield to the global networks, and China holds the information edge over all comers. Global warming is raising sea level, which in turn is drowning coastal cities. And the U.S. government has become nearly meaningless. This is the world that Oscar Valparaiso would have been born into, if he'd actually been born instead of being grown in vitro by black market baby dealers. Oscar's bizarre genetic history (even he's not sure how much of him is actually human) hasn't prevented him from running one of the most successful senatorial races in history, getting his man elected by a whopping majority. But Oscar has put himself out of a job, since he'd only be a liability to his boss in Washington due to his problematic background. Instead, Oscar finds himself shuffled off to the Collaboratory, a Big Science pork barrel project that's run half by corruption and half by scientific breakthroughs. At first it seems to be a lose-lose proposition for Oscar, but soon he has his "krewe" whipped into shape and ready to take control of events. Now if only he can straighten out his love life and solve a worldwide crisis that no one else knows exists. --Craig E. Engler

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:04 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

A novel on a declining America where cities are run by private corporations and the unpaid armed forces raise money at roadblocks. Only technology is advancing, the latest achievement being bicameral minds which allow people to do two things at once. The hero is a spin doctor for a senator.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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