The Infinite Matrix

Stories Columns Archive FAQ Home
  Schism Matrix by Bruce Sterling

Week 23


Okay, I just read Simon Reynolds' magisterial summary of all the important pop music that he hated last year. Thank God that man exists. Think of the time and energy he's saved me.



Trench art. This is what creative types did during World War I while not killing body lice or being blown to shreds. There are *tons* of trench art — junk art whittled from artillery shell cases, boy, all kindsa stuff. This is some kind of dark tribute to the human spirit.

Imagine being a trench art *critic* — "Private Lawrence, I grieve to say that your latest scrimshaw is not up to your customary standard."



The Sudan Campaign, 1881. What goes around, comes around.

Here come the fanatical charging mujihadeen.

Time to get those propagandists front and center.

Tough break about the machine guns.

Let us introduce you to some of the Boeing Company's other fine products.



You're Ivan Yefremov, a Soviet SF writer who wants to type up some Marxist space opera.  And what does that require? Let's see, you get fired from your straight job digging up dinosaurs. The KGB ideologists Suslov and Andropov ban your alien-planet novel. A month after you're dead, the secret police raid your lousy two-room apartment, rousting your widow as they hunt for sci-fi subversion.

Oddly enough, Ivan Yefremov had a pen-pal in Texas.



"Aelita, Queen of Mars." I've often declared that this is my favorite SF film, primarily because of the fantastic sets and costumes of Alexandra Exter.  That woman must have been a very goddess. She wisely scrammed from the yawning gates of the Gulag and survived in Paris, making weird Cubist stage puppets and illustrating kids' books. I salute you, dear Alexandra.


Bruce Sterling is a science-fiction writer who lives in Texas. The sun is a G-type star out towards the edge of the Milky Way.

home | stories | columns | archive | faq |