After watching this video, I had a couple of questions…
- So, the colonies of humans were separated from both Earth and other colonies for a thousand of years. They have evolved, according to the origin story, in four distinct ways. Funny how those ways mimic standard ideologies/patterns…the rebels, the autocrats, the Spartanesque military cult, the cybermind. I guess we’re doomed by our biology to follow only specific patterns, specific behaviors, that will inevitably form into specific social organizations. Could say they’re natural, almost…
- I’m starting to think that perhaps Bruce Sterling was the most visionary of the science fiction writers, as his visions were definitely different than nearly every other sci-fi writer of the time, even Gibson. Gibson’s vision fell into what felt to be a natural genre, the detective novel with those specifically suburban reactions to navigating city spaces that had become the Other. Sterling’s shapers vs. mechanists universe, while staying with the theme of mayhem and competing visions/ideologies, got truly strange when it disappeared into the reshaping of humans as hive creatures, able to journey between stars by feeding on minerals and mutating quickly enough to meet the needs created by whatever new environment the hive encountered.
- In that sense, Sterling lived with the confines of the natural world – the laws of science as we understand them – but didn’t make himself bound by anything but those same laws, and he stretched the biological in his world to wild extremes.
- Of course, there are a million sci-fi writers who have done them all one better – Marusek, McCormick, McLeod, Russell, and a million others – and that’s the joy of sci-fi, and why I read it – its exploration of borders, boundaries, places where what we think is real isn’t. That joy has been tempered by my own life events, but as the situation in general has made me wiser and sadder at the same time, I think I’ve become more aware of the lure of that dark side and how some folks simply cannot resist it.
- There was a time, though, when the postpunk, Goth-stuff was overwhelming in its desirability, and the prowling of city streets at times way past when good citizens should have been abed was a saving grace, topped only by moonlight runs of the Lower New at a foot and a half, dropping into Lower Keeney’s as the moon pops from behind a cloud and shows the line like a path of the sacred.