The Difference Engine

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1855: The Industrial Revolution is in full and inexorable swing, powered by steam-driven cybernetic Engines.  Charles Babbage perfects his Analytical Engine and the computer age arrives a century ahead of its time.  And three extraordinary characters race toward a rendezvous with history—and the future:

Sybil Gerard—a fallen woman, politician’s tart, daughter of a Luddite agitator

Edward “Leviathan” Mallory—explorer and paleontologist

Laurence Oliphant—diplomat, mystic, and spy.

Their adventure begins with the discovery of a box of punched Engine cards of unknown origin and purpose.  Cards someone wants badly enough to kill for….

Part detective story, part historical thriller, The Difference Engine is the collaborative masterpiece by two of the most acclaimed science fiction authors writing today.  Provocative, compelling, intensely imagined, it is a startling extension of Gibson’s and Sterling’s unique visions—and the beginning of movement we know today as “steampunk!”

Islands in the Net

Islands in the Net
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In a near-future new age of corporate control, hacker mercenaries, and electronic terrorism, a public relations executive on the rise finds herself caught in the violent epicenter of a data war

Two decades into the twenty-first century, the world’s nations are becoming irrelevant. Corporations are the true global powers, with information the most valuable currency, while the smaller island nations have become sanctuaries for data pirates and terrorists. A globe-trotting PR executive for the large corporate economic democracy Rizome Industries Group, Laura Webster is present when a foreign representative is assassinated on Rizome soil during a conference for offshore data havens. Dispatched immediately on an international mission of diplomacy, Laura hopes she can make a difference in a volatile, unsteady world, but instead finds herself trapped on the front lines of rapidly escalating third-world hostilities and caught up in an inescapable net of conspiracy, terrorism, post-millennial voodoo, and electronic warfare.

During the 1980s, science fiction luminary Bruce Sterling envisioned the future . . . and hit it almost dead-on. The author who, along with William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, and Rudy Rucker, helped create and define the cyberpunk subgenre imagines a world of tomorrow in Islands in the Net that bears a striking—and disturbing—resemblance to our present-day information-age reality. Nominated for the Hugo and Locus Awards and winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, Sterling’s extraordinary novel is a gripping, eye-opening, and remarkably prescient science fiction classic.

Schismatrix Plus

Schismatrix Plus
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The Nebula-nominated novel of “abrave new world of nearly constant future shock”—plus all the short fiction of the Shaper/Mechanist universe (The Washington Post).

Acclaimed science fiction luminary and a godfather of the genre’s remarkable offspring—cyberpunk—Bruce Sterling carries readers to a far-future universe where stunning achievements in human development have been tainted by a virulent outbreak of prejudice and hatred.

Many thousands of years in the future, the human race has split into two incompatible factions. The aristocratic Mechanists believe that humans can only achieve their greatest potential through technology and enhancing their bodies with powerful prosthetics. The rebel Shapers view these “improvements” as abominations, and their faith in genetic enhancements over mechanical ones has led to violent, even murderous, clashes between the two sects.

One man is caught in the middle. The child of Mechanists, Abelard Lindsay is a former Shaper diplomat who was betrayed and cast out of the fold. Scrupulously trained in the fine art of treachery and deceit, he travels freely between the warring camps during his never-ending exile, embracing piracy and revolution all along the way. But while saving his own skin is Lindsay’s main motivation, a greater destiny awaits him, one that could offer a bold new hope for a tragically sundered humankind.

A breathtaking flight of unparalleled imagination, Bruce Sterling’s Schismatrix Plus also includes every subsequent excursion into the Mechanist and Shaper universe, complementing his acclaimed novel with the complete collection of mind-boggling Schismatrix short fiction. The result is is a total immersion into the Mechanist/Shaper universe from the Hugo, Campbell, and Arthur C. Clarke Award–winning author called “a writer of excellent fineness” by Harlan Ellison and “one of the very best” by Publishers Weekly.