In a near-future new age of corporate control, hacker mercenaries, and electronic terrorism, a public relations executive on the rise finds herself caught in the violent epicenter of a data war
Two decades into the twenty-first century, the world’s nations are becoming irrelevant. Corporations are the true global powers, with information the most valuable currency, while the smaller island nations have become sanctuaries for data pirates and terrorists. A globe-trotting PR executive for the large corporate economic democracy Rizome Industries Group, Laura Webster is present when a foreign representative is assassinated on Rizome soil during a conference for offshore data havens. Dispatched immediately on an international mission of diplomacy, Laura hopes she can make a difference in a volatile, unsteady world, but instead finds herself trapped on the front lines of rapidly escalating third-world hostilities and caught up in an inescapable net of conspiracy, terrorism, post-millennial voodoo, and electronic warfare.
During the 1980s, science fiction luminary Bruce Sterling envisioned the future . . . and hit it almost dead-on. The author who, along with William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, and Rudy Rucker, helped create and define the cyberpunk subgenre imagines a world of tomorrow in Islands in the Net that bears a striking—and disturbing—resemblance to our present-day information-age reality. Nominated for the Hugo and Locus Awards and winner of the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, Sterling’s extraordinary novel is a gripping, eye-opening, and remarkably prescient science fiction classic.
“A fast-paced novel of 21st-century techno-intrigue. Recommended.” —Library Journal
“In his Islands in the Net, Bruce Sterling has written the high-tech Candide. . . . Good show.” —Roger Zelazny
“A sophisticated near-future political thriller that asks all the hard questions but dishes out no easy answers.” —Norman Spinrad Bruce Sterling is an American author and one of the founders of the cyberpunk science fiction movement. He began writing in the 1970s; his first novel, Involution Ocean, about a whaling ship in an ocean of dust, is a science fictional pastiche of Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick. His other works, including his series of stories and a novel, Schismatrix, set in the Shaper/Mechanist universe, often deal with computer-based technologies and genetic engineering. His five short story collections and ten novels have earned several honors: a John W. Campbell Award, two Hugo Awards, a Hayakawa’s SF Magazine Reader’s Award, and an Arthur C. Clarke Award. Sterling has also worked as a critic and journalist, writing for Metropolis, Artforum, Icon, MIT Technology Review, Time, and Newsweek, as well as Interzone, Science Fiction Eye, Cheap Truth, and Cool Tools. He edits Beyond the Beyond, a blog hosted by Wired.
Sterling is also involved in the technology and design community. In 2003 his web-only art piece, Embrace the Decay, was commissioned by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and became the most-visited piece in the museum’s digital gallery. He has taught classes in design at the Gerrit Reitveld Academie in Amsterdam, Centro in Mexico City, Fabrica in Treviso, Italy, and the Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles. Sterling lives in Austin, Texas; Belgrade, Serbia; and Turin, Italy.