The Infinite Matrix

Stories Columns Archive FAQ Home
  Schism Matrix by Bruce Sterling



Week 61


Westward Ho for the romance of the open wilderness. Sir Richard Francis Burton (of all people) goes along the trail of the Pony Express. He finds it unbelievably filthy, fly-blown, and infested with monkey-faced Irish children and their drunken, half-starved parents.



It's great to have a one-stop shop for blood-spattered Chechnyan mujihadeen videos. I wonder how long these guys are going to stay in business, or for that matter, in one piece.

Maybe we'll get mad at Russians for some weird reason, and then these vicious Caucasus guerrillas can turn back into heroic resistance fighters again.



There's no graffiti like Situationist revolutionary graffiti from May 1968. It reads like Pompeii's grafitti. These poor souls sound like they're shouting from the bottom of an extinct volcano.

Remarkable echoes, though. You could splash most any one of those mottos on the side of bank today, and it would bristle with security cams the next morning.



For years I've been predicting a female-centric cellphone that looks like a makeup case. Well, here it is. Almost. The natural refinement is to make a cellphone that actually is a make-up case.



Oh how wonderful. Steve Ditko comics covers from Steve's bonkers, ontological, hallucinatory period. That typography, that way he draws hands… These are just so crude and perfect and beautiful. I couldn't stop staring. There's lots more, but to my sensibility, these are the pick of the lot.

"It's RRO! Up from the bottomless pit! Mankind is DOOMED!" Okay, it's not Kandinsky, but if this image doesn't give you a bubbly, deeply pleasant feeling, I don't even want to know you. Go away from this weblog and don't ever come back. I can't trust you.

Steve genuinely hits a nerve here. And this is 1957, way too early for cheap, easy hallucinogens.

Sometimes people wonder if science fiction was ever about bug-eyed monsters and babes in bubble helmets. It sure as hell was when I was four months old.

He got cruder, crazier and louder as he got older, a strange and impressive accomplishment.


Bruce Sterling writes books like Darwin watched animals. Find out more about him, and read tattered electronic copies of Cheap Truth, at the Bruce Sterling Online Index. He lives with his wife Nancy and their two daughters in Austin, Texas.

home | stories | columns | archive | faq |