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Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  7,035 Ratings  ·  103 Reviews
With their hard-edged, street-wise prose, they created frighteningly probable futures of high-tech societies and low-life hustlers. Fans and critics call their world cyberpunk. Here is the definitive "cyberpunk" short fiction collection.

The Gernsback Continuum (1981) by William Gibson
Snake-Eyes (1986) by Tom Maddox
Rock On (1984) by Pat Cadigan
Tales of Houdini (198
Paperback, 239 pages
Published July 1st 1988 by Ace (first published 1986)
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Community Reviews

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Oct 07, 2007 Evan rated it liked it
Here the mediocre and the barely readable rub shoulders with pop genius.

The lesser cyberpunks come across like caffeinated 1950s squares desperately trying to sound like the beatniks they've heard so much about. Want some holodrugs to go with your cyberslang, daddy-o!!?

The greats have a singular ease of style and taste for the bizarre that gives you a whiff of the 80s, but the colors are still bright after twenty years.

Flawed, but essential.
Jan 02, 2014 Rose rated it really liked it
Initial reaction: Probably 3.5 stars. There are some really interesting and good stories in the mix included here, and only a few that didn't really strike me all that well, whether it was the fact some of them were random and not necessarily what I would term cyberpunk, or that some of them seemed a little dated. I did appreciate Sterling's introduction on Cyberpunk as a genre overall, and I thought it was a good collection overall. Some of the authors I'm very familiar with their work, while o ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Perhaps looking back at cyberpunk from 2014, it is impossible to fully grasp what the authors at the beginning of that movement were truly about. We have Bruce Sterling's intro of this anthology to help us out, including other names for the movement at the time - Outlaw Technologists, Eighties Wave, Radical Hard SF, and others. Maybe we just needed to call it the Weird at the time, and in each decade assign different authors to that category.

When I read this anthology I struggle to place each s
D.M. Dutcher
Feb 16, 2015 D.M. Dutcher rated it did not like it
Shelves: short-stories
Incredibly dated and barely even cyberpunk.

Brief short story collection from the early days of cyberpunk, with some authors that you'd consider it (Gibson, Cadigan, Rucker, Sterling) and some you wouldn't (Greg Bear.) The stories themselves are bad, as many don't even bother with computers or the internet at all, and come across as a weird "rock and roll" version of New Wave SF. The focus on drugs seems naïve in a world where people deal with mood-altering drugs to medicate mental issues on a d
Nov 29, 2014 Jesse rated it liked it
A very mixed bag. This probably counts as essential reading for fans of cyberpunk, but only some of the stories qualify, genre-wise. However, the other stories fit in in terms of era. They are more interesting academically, as a glimpse into what else was going on in literary sci fi in the early 80's.

Of special note is that the 2 Gibson stories printed here were also included in Burning Chrome, so if you, like me, initially picked this us as a Gibson completist, you will be a little disappointed
Aug 28, 2007 Rob rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: cyberpunk n00bs and other scifi lovers
A battered copy lives in my nightstand at all times. Between novels, I always come back to this, flipping through the pages until a word catches my eye. Such a diversity of talent, mixed together quite well here.

Rated Individually:
• "The Gernsback Continuum" (William Gibson)
• "Snake-Eyes" (Tom Maddox)
• "Rock On" (Pat Cadigan)
• "Tales of Houdini" (Rudy Rucker)
• "400 Boys" (Marc Laidlaw)
• "Solstice" (James Patrick Kelly)
• "Petra" (Greg Bear)
• "Till Human Voices Wake Us" (Lewis Shiner)
• "Fr
Aug 25, 2010 Andrew rated it really liked it
Cyberpunk used to mean so much more than crazy future clothes, oppressive corporate regimes, and cybernetic enhancements, but these days the word mostly conjures up Gibsonian dystopias. It's interesting to read a broader range of stories from the time, selected by people who were part of 'the Movement', but it might be even more interesting to read Bruce Sterling talk about himself in the third person when he describes prominent figures of cyberpunk. Amusing!
Jesús Redondo Menéndez
Jun 30, 2012 Jesús Redondo Menéndez rated it it was amazing

