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- Trouble and Her Friends by Melissa Scott
The freedom and unfettered power of the black imagination. Rich, classic and roots of an oak. With his up-all-night colors and muscular line, now undulating, now skittering, John creates instant icons bristling with energy and texture and the jazzled frazzled feeling of the way we live now.
Greasy with history and soaked in blues power, his work points the dancing way to a very funky future. Co-creator of Dark Horse's Concrete Park graphic novel. If you are seeking a powerhouse of fresh and original artistic inspiration. He homogenizes the sequential art medium and academia in a fashion that has inspired and challenged many! I am one of them. Two years ago, Bill Campbell author of My Booty Novel and Sunshine Patriots decided to stay home with his newborn daughter and write a new novel. Of course, as every parent can guess, it didn't quite work out that way.
As "Poohbutt" went from crawling to taking her first steps and as presidential politics turned into one historic election, Bill turned the chaos around him into an iconoclastic, incendiary blog, Tome of the Unknown Writer. Pop Culture compiles the best that the blog has to offer into an entertaining, witty collection that will have you laughing out loud and loving the day Poohbutt had her first solid meal.
Steampunk takes on Southeast Asia in this anthology The stories in this collection merge technological wonder with the everyday. Children upgrade their fighting spiders with armor, and toymakers create punchcard-driven marionettes.
Large fish lumber across the skies, while boat people find a new home on the edge of a different dimension. Technology and tradition meld as the people adapt to the changing forces of their world. The Sea Is Ours is an exciting new anthology that features stories infused with the spirits of Southeast Asia's diverse peoples, legends, and geography. Stories for Chip brings together outstanding authors inspired by a brilliant writer and critic, Science Fiction Writers of America Grandmaster Samuel R.
Editors Nisi Shawl and Bill Campbell have given Delany and the world at large, a gorgeous, haunting, illuminating, and deeply satisfying gift of a book. Samuel Delany had written it when he was nineteen, and I totally got that, the fantastic youth of the thing, but I was also blown away by what I didn't yet understand was the style. It induced one of the most persistent and global somatic memories of reading I've ever had, to the point that I can actually use it as a sort of time-travel device.
And yes, I know he's written many novels since then, including Dhalgren, but I've always wanted a chance to say that about The Jewels of Aptor! Delany sits at the crossroads of the story of SF. Explore any path--why SF matters, how, to whom--and he is there, beaming, either in person or reflected in the writers forging ahead.
This book of beautiful, brilliant stories, fiction and nonfiction, shows us why he matters so much--and how, and to whom. All of us, of course. Nisi Shawl and Bill Campbell have curated an entertaining and provocative volume, a whirlwind tour of the mythic, science fictional landscape that Delany engendered. These stories, essays, and memoirs are sensuous encounters with Delany, an ongoing conversation in the delanyesque universe. A polymath geek fest! Stories for Chip is a perfect tribute to a creative genius, a theoretical titan, and a great adventurer.
Delany is packed with tiny delights. Stories that are as diverse as they are refreshing to the palate. Rebellion erupts on the "paradise" planet of Elysia, plunging the colony into chaos. In response, the all-powerful United Earth dispatches its elite corps of cyborg soldiers, led by Aaron "The Berber" Barber. For a hero celebrated galaxy-wide for his acts of bravery against alien hordes, a ragtag group of colonized miners with antiquated weapons should be no challenge.
But Barber and his soldiers are unprepaed to meet the most dangerous enemy yet--humans just like them. And on Elysia, the soldiers discover dangers that neither United Earth nor the Elysians themselves could have foreseen. The secrets Barber and his soldiers uncover lead them to question the true meaning of freedom in a world where nothing is what it seems.
Ballard, and Robert Heinlein Sunshine Patriots quickly reaches critical mass and shines with a furious, distinctive, and compelling energy all its own! Campbell's Sunshine Patriots deserves attention as such a work. Its characters will intrigue and enrage you; its story is as familiar as an old shirt and as wondrous as a soothsayer's vision.
Few authors have both the skill and the chutzpah to push the frontiers of science fiction this far, and this well. I didn't want to put this one down. Every scene played out before me like a movie. Trying to use their own vast wealth to fight against them.
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And damn, yeah, that's something that I think a lot of queer people get. There is a sense that we have to stick together at times, not just because it's more dangerous for us but because our success makes people angry. Makes us into targets. And the only way to overcome that is together. And that is the beauty of this book, that it is so hopeful, that it's about community and about people finding each other.
That it's about love and all the difficulties that can come from that. It's about sex and power and selling out and resisting, about going rogue and trying to stay true to your principles. And it's about so much more, about fighting and about kicking ass and about corruption and governments and laws and innovation. About technology and about bodies and about all of it. This book does so much and is so much and is fun and alive throughout.
