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Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  6,439 ratings  ·  89 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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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.
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
Aug 28, 2007 Rob rated it 5 of 5 stars
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
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!
D.M. Dutcher
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
Jesús Redondo Menéndez

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

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
El Zuco
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

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. Any 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
Dec 19, 2014 Tim rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
Fantasy Literature

There are a handful of people who have/had their finger on the pulse of cyberpunk. Love him or hate him, Bruce Sterling has perhaps two. In 1986 he decided to pull together a collection of stories he felt were representative of the sub-genre. Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology is both broad in scope yet largely encompasses the idea of what the average sci-fi fan's expectations are for the form. Though Sterling’s agenda is his own, some stories will be immediately recognizable for their mood a
Nick Black
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.
"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
Jun 21, 2015 Alex rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
Oct 30, 2014 Marko rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Gregg Wingo
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
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
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]Lived up to its reputation. I'm not a wild-eyed enthusiast for cyberpunk (and William Gibson's story here, "The Gernsback Continuum", which rather lacks an ending, reminded me why not) but I'm always ready to be convinced by a good story, and there are loads of them in here. I think the only one I'd read before was Sterling and Gibson's "Red Star, Winter Orbit" which is actually rather moving and nostalgic, qualities one doesn't really assoc ...more
"Something is loose in the 1980s. And we are all in it together".

Dos de los mejores cuentos ya estaban en "Burning Chrome". Una de las mejores cosas del libro son las intros de Bruce Sterling a cada cuento. Es un poco panfletario al escribir, sobre lo revolucionarios que son los autores del movimiento cyberpunk al sacar a la ciencia ficción de su letargo y demás, pero es muy útil para entender el contexto de los 80s.

En resumen, una interesante mirada a un género que se agotó antes de terminar la
This is a kind of mixed bag. There are some great cyberpunk stories in here, and there are some that I'm not really sure how they qualify as cyberpunk other than they're written by authors who have written in the cyberpunk genre. While I like the two Gibson stories in this collection (which I like basically anything he's written so that's not hard), they seem like two of his least cyberpunk stories. Where was something like "Johnny Mnemonic"? The Greg Bear story, while interesting, was also anot ...more
Siempre me ha gustado ciertos ambientes donde predomina un gran desarrollo tecnológico, sociedades al límite entre humanos mejorados o cybort propiamente dichos. Estos ambientes los conseguía por lo general en series y películas de Anime, más tarde cuando comencé con la literatura de ciencia ficción descubrí que eso que tanto me ha gustado se le conoce como Ciberpunk .
Por esta razón no podía dejar pasar la lectura de una de las mejores compilaciones de relato de este subgénero, que además contie
William (Liam) Dixon
So I enjoy cyberpunk and I also find it, as a genre, a bit ridiculous. That said, doesn’t mean I don’t kinda want to wear all black leather and reflective sunglasses and get a bunch of piercings and UV visible tattoos for about 5 minutes after I put the book down. Individual stories however I enjoy quite a lot. Cyberpunk’s downfall in my mind is, secondarily, that much of it is from 1980-1995 so some tech ideas now seem silly, but primarily because the first cyberpunk thing I read was a Shadowru ...more
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Recommendations 6 31 May 27, 2012 05:26PM  
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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.
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