The caryatids

English language

Published Sept. 7, 2009 by Ballantine Books.

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5 stars (1 review)

Alongside William Gibson and Neal Stephenson, Bruce Sterling stands at the forefront of a select group of writers whose pitch-perfect grasp of the cultural and scientific zeitgeist endows their works of speculative near-future fiction with uncanny verisimilitude. To read a novel by Sterling is to receive a dispatch from a time traveler. Now, with The Caryatids, Sterling has written a stunning testament of faith in the power of human intellect, creativity, and spirit to overcome any obstacle--even the obstacles we carry inside ourselves. The world of 2060 is divided into three spheres of influence, each fighting with the others over the resources of fallen nations and an environment degraded almost to the point of no return. There is the Dispensation, centered in Los Angeles, where entertainment and capitalism have fused with the highest of high-tech. There is the Acquis, a Green-centered collective that uses invasive neurological technology to create a …

2 editions

reviewed The Caryatids by Bruce Sterling

A dispatch from a not to distant future

5 stars

I first read this book not long after it came out, but I revisited it here in 2023, because I had a consulting gig with a client who's on an island somewhere, trying to change the world. I felt that maybe the post collapse Croatian island at the beginning of the book might speak to him.

I don't think he actually read it, but I did, and my sense of what it means as climate change finally arrives in force is ...

The four Caryatids that survive to adulthood are archetypes, larger than life women everyone has encountered, if they're traveling in the realm that is aware of what's happening to our planet. I had not had those experiences when I first read it, but now I'm older ... wiser ... and profoundly weary.

I've dated Vera, I've dated Radmila, and I currently work with Sonja, who dispatched Biserka for …


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