Bruce Sterling is a good writer--the prose is excellent at times, and there are a lot of clever and wry observations. The dialogue can get a little weird (and exclamation-point heavy) but it is pretty good most of the time. Sterling's ravaged future earth is fascinating and well-realized. The characters are all crazy--every one of them--but it fits, because their world has gone completely off the ra...more
What the other reviewers say here has merit-- the book is choppy, the main characters not so sympathetic, the ending weak or just not fleshed out enough, with either threads dangling or too hard to figure out, the dialogue very manifesto-like, the future rather bleak.
Not Sterling's best? That's fair to say. I'd recommend Distraction. But this is far superior to...more
There's nothing wrong with the future-building, unfortunately. The outlines of Sterling's scenario are all too plausible; climate change has drowned and dislocated 21st-Century civilization until there are no countries left. Well, there's one - China still has boundaries, and about half of its population, by d...more
This particular work is full of Big Ideas, as others have mentioned, but those ideas are presented in a way that distracts from the point. Perhaps the style is intended to reflect the condition of Sterling...more
I was completely immersed in the world and characters. He has a gift for the yin/yang competing ideologies - Aquis and Dispensation in this one. Literally could not stop reading until I got to the story breaks. The book even had cliffhanger section endings, but a nice little wrap up at the very end. I love how he combines the global with the personal, but also adds the perspective that in the end all our striving and building can be easily undone by an act o...more
*A single character (in this case, a clone, so a character with multiple personae) circulates the world of 2060 and essentially interviews a variety of other characters with particular points of view. That’s it, really. It’s not that there are no id...more
Books of Big Ideas often polarize reviewers, and Bruce Sterling's latest novel is no exception. Either the best SF book of this or any other year (Cory Doctorow) or "a mess of a book about the mess of the world" (John Clute), The Caryatids, at the very least, illustrates Sterling's ability to raise voices (in praise or protest) 30 years after he laid the groundwork for the cyberpunk movement, without which contemporary SF would be a much rockier -- and much less diverse -- landscape. Sterling's...more
Sterling is a competent writer, and he had some great moments way back when cyberpunk was new in the world, but his novels have declined into what reads like deadline-meeting efforts without much substance. “The Caryatids” is no exception, as the setup is fine, but then Sterling goes absolute...more
Anyway, whether that's my fault or the book's, it was still a good read. The dialogue was stilted, but...more
I mostly enjoyed the big concepts at play in this story - and the title, of course. I thought Stirling efficiently reduced the world into three major political ideologies at odds with each other and the fact that he represented those ideas using clones (so many clones) shows his creativity and mastery of craft.
I found the story engaging and the stakes as high a...more
Why do the sisters hate each other so much? What was with the obsessive fear of non-manmade global catastrophe? Was the weird stilted dialogue just supposed to reflect the sisters nationality?
Bruce Sterling is one such author, and I've been hooked on him ever since Involution Ocean.
One thing that I like very much with Sterling is his strong emphasis on the social sciences in his novels. This one is no different,
He also has much to say about the environmental sciences; true again here.
But where this book fails to hold me is in the...more
The titular Caryatids, a set of identical clones, are the viewpoint characters that allow us to see the different aspects of this society, but they're also more than that. Each character is dev...more
The story takes place in the future. Earth has seemingly become an ecological disaster. The book is broken into three sections each told from the perspective of three cloned sisters describing there lives and circumstances. Unfortunately, fifty pages in and I couldn't identify a central plot and I had trouble get invested enough...more