Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

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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 aberrant technologies. Quite suddenly the march of science had become an insane, headlong scramble. New sciences and technologies had shattered whole societies in waves of future shock.
The shattered cultures coalesced into factions, so thoroughly alienated from one another that they were called humanity only for lack of a better term. The Shapers, for instance, had seized control of their own genetics, abandoning mankind in a burst of artificial evolution. Their rivals,the Mechanists, had replaced flesh with advanced prosthetics.

from "Sunken Gardens"

This book is split into three sections, It starts with five science fiction stories about two rival human factions, the Shapers and the Mechanists, and their relationships with the reptilian traders known as the Investors. The next section contained three stand-alone near-future science fiction stories and I preferred the three stand-alone in the next section, and the last section contained four fantasy stories with historical settings (the first of which might not even be fantasy depending whether the protagonist's vision is objectively real or just due to the hallucinogenic drugs he has taken. The Shaper/Mechanist stories were okay, but I preferred the stand-alone stories in the second section, especially "Green Days in Brunei" and I enjoyed the fantasy stories even more.

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June 2012

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