March 3, 2013
Finally reading Bruce Sterling’s cyberpunk short story collection Mirrorshades. It’s commonly referred to as the definitive collection of what was then a movement and is now more of a distinct sub-genre. I was expecting to read a collection of hyper stylized and at times outdated stories, akin to how much of William Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy reads now (they’re still awesome, but are clearly an artifact of their times, while a lot of good SF from the same era manages to escape that fate). To my delight I got something much fresher. Covering a nice swathe of the movement, it gives a pretty comprehensive and non-stereotypical example of the style and the themes of cyberpunk. There’s still a lot of arguing about whether everything in it is cyberpunk (for example Gibson’s Gernsback Continuum, which still reads fresh) but I think it manages to capture the feelings of cyberpunk with a nuance and scope I wasn’t really expecting.