Una breve reflexión sobre las antologías:
Por lo general nunca he tenido una buena predisposición hacia ellas, a no ser que fueran del mismo autor, ya que siempre me he quedado insatisfecho por lo breves de los relatos... y siempre he acabado disfrutando mucho de ellas.
Es cierto que hay piezas que no terminan de llenarte, pero si la selección está bien hecha, suelen ser las menos, y a cambio tienes un ramillete muy amplio de ejercicios narrativos que seguramente no conocías. Eso es lo que me ha v

‘Mirrorshades: Una antología cyberpunk’ (Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology, 1986), es una recopilación de relatos a cargo de Bruce Sterling, que intenta ser una representación de este subgénero de la ciencia ficción (pequeña definición de cyberpunk: normalmente transcurre en un futuro cercano, distópico, dominado por megacorporaciones, donde se aúnan personajes marginales con alta tecnología, en una ambiente próximo al género negro, todo ello bajo una estética que recuerda a la película ‘Bla ...more
El Zuco
Jan 10, 2013 El Zuco rated it really liked it
Just started the book but already love it... why haven't I been reading cyberpunk my whole life? The excellent first short story by Gibson, "Gernsback Continuum," narrates the story of a contract photographer hired to document the vestiges of 1930's US futurism, but also somehow manages to function as an abbreviated history of US modernism in the twentieth century and a commentary on the history of science fiction whose negativity suggests a cyberpunk vision in confronting the present (early 198 ...more
Ninja Pigeon
Oct 17, 2015 Ninja Pigeon rated it really liked it

Contains many of my favorite examples of cyberpunk fiction. From Mozart in Mirrorshades, to the WW1 flight combat sim done in 3D Virtual Reality, this anthology is a collection of many amazing writers and their stories. All of them have stuck with me for the last 15+ years and influenced many of my own writing, and movie decisions. A must read for any beginner to the sci-fi and specifically cyberpunk genre. Also of note - my iPad doesn't try to correct the word "cyberpunk". Kudos to Gibson and
Nick Black
Aug 27, 2008 Nick Black rated it it was ok
The best story in here is William Gibson's "The Gernsback Continuum", which anyone who cares already has in Burning Chrome. The rest is largely trash.
Nicholas Avedon
Oct 16, 2016 Nicholas Avedon rated it liked it
Bastante irregular. Algunos relatos son malos y no entiendo que hacen en una compilación ciberpunk y otros bastante buenos, el que más destaca es el de "Zona libre" de Shirley, por su prosa y su innovación. Escribí una crítica mas completa en mi blog sobre este relato:
Nov 15, 2013 Michaelx rated it liked it
When I picked up 'Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology' I was hoping for an anthology of cyberpunk. That was not exactly what I got. Maybe my understanding of the cyberpunk genre is wrong, and it was just my ignorant expectations that were disappointed. Cyberpunk, I thought, was the genre 'Neuromancer' belonged to. I saw Bruce Sterling and William Gibson on the cover, saw it's neon colours and pixelated design and made, what I considered to be at the time, safe assumptions. They were wrong.

Of t
Ernesto I. Ramirez
Wonderful look into the old cyberpunk genre, some stories have aged pretty well, in particular I loved "Mozart in Mirrorshades" its a great political comment.

I had to hear it twice to get all the details, but I loved the storytelling.
Oct 30, 2014 Marko rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-f
3.5 stars. A collection of stories, mixing cyberpunk with sci-fi and sometimes outright fantasy. Most of the stories are OK (3 stars), some are good (4), and two are really, really great (full 5 stars).

