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Crystal Express

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  813 ratings  ·  36 reviews
Bruce Sterling es uno de los escritores de ciencia ficción más imaginativos surgidos de las últimas décadas. Máximo exponente, junto con William Gibson (el famoso autor de Neuromante), del movimiento cyberpunk dentro de la ciencia ficción, es autor entre otras obras de la celebrada Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Antology, considerada como la recopilación más completa de relat ...more
Paperback, 1st edition, 316 pages
Published 1992 by Ultramar (first published 1989)
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Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I feel like reading Sterling's Mechanist/Shaper stories is like passing some sort of science fiction Rubicon: once you've read them you are officially a nerd, no backsies.

Crystal Express contains, among other short stories, all of Sterling's Mechanist/Shaper stories outside of the novel Schismatrix, and while some of the non-M/S pieces didn't quite do it for me, this collection gets five stars anyway--the quality of the far future M/S world is so vivid and compelling, the alien-ness so amazingl

-SHAPER/MECHANIST- Set in Sterling's science fiction universe of the same name, this volume contains all of the short stories from the Shaper/Mechanist universe. It leaves out only the novel, Schismatrix.

Swarm (1982) 5/5 Stars
Captain-Doctor Simon Afriel takes an alien ship out to a colony known as the Swarm. Within it, he meets up with Doctor Minry and they commence their study of the Insectoid Swarm. They hope to harness its power to elevate humanity's status in the universe.
A creepy tale of
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
It's important to me to not know what a book is about too much before I read it, and so I had no idea this was a short story collection! I was a bit surprised, but rolled with it. I was not feeling great about this book after the first ten pages, but the ending of the first short story was a delight, so I kept going.

The book is divided into sections, with the first part being stories that center around a collective world of Shaper/Mechanists/Investors. I would have been fine if the whole book ha
Peter Tillman
Jul 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-tech, sf-fantasy
Essential collection of early Sterling shorts. Complete TOC above, details at
Many of these stories have multiple reprints, and include such classics as
• Swarm • [Shaper/Mechanist] • (1982) • novelette
• Green Days in Brunei • (1985) • novella
• Flowers of Edo • (1987) • novelette
• Dinner in Audoghast • (1985) • short story

Check out this cool cover art for "Cicada Queen" (1983):
Tech-Medusa! I should reread it.
Dec 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Spook" is just not up to professional standards, and "Twenty Evocations" fails as an experiment, but the rest of this book is delightful. "Green Days in Brunei" is the archetype of the cyberpunk short story, enhanced now by its technological anachronisms rather than diminished by them. In "The Beautiful and the Sublime" Sterling covers Ballard, quite well. The four fantasy stories make me wish Sterling had written more fantasy, and more historical fiction. And, of course, Cicada Queen is one of ...more
Aug 20, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-fiction
I had no idea Bruce wrote such great sci-fi! The reading is dense and challenging - the worlds he creates are very vivid and take some time to settle into, but you are rewarded for your diligence with mind-blowing glimpses of the future...
Twin Lovers
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found this collection of short stories at a second-hand book store following watching Sterling’s many lectures on tech art, new technology, and futurism. Despite his style having been labeled cyberpunk, these stories cover a wide range of genres. I enjoy his references to art and music. Also, many of the stories seem Transrealist. I feel as if I am present…suspending the narrative of now while still consciously observing the pushing operations of the present, formatting new interpretations in ...more
Baronne Samedi
I've read this too late: the themes covered are not original enough for me anymore, as I read a lot of other science-fiction before I met this book, to the point of having "déjà-vu" feelings. However the writing style is excellent and sensitive, so I might read a more recent book from the same author.
Durval Menezes
Jul 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Delicious short story collection. It's been a long time since I've read anything from Sterling, and it's good to read him again. I came originally for the ser of Shaper vs Mechanist stories, but the others are also very good. Will have to read more Sterling soon, he has something unique on his style which is very pleasing.
Angel B.A.
Jun 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
Sterling es más interesante que Gibson, pero para mí el cyberpunk realmente entretenido no está en ellos.
Feb 28, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
A pretty good collection of short stories. As usual, some are mediocre, some are good and some are very good.
Apr 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good collection of short stories
Jan 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this 4 stars based on the breadth of the author's stories and imagination. I liked the Shaper/Mechanist stories which were outstanding. One, Spider Rose, was one of the best scifi short stories I have ever read.

The "fantasy" stories were my second favorite. They were all interesting and covered the ground from alternate history to plain supernatural. The Little Masgic Shop was my favorite. Could have easily been a Twilight Zone episode.

