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Crystal Express (1989)

by Bruce Sterling

Other authors: Rick Lieder (Illustrator)

Series: Shaper/Mechanist Universe (Short Story Collection)

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577934,388 (3.65)1
Written by the author of Involution Ocean, The Artificial Kid, Islands in the Net and the editor of Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology, this is a collection of short science fiction stories.
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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I gave this 4 stars based on the breadth of the author's stories and imagination. I liked the Shaper/Mechanist stories which were outstanding. One, Spider Rose, was one of the best scifi short stories I have ever read.

The "fantasy" stories were my second favorite. They were all interesting and covered the ground from alternate history to plain supernatural. The Little Masgic Shop was my favorite. Could have easily been a Twilight Zone episode.

I liked the non-S/M scifi stories the least. Don't get me wrong, all these stories were well above average, I just liked these the least in this particular collection. To be fair, I have a bias against cyberpunk. It seems to become dated rather quickly (these stories were written in the 1980s) because digital technology is moving so fast in the real world. The Green Days in Brunei was my least favorite story and it was one of the longer stories. The clunky non-futuristic telecommunications and "network" technology that was supposed to drive the story was just too distracting.

Another thing, scifi authors shouldn't name drop corporations in their fiction; make the names of companies up. It seems silly for an author to insert a real corporate name into a narrative when to us reading it in the future the company went belly-up or merged or is in a different business now. It may seem cool and prescient at the time of writing but 9 times out of 10 it's going to be wrong and distracting to the future reader, even in the near future. Think of the "Pan Am" shuttle in 2001 A Space Odyssey. Come to think of it, even putting a definite year into a scifi story is a potential distraction unless you want to make it a loooong way off. In most cases it's just not necessary. We can't even get a chimp to the moon anymore much less fly a human to Jupiter. End of rant. ( )
  Gumbywan | Jun 24, 2022 |
The five short stories about the Shapers and Mechanics were very interesting- some of them I may not have fully understood. Green Days in Brunei was one of the best short stories I can remember. I didn't read the last two stories as they were (evidently fantasies. ( )
  keithostertag | Oct 31, 2018 |
I had a hardcover edition of this ( )
  Baku-X | Jan 10, 2017 |
I had a hardcover edition of this ( )
  BakuDreamer | Sep 7, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Bruce Sterlingprimary authorall editionscalculated
Lieder, RickIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Written by the author of Involution Ocean, The Artificial Kid, Islands in the Net and the editor of Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology, this is a collection of short science fiction stories.

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