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Schismatrice +

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  2,406 ratings  ·  84 reviews
Dans une humanité déracinée, peuplant le système solaire de gigantesques stations orbitales, écartelée entre les tenants de l'évolution par la technologie et ceux de la manipulation génétique, Abélard Lindsay, jeune diplomate issu de la République corporative circumlunaire de Mare Serenitatis, tente de trouver son chemin.
Fils d'aristocrate, il doit apprendre à survivre, à...more
Published (first published December 1st 1996)
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Terry
What a great read this was. I've never been much of a fan of cyberpunk and I'm not particularly a fan of the authors generally noted to be founders of the genre (William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, etc.), but I really loved this book and it has put Bruce Sterling near the top of my list for sci-fi writers. Sterling does an excellent job of melding his cyberpunk ethos with a space opera-ish background that is combined with the 'Grand Tour' of the solar system structure (cp. The Ophiuchi Hotline by J...more
Adam
I had written Bruce Sterling off as a relic of the cyberpunk era, big mistake. The wow factor is pretty big on this. Mind mutating, WTF, idea per sentence science fiction with shades at time of Bester, Triptree jr. Delaney, Barrington J. Bailey(who blurbs it) William S. Burroughs, and Ballard. Dense, filled with absurd humor and grotesque surreal visions, as human future and form breaks and cascades into increasing odd shapes. I feel a little buzzed after finishing this. This and a couple of sho...more
Andrew
Jul 21, 2008 Andrew rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who don't mind good literary technique
Shelves: genre, scientific
Another goodreads reviewer wrote: "It is creative, but one of the characteristics of this book is that the author writes as if the story is happening in our present world, so he does not define words and key elements just as an author writing in the present wouldn't define terms they assume are collective knowledge." They gave this book one star. One star!

It's times like these I realize how crazy some people are. The above technique is one of the marks of good science fiction, as opposed to the...more
Ryan
I picked up this book based solely on Alastair Reynolds insane props:

"I owe an equally obvious debt to Bruce Sterling, whose 'Shaper/Mechanist' sequence blew my mind on several levels. Sterling's future history, even though it consists of only a single novel and a handful of stories, still feels utterly plausible to me twenty years after I first encountered it. Part of me wishes Sterling would write more 'Shaper/Mechanist' stories; another part of me admires him precisely for not doing so. Read...more
Outis
A bizarre absurdist bourgeois epic set in the space kindgom of the posthuman con artists. Features hyperbole and sharp dark humor.

As scientific and technological advances shatter the limitations which define modern thought and sustain the existence of a single human community, rugged individualists and pretentious youths boldy reach for transcendance.
But as it turns out, it's bourgeois property relations which end up transcending the material conditions that sustained them. Commodity fetichism d...more
Chloe
Aug 04, 2008 Chloe rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Futures geeks and adrenaline junkies
Recommended to Chloe by: Colin
This was the science fiction odyssey that I've been longing to read all summer. I'm glad that I finally found one that captivated me from start to finish as I was starting to think I might be burnt out on the genre- a frightening thought.

Sterling's book collects a number of stories all set within his Shaper-Mechanist universe, with his first novel Schismatrix forming the backbone of the story. Following humankind's ascent into the stars, Sterling creates two competing directions for our evolutio...more
zxvasdf
This has got me scratching my head at the definition of cyberpunk. The picture everyone has is pretty much console cowboys navigating some virtual reality dreamscape from a gritty rough and tumble noirish realspace. If that's cyberpunk, then Sterling has taken the pretension way past its defined forms.

Schismatrix is centrally about a political and violent conflict between two general factions of humanity, one of whom prefer genetic alterations over the cybernetic modifications of the other. Our...more
Nicolas
J'avais lu ce livre il y a déja quelques années, et en avait étéé positivement émerveillé. Car après la déferlante du cyberpunk, Sterling nous revenait avec une oeuvre aux dimensions épiques, embrasssant dans sa fresque futuriste de très nombreuses visions de l'humanité et une rencontre avec les extra-terrestres.

J'ai cette fois-ci été un peu plus touché par le côté humain du personnage principal (auquel on ne peut décement pas donner le titre de héros, puisqu'il passe l'essentiel du roman à fuir...more
Jerico
This is one of the best examples of a stitch-up job in science fiction (the other best one, off the top of my head, is the first volume in Asimov's Foundation series). A stitch up job is when a bunch of short stories are Frankensteined together into a single 300-page-ish volume. Most of the good 'Great SF books' at least started as stitch ups because that was the way to establish yourself in the market (sell short stories, turn those stories into your first book/series).

