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  Schism Matrix by Bruce Sterling

Week 10


These guys are into a way-out-there city-spider routine, where they go creeping into sewers and abandoned warehouses and such. Y'know, just 'cause I notice stuff like this, and I write sci-fi stories about it and sometimes they even win Hugos, that doesn't mean I personally recommend it as a way of life.

So when you're in there spidering and taking your surreptitious digital photos, and the jittery, humorless cops mistake you for Al Qaeda saboteurs, and they burst in with their night-vision goggles and a withering hail of ground fire, don't you come whining to me.



You really don't want to mess with "Scud Hunter Greg." As plastic action figures go, this guy is seriously bad news. Not only is he way behind Saddam's lines in the Gulf War, he's got a GPS and one of those 50-caliber sniper rifles!



"Air Force Special Operations Command"? Air Force *ground troops*? Jeez, I didn't even know they existed!

They do, though. They're semi-covert "special advisor" types for other people's much-beleaguered air forces.

They're teaching them scuba diving. You never can tell when Air Force blue-suiter guys will need to scuba.



Delta Force member "Leo" comes with a spare head, and thank goodness for it!

I don't suppose any of these macho lads are ready for a second go-round with "Linh" here, despite her rather sparse, rusty equipment.



Get yourself an Afghan war rug. Kinda like normal folk rugs, except for those choppers, troop carriers and AKs.

These strike me as the woven equivalent of African "blood diamonds." Remarkably reasonable prices!


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.

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