And to me that's something amazing, especially for its time which isn't that long ago but still. It's a story that reflects many of the things still facing queer people in the world, queer people who are pushing things forward and getting attention and upsetting the powers that be. Jun 13, Catherine rated it really liked it Shelves: Well-done and highly memorable queer cyberpunk novel. This was was a hugely important novel For me - first time I saw myself represented to any degree in cyberpunk. Sep 17, Artemis rated it really liked it. On the other had, it was fun to read and I liked it the whole way through, I liked Trouble and Cerise, her queer friend group lived experience really shined through and felt refreshingly honest and real, the aesthetic was fantastic, and this is the only book I've ever read that uses the word "rotary" and makes a point that people go to New Hampshire for the lack of sales tax.
It's good, it's a bit dated, it's really a western set in the glittering VR shadow-world of the nets, it's about lesbian hackers, I like it.
Trouble and Her Friends
Apr 13, Lit Bug rated it really liked it Shelves: Not only was I pleasantly surprised at how lucidly the process of jacking into the matrix and running its programs can be described, it was an adrenaline of pleasure to see how many notches above feminist cyberpunk is above classic cyberpunk. I had wondered, after reading Neuromancer, if bringing in delicate concerns such as a queer gender would take away the focus from the main premise of cyberpunk, which is the virtual reality.
I see now that not only does good writing not interfere with what cyberpunk is, but in fact, enriches it and takes it to a whole new level, in fact, bestows a kind of literariness to it. The novel goes thus - Set at the end of 21st century in America, the world is a place where crackers enter and interact on the virtual reality platforms using neural implants, stealing from corporations and selling them in the shadows, the illegal hubs of the virtual worlds, while huge corporations safeguard their data through IC E s, or Intrusion Countermeasure Electronic.
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Trouble is a cracker in the shadows. With the Evans-Tindale bill passed, making shadow-cracking illegal by making hacking of bits and bytes as illegal as property theft with its stringent laws, she leaves her partner Cerise a. Alice-B-Good, a fellow shadow-cracker, and their entire close-knit queer cracker group, for good, to go legit.
The Treasury, where India now works in the lights as a syscop, notices that Trouble, the shadow-cracker, has returned to the nets after a long-hiatus. Pursued by the Treasury, India flees once again in the pursuit of the imposter who has taken her name, her working style, her identity. There are several subtexts in the novel - the texture of this feminist cyberpunk is so very different from that of classic cyberpunk. The queering of the main characters - Trouble and all her friends - is the most obvious feature. Women, even the tough ones, in classic cyberpunk were delegated as hetero, the object of desire for a macho man who acts as the protagonist.
Although it doesn't explicitly demean women - for instance, Molly in Neuromancer was as crucial to the plot as the male hero - it doesn't raise the issues of identity as well. The subtext of queerness lends this possibility - identity - virtual, real-time and sexual. The virtual identity of India was christened Trouble, a moniker derived of her extraordinary capability to court trouble and get out of it, and still be the best in business.
Her real-life identity, that of India Carless, out of the shadows, clean for three years, maintaining a precarious balance of her corporate work and queer status - which is quite unacceptable even now. Her sexual identity, that of a queer, that gives, or rather, takes away from her her social leverage - on the nets, she is doubly marginalized - for her choice to use the brainworm, which feeds her physical sensations in the virtual world, and her choice of partners, which corners her and her entire queer group, made unwelcome by the heteros and the non-wired hacker community.
A step further is the character of Silk online - she seduces Cerise as a woman, and Max as a man - this fluidity of genders and sexuality is all the more obvious as an extension of the future world where anonymity would also cover sexuality, not just names. Taking away from men the legitimate right to machines that classic cyberpunk was so heavily focused on, the novel enters the world of female queers, and sometimes men too, where even the virtual world of hacking is a small place.
Bodies, through their sexuality, and the second-generation Trouble and her friends hackers' choice to go for the brainworm, are reproduced culturally and show how they are technologically disciplined. Their bodies, through these two acts, are their identity.
The crisis of somebody impersonating Trouble online is not just one of virtual identity, but also one of communities the queer community, here that rally together to save Trouble. Like in the real world, queers face marginalization in the virtual world as well. Essentially, feminist cyberpunk picks up where classic cyberpunk left - the void left by cyberpunk in discussing real life issues is filled by its other half, without compromising on the basic premise of virtual reality.
The narration is swift, the dialogues crisp, fresh and no-nonsense. There is too much detailing sometimes, so it was tempting to skim-read a few portions. Originally published in early '90s, it seems a little outdated, owing to the fact that internet, virtually unknown then, has not only caught up with cyberpunk, but already surpassed it in some ways.
But considering from the time when it was new and quite radical, to talk about virtual platforms and queerness, it stands as an enviable landmark. And despite being a little dated, as all classics are bound to be at some point, it is still delicious to read - the technology seems a bit dated, but the plot and characters are refreshing as ever!
Sep 03, Linh Nguyen rated it really liked it Shelves: This is the first time I've read a cyberspace sci-fi written in the past about an imaginary future quite different from our present world, thus I had a hard time figuring out what happened for about a third of the book. Once I could grab my head around the concept I found it rather interesting.