Mirrorshades is supposed to be a cyberpunk anthology, but contains several stories which are decisevly not so. After the initial dissapointment this turns out to be not a bad thing, as some of them are quite good. Overall, the book was enjoyable and offers a very nice view of the beginnings of the
Mirrorshades is considered to be the ultimate cyberpunk anthology. This whole cyberpunk thing resonates with me for nostalgic reasons. It's an 80's thing, a time when I was a teenager and reading science fiction was one of my favourite passtimes. Although at that time, I didn't really read anything related to cyberpunk. My first try at Neuromancer in the beginning of the 90's was aborted so it took me until 2013 before I could put my nostalgia to a reality check.

It started well enough with Neuro
Travis Wagner
Sep 24, 2016 Travis Wagner rated it liked it
A handful of real gems here, but a lot of just alright stories you have to wade through to get there.
Gregg Wingo
Dec 19, 2014 Gregg Wingo rated it it was amazing
Bruce Sterling’s “Mirrorshades” represents the first anthology of the nascent movement known as cyberpunk. It is also a coming of maturity for science fiction as the dominant form of postmodern literary expression. This is illustrated most vividly by Darren Harris-Fain’s critique of the first story in the anthology, “The Gernsback Continuum”. The story by William Gibson is a denunciation of the ideals of Gernsback, the founding principles of American science fiction, and Modernism through the ad ...more
Clare O'Beara
I had not heard of this cyberpunk book until I came across it recently. Having read it I can see why. This was compiled in 1986 from stories written during the early eighties, and at that time the upcoming authors - all but one of whom are male - seemed to want a label to differentiate themselves from those authors we now call classic SF. That's it.

We now think of cyberpunk as involving jacking in to giant computer systems, in dystopian worlds, but that's because we've read Neuromancer by Gibso
Aug 05, 2016 JJ rated it liked it
There's a quote from Michael Swanwick on the inside back cover of the Mirrorshades paperback: "These are all hot young verbal pilots who think nothing of taking forty-thousand tons of screaming heavy metal prose and throwing it straight at the ground in a forced power dive shedding sparks and literary chaos only to pull up at the last possible instant shy of total grammatical implosion just to see the horrified looks on the pale upturned faces of the civilians as the afterburners cut in." Very c ...more
Dec 19, 2014 Tim rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
This is a collection of stories by a group of writers who formed the core of this literary movement in the 1980s. Sterling, the editor and a member of the group, gives a good introduction to their goals and methods. Cyberpunk is basically a sharp, cynical brand of SF that blends elements of hard-boiled mystery, speculations on the future of computer technologies, and a generally low assessment of human spiritual development. It is rife with sexy, tough girls in mirrored sunglasses, people with i ...more
Jul 28, 2011 T4ncr3d1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In certi ambienti Mirrorshades non avrebbe bisogno di presentazioni: antologia-manifesto del cyberpunk, curata da Bruce Sterling con l'apporto di William Gibson, i padri del genere, destinata a sancire nella sfera letteraria la rivoluzione informatica a metà degli anni Ottanta.
In certi ambienti, Mirrorshades è un mito ed una leggenda, perché difficilmente reperibile. A lungo l'ho cercata, e finalmente ho concluso la mia impossibile ricerca.
Questa premessa solo per giustificare, anche se in part
Il est difficile de parler de quelque chose d’aussi polymorphe que ce mouvement sans en passer par les généralités, mais je vais essayer d’éviter. Tout le monde le sait, le début des années 80 a été la genèse de ce mouvement, revendiquant une sf différente tant par ses thèmes que ses implications. Et si l’ambition technologique demeure, on quitte radicalement le monde des héros de la sf traditionnelle, ainsi que ses thématiques spatiales et extra-terrestres, pour revenir ici aux bas-fonds, aux l ...more
Aug 17, 2015 Liz rated it really liked it
"High tech, low life" - the tagline of the cyberpunk sub-genre. I like the idea of cyberpunk because it's very much focused on the gritty humanness of the underside of futuristic science fiction. Happy endings aren't necessarily a storytelling priority in cyberpunk, because it's more like a snapshot of life in high-tech world.