In Schismatrix, Sterling...more
Alexander Veee
"Knowledge was power. And in seizing knowledge, humanity had gripped a power as bright and angry as a live wire. At stake were issues vaster than any before: the prospects were more dazzling, the potentials sharper, and the implications more staggering than anything ever faced by humanity or its successors.

Yet the human mind still had its own resources. The gifts for survival were not found only in the sharp perceptions of the Shapers, with their arsenals of brain-stretching biochemicals, or th...more
Nicolas
Un livre exigeant, mais qui vous fait voir une humanité dépasse par son propre futur. Une inventivité rare, Bruce sterling réinvente le livre univers.
Andy
It's funny, I've never been able to get into anything else Bruce Sterling has written, but this one remains one of my favorites.
Luis Gallardo
No fue lo que me esperaba. La novela es básicamente un "grand tour" del sistema solar y las épocas de la Schismatrix, con apenas una ligera capa de argumento que no acaba de llegar a ningún lado. Los cuentos, en especial Swarm, Spider Rose, Twenty Evocations, son mucho mejores. No me parece una buena señal cuando es solamente tras leer los cuentos que se da uno cuenta de la importancia y el verdadero significado de varias porciones de la novela, cosas tan fundamentales como la verdadera naturale...more
Michael Burnam-fink
This is it. This is my very favorite book, one of the immortal classics of 20th century science fiction, and a work that is as live and thrilling as the first time I read it.

Sterling captures the epic of sweep of posthuman history, following Abelard Lindsay, diplomatic, playwright, scholar, defector, through centuries of adventures across the vast expanse of the solar system. Space-faring humanity has been blown apart by their technology, drifting into the major camps of the cybernetically enhan...more
David Bonesteel
A sweeping history of man's future in space, a time when humanity has reworked itself in dozens of different ways at the fundamental levels of thought, biology, and technology in order to adapt to its new environment. These scattered, interrelated communities exist within two general, mutually antagonistic factions: the Shapers, who rely on genetic manipulation, and the Mechanists, who rely on advanced technology. Bruce Sterling is an inventive writer with a lively intellect, but his novel often...more
Artur Coelho
Schismatrix é um dos melhores romances de FC ciberpunk que já li. Trata da Schismatrix, um futuro utópico/distópico com uma humanidade a aproximar-se da transcendência e a colonizar todo o sistema solar. Há várias clivagens entre a humanidade: existe uma interdição que efectivamente isola o planeta Terra de todos os contactos com a humanidade espalhada pelo sistema solar em estações orbitais e colónias em asteróides. Os filhos da terra isolam-na, e desprezam-na como um mero poço de gravidade. A...more
Aaron Arnold
What a good time. I'd never read any Sterling before this; he's often lumped in with the cyberpunk crowd even though there's nothing particularly cyberpunk about this work, which is more of a trans/post-humanist take on space opera. It's 5 short stories and the lone novel that comprise everything Sterling wrote for the Shaper/Mechanist universe, which is a lot of fun to read about.

It's set a few hundred years in the future and reminds me a lot of the setting of Greg Egan's Diaspora without AIs -...more
Duane
Having read the Shaper/Mechanist stories in their paperback anthology form, I was familiar with the worlds amd mechanics of the cycle. The story covers a lot of levels, the one that struck me most was the underlying theme of young vs. old that shapes a lot of events in the story. Sterling's characters read a lot like Gordon R. Dickson's-you can identify with them readily enough, but they don't seem to be fully-fleshed out until there's a conflict of some kind. At least Sterling's characters have...more
Zachary Rawlins
I am a huge fan of cyberpunk literature, but I've never particularly enjoyed Bruce Sterling's offerings. Not that they were bad - he is far too accomplished a writer for that - but I simply never found his visions of the future particularly compelling, and he lacked the vivid characters and powerful language of William Gibson or Phillip K Dick.

There is, of course, an exception - Schismatrix. While he isn't the first author to move cyberpunk sensibilities into space - Gibson did a USSR themed spa...more
Krzysztof
Sterling is clearly not "my" author.

First of all, despite this being the classic of cyberpunk, it crosses firmly into space SciFi - it has aliens, intergalactic travel, terraforming etc. It shares many of the themes and some of its style and aesthetics with what I define as the core Cyberpunk genre (ie. a near-future city full of futuristic, but not too much, technology - including cyberspace), but lacks some other elements which I thought are crucial to what constitutes the genre. So that came...more
Guilherme
Este livro contem uma história principal e cinco contos todos levemente ligados ao mesmo universo cyberpunk ou pós-cyberpunk ou lá como lhe queiram chamar.

Os contos são assim-assim, mas a história, chamada Schismatrix, é muito boa.
Aliás, Schismatrix é das mais original leitura de ficção cientifica de que me lembro.