I liked the non-S/M scifi stories the least. Don't ge
Isabel (kittiwake)
The history of mankind in space had been a long epic of ambitions and rivalries. From the very first, space colonies had struggled for self-sufficiency and had soon broken their ties with the exhausted Earth. The independent life-support systems had given them the mentality of city-states. Strange ideologies had bloomed in the hothouse atmosphere of the o'neills, and breakaway groups were common.
Space was too vast to police. Pioneer elites burst forth, defying anyone to stop their pursuit of ab
Glen Engel-Cox
This book would be worth the price alone for gathering together the Shaper/Mechanist stories, the fiction that, along with William Gibson's Sprawl stories and John Shirley's "Freezone," codified a movement. These stories were the cattle-prod to SF in the 80s, and, while they weren't the only good work being done, sparked more interesting fiction and discussion than anything else. Cyberpunk has waned, and will continue to in spite of the imitation work that it spawned which is now hitting the sta ...more
Mar 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good collection of stories with a few weaknesses. The shaper/mechanist universe of Sterling is fascinating. I would have enjoyed to get to know this universe in more depth with the exception of the pseudo-philosophical garbage he's introducing in Cicada Queen.
The three science fiction stories are the most interesting stories of the book as each one of them has a unique idea. The extreme environmentalism of Green Days in Brunei isn't as much science fiction anymore as it was at the time of wri
Byron  'Giggsy' Paul
the stories in this collection are separated into 3 categories: Shaper/Mechanist (Sterling's cyberpunk universe), Science Fiction, and Fantasy. The Shaper/Mechanist stories were great, breaking the boundaries of generic cyberpunk. The Science Fiction and Fantasy groupings were decent. Both where a little less sci-fi and fantasy than typical stories labeled in these categories, and show Sterling's ability to include history, ancient cultures, and lesser known cultures to the Western reader, and t ...more
Benjamin Farlow
Aug 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read a lot of the stories herein before in 'Schismatrix Plus,' but was delighted by both old and new. That said, let's focus on the new. 'Green Days in Brunei' and 'The Beautiful and the Sublime' were two interesting counterpoints of attainable futures; Green days is a bit more now, the Sublime might be what we could look forward to (having met Jen on the matrix, I can already see it's appeal). 'The Little Magic Shop' was a hilarious re-imagining of the old 'gotchya' stories involving faeri ...more
Scott Holstad
I know I'm one of the few people to feel this way, but I really didn't like these short stories by Bruce Sterling (and I loved Islands in the Net!), so I didn't even finish the book. I couldn't. It was a strange combination of both the writing being dense and overly challenging, yet the subject matter being boring beyond belief. If I have to read anything else ever again on terraforming, I think I'll puke! I couldn't get into the characters, I thought there were too many in some stories, and not ...more
May 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
-Muchas temáticas, buenas direcciones.-

Género. Relatos.

Lo que nos cuenta. Recopilación de relatos escritos por el autor entre 1982 y 1987 en los que prima la Ciencia-Ficción (por un lado, como parte de un planteamiento conocido como Formador/Mecanicista, y por otro lado ejercicios de género sin hilo común) pero que tiene lugar también para la Fantasía.

¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:
Sep 21, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Posthumanists
Contains the short stories that form the bulk of Sterling's Shaper/Mechanist universe (which Alastair Reynolds has blatantly, if brilliantly, ripped off). Very good stuff here, anchored in the kind of dense philosophy and social criticism that can elevate sci-fi above pulp. Strangely, lacks the wild sense of humor and madcap adventure that I have so loved in Sterling's novels. Still worth reading.
Aug 22, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I didn't finish it. I haven't really liked Bruce Sterling in the past but thought I'd give this a try (it was sticking out in a "Favorites" section at the library). The short stories just weren't very compelling -- particularly when compared to Iain M Banks or Ballard.
Aug 20, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a mixed bag, as many such collections are. The stories ranged from excellent, to interesting, but meh. Certainly the best here are well worth reading, and the ones I liked least were at least OK.
Oct 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Shaper/Mechanist stories were both fascinating and horrifying. I don't understand why these people wouldn't embrace both genetic modification and mechanical implants, though; the two practices aren't mutually exclusive.
Duncan Bay
Mar 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
5/5 for the first six
3/5 for the final six
Brendan  McAuliffe
I had a hardcover edition of this
One of my favorite collections.
Oct 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. This is a remarkable story collection. They're full of fully alive characters pursuing believable goals in complex and developing worlds.
Jul 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great short story collection.
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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.