It's a bit more cynical and a bit more rock n roll than classic science fiction or space opera-type science fiction (such as Star Trek). It's got a bit of noir and a bit o
Rene Majer
Jan 03, 2016 Rene Majer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Psal se rok 1986 a kyberpunkový subžánr, dravá próza zaměřená na technologickou transformaci lidstva, byl na vrcholu. Jako manifest jeho síly vyšla dnes již legendární antologie Zrcadlovky, poprvé shrnující věrozvěsty kybernetické budoucnosti do jedné jediné knihy, dnes jednohlasně považované za historický milník žánru. Poznejte stále svěží, čtivé, energické a strhující příběhy nejlepších autorů science fiction osmdesátých let dvacátého století, poznejte pravou duši kyberpunku.
Zrcadlovky jsou l
Aug 04, 2013 29alabs rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Hay una razón por la cual Neal Stephenson mata al Cyberpunk en la era del diamante y está aquí reflejada en Mirrorshades, mientras que creo que a medidados de los 80's estos cuentos hubieran causado furor, hoy algunos de estos relatos se sienten vacíos (otros ni se sientes como cyberpunk).

Entre los que más destaco se encuentran Petra de Greg Bear, no se siente como cyberpunk pero en si la atmosfera del relato y los personajes son muy buenos. Zona libre de John Shirley, tiene muy buena atmósfera
La Stamberga dei Lettori
Aug 02, 2011 La Stamberga dei Lettori rated it really liked it
Shelves: tancredi
In certi ambienti Mirrorshades non avrebbe bisogno di presentazioni: antologia-manifesto del cyberpunk, curata da Bruce Sterling con l'apporto di William Gibson, i padri del genere, destinata a sancire nella sfera letteraria la rivoluzione informatica a metà degli anni Ottanta.
In certi ambienti, Mirrorshades è un mito ed una leggenda, perché difficilmente reperibile. A lungo l'ho cercata, e finalmente ho concluso la mia impossibile ricerca.
Questa premessa solo per giustificare, anche se in parte
Jun 21, 2015 Alex rated it really liked it
Shelves: own
This gets four stars because I'm an '80s nerd (class of '89), but if I'm being honest, it's more like three. Some of the stories have aged well -- particularly Gibson's classic The Gernsback Continuum, Paul di Filippo's Stone Lives, and Greg Bear's Petra -- but several have not, particularly the ones that focus on the collision of music and tech. Turns out, in the future, punk doesn't look like people trying really hard to look punk, we still use guitars, and no cyberpunk folks anticipated the i ...more
Mar 06, 2014 Heidi is currently reading it
Recommends it for: cyberpunks
Recommended to Heidi by: a cyberpunk a long time ago
I read this a LONG time ago but I am ready to read it again and so I am! It was published in 1988 and these stories are all basically in the cyberpunk genre, so it is a little bit dated, but that shouldn't bother me. Since it s a collection of short stories, I will rate it story by story. (1) The Gernsback Continuum by William Gibson. I LOVED Neuromancer and was hoping this would be in that vein; I was totally disappointed. I kept waiting for something to happen, hoping . . . but it didn't. It s ...more
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Recommendations 6 32 May 27, 2012 05:26PM  
Madison Mega-Mara...: Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology 1 5 Jan 30, 2012 06:09PM  
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  • Hardwired (Hardwired, #1)
  • Burning Chrome
  • When Gravity Fails
  • The Shockwave Rider
  • Vacuum Flowers
  • Ribofunk
  • Dangerous Visions
  • Ambient
  • The Hard SF Renaissance
Michael Bruce Sterling is an American science fiction author, best known for his novels and his seminal work on the Mirrorshades anthology, which helped define the cyberpunk genre.
More about Bruce Sterling...

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