Demora um pouco a perceber o que raio se passa (da primeira vez desisti passadas 10 paginas sem perceber nada) mas assim que "engata" é uma viagem alucinante pelo futuro da humanidade....more
David Gillette
God. Sterling is obviously a genius. "Schismatrix" is packed with awesome ideas. The universe is extremely, extremely cool. I would write fanfic in this world. I think the short stories are better in the sense that they're more fun to read. "Swarm" and "Spider Rose" are absolute classics, with nice little plots that tie bows around everything at the end. "Twenty Evocations" is awesome.

The novel, though, drags a bit. I think it's important to read if you want to get into the mechanics of SF ideat...more
Kafka
What is it about cyberpunk that's so interesting? I think part of the appeal lies in the fact that it offers a return to storytelling in the old fashioned sense of the term. You could even call it science fiction that, in spite of all the pessimism and bleakness, is almost Shakespearean in its treatment of plot, and its emphasis on revenge. To me, cyberpunk was born when science fiction realized two fundamental things: a) if it were to claim to be grown up fiction, it had to feature morally grey...more
claire
Sterling's novels are surprisingly devoid of innovation or vivid imagery. I really enjoyed his short stories in Globalhead, which were often funny and full of big ideas. Schismatrix' prose is wooden, and he takes an awfully long time doing awfully little to explore an admittedly false dichotomy between the Shaper and Mechanist factions while never bothering to explain why there exists such an ideological conflict between the two. It's also worth mentioning that here, as well as in his Holy Fire,...more
Rob
SHORT VERSION: (not a real review)

• 1st: "Swarm" — reeeeeally liked; I can see why it's so popular and well known — reminds me of Blindsight — except that Blindsight was probably in-part inspired by this...?
• 2nd: "Spider Rose" — reminds me of that PKD story "Beyond Lies the Wub"
• aspects of the main novel (Schismatrix) cued in my mind visions of: "this is Neuromancer on extraversion" (but mostly I think that b/c they're contemporaries?); also cued: "smatterings of this show up in Accelerando...more
Stephen Thomas
SUNDOG MILLENNIUM HEIRS

Sterling has an impressive imagination. He’s created a rich, complex, and intriguing universe occupied by a range of so-called ‘posthumans’, chief of whom are the Shapers and Mechanists. These two groups have opposing philosophies and are in conflict with one another throughout these stories. This is reflected in the work, which is heavier on both personal and political machination than on story. There’s nothing wrong with that except Sterling sometimes fails to keep the...more
Brian Lane
Nov 23, 2007 Brian Lane rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cyber-punk devotees, sci-fi fans
I recommend this to speculative fiction fanatics who want to get the full dose of Sterling's fast moving futurist ideas on near-term (medium term?) human society as it would evolve when distributed over the solar system. His ideas on first contact are also very clever - but the descriptions and ideas on how economics and science accelerate (especially on what and who has value) and morph over time are the best - it made me think differently about recent human events related to brick and mortar/e...more
Marshall Brett
Pretty entertaining. A bit f r a g m e n t e d for my taste though. The story follows the main character over a long period of time and each chronological jump introduces many new characters and plot lines that often feel unresolved. The book isn't bad, but it is also not an epic of science fiction. The observations on humanity in an interplanetary system is quite interesting.
Buzz
This is a newer edition of Sterling's Schismatrix that includes some related stories that he never published. Schismatric is a complex story about two political factions that takes place (if I recall correctly) about 400 years into the future, as taken from the vantage point of a boy's long life of a couple hundred years. It can't be characterized by that alone, because it is very intricate and nuanced. It was a very difficult read for me because Sterling's writing is so concentrated. This is th...more
Will
It's clearly early Sterling, but you can see the bones of his themes there -- world building led by a politician and thought leader rather than a technologist, bizarre pointillist relationship patter, the youthful mad urge to self-immolate, the tendency of the old to placid routine to better hide their terrifying competence in the face of chaos.

That being said, there's mawkishness in here as well -- the conflict between Abelard and Constantine is manufactured and handled like a set piece and it...more
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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.
More about Bruce Sterling...
Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology Islands in the Net Heavy Weather The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Disorder on the Electronic Frontier Holy Fire

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“Let's throw his ass out the airlock," suggested the Speaker of the House.
"We can't do that," said the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. He was a feeble old Mechanist who was subject to nosebleeds. "He is still Secretary of State and can't be sentenced without impeachment by the Senate."
The three Senators, two men and a woman, looked interested. The Senate didn't see much action in the government of the tiny Democracy. They were the least trusted members of the crew and were outnumbered by the House.”
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“Stripping's bad form, these days," he said. "It's lost all meaning. People do it just to punctuate a conversation.” 1 likes
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