One mystery isn't solved at the end is the thing involved that Coigne bastard and the real motive why Multiplane wants to get rid of Trouble; but I guess at that point no one would care anymore. Romance is This is the first time I've read a cyberspace sci-fi written in the past about an imaginary future quite different from our present world, thus I had a hard time figuring out what happened for about a third of the book.
Romance is not the main theme, but an important part. Trouble appears butch cocky, a bit of an emotionally stunted tech-nerd while Cerise is a caring, attractive femme with an equally strong and rebellious nature. For me the most touching, demonstrative scene of their love is when Trouble holds Cerise hand for a long time when she's asleep in the car: Before Trouble could move toward her or away, she was asleep again. Obscurely comforted, and perversely more awake, Trouble settled back to her watch. Aug 07, Theresa rated it really liked it.
I read this not long after it originally came out, and now I've re-read it. Many of the professional reviews I've found online of the re-release have focused on its supposed datedness. There are some dated elements-- like all near future SF, things don't always go exactly as the author imagines and we get to live through the reality in the intervening years. There are still many issues in this novel that are relevant and timely today. Net neutrality, GBLT issues, online sexism, and ecological col I read this not long after it originally came out, and now I've re-read it.
Net neutrality, GBLT issues, online sexism, and ecological collapse, to name the big ones. There is also a very subtle exploration of transhumanism. Trouble and her friends are not superhuman.
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They're not more highly evolved, they're no more monstrous than average. They've simply adopted a higher, more invasive level of tech and interact with Scott's version of the virtual world more completely because of it. It's unabashedly queer, bleak, and yet still offers hope for the future. Don't know how to shelve it, but I recommend it heartily. Feb 09, matthew rated it liked it Shelves: There were so many elements that were interesting and successful inversions of cyberpunk's cliched tropes, but they were all hampered by a narrative slower than an iceberg, a narrative hyperbolically committed to conventions including a grotesquely neat and happy ending , and some excruciating scenes of cyberspace that must've been cliche by , let alone Which is a real shame, as Scott's command of characterization was top notch and her squeamishness around violence really worked Ugh.
Which is a real shame, as Scott's command of characterization was top notch and her squeamishness around violence really worked in the novel's favour. The implicit metaphor that hackers or crackers as they're annoyingly dubbed in the novel are a counterpublic akin to the queer community was extremely compelling.
Some of the best bits in this novel come from the intra-hacker politics and their intersection with identity politics: There's a casual acceptance of queer identities in this future society, but still the recognition that corporatism wasn't ideal bedfellows for queers at least in Dec 06, Elizabeth rated it liked it. Entertaining mid 90s cyberpunk, interesting as much as for what Scott got wrong about the future as what she got right. I love that she imagines full-immersion virtual reality, but no wireless internet.
And it's old enough that the big network is the "BBS" not the web or the internet. The non-techy parts -- the question of what happens when people who have defined themselves as outsiders try to "grow up" -- were good, although the characters were a bit underdeveloped. May 05, Xdyj rated it liked it Shelves: The plot about Internet regulation seems interesting and somehow premonitory, but the author borrowed too much from classic cyberpunk like those by William Gibson, especially the awesome yet impractical VR and the concept of ICE.
The world is not really well defined, lacking in texture, detail and feeling. Also feels sort of like Anonymous self-insertion, where hackers are well known celebrities in the Net. Oct 25, Florin Pitea rated it it was ok. Bought it in , read it in It was okayish, but that's about the size of it. For a detailed review, please visit my blog: Jun 09, Althea Ann rated it really liked it. It's more of a fun adventure than a deep, analyzing society kinda book, but I enjoyed reading it twice I am reviewing a copy provided by the US publisher.
Science Fiction sometimes runs the risk of becoming dated. I want to make two things clear. But having read it now after almost two decades from initial publication, I think it still retains some relevance, even if its technology has clearly diverted from our own.
The internet is a dwindling playground for ostracized individuals seeking succor in its liberating sinuosity. Since passing new legislation, the government has begun policing and regulating virtual crimes. Crackers like Trouble and Cerise have either gone legit or continued the illegal information trade, risking arrest with every movement. Some net users had it harder than others. Notably, those with the much more invasive and now illegal brainworm—a surgically installed device that allows heightened sensual sensitivity to the electrical pulses and pathways of the internet.
A device that both Trouble and Cerise have. For these two women, the new laws have driven a divide in their relationship. Trouble, anticipating the mess, wanted out; Cerise saw the change as a challenge, a perceived strike at their identity and a rallying cry for crackers everywhere to defy authority and continue despite the set back. There are two things that drove this story forward.
The tech-heavy world Scott creates is one of the strongest points of this novel. The experiencing of logging online goes beyond the mere perception of embarking on another world as you or I would do, staring at a computer screen; the internet is as much a virtual reality for Cerise as it is an information highway. New technology elevates the sense of place and crackers take every advantage.
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Trouble and Her Friends by Melissa Scott
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