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  Schism Matrix by Bruce Sterling

Week 25


It's tax season, and among  the many joys of the Internet is that offshore money laundering is now available to pretty much anybody.

An impressive tax-evasion library here, but try to imagine where you'd shelve those.  "Honey, has my 'screw your ex-wife out of the settlement' book arrived yet?"



While stashing your gains offshore, why not buy some "privacy devices" from these helpful Panamanian bankers?

Fifty bucks for a "disappearing ink pen" seems a little steep.  I could get that out of a magic store for $9.95! However, that venue wouldn't "warn" me "not" to sign checks and legal documents with my purchase.

How have I lived this long without a Panamanian GPS vehicle tracker? Great for tracking teens, spouses… and Yanqui narcs hassling your cocaine smuggling racket.



Maybe you should forget about trying to hide your stupid money in an offshore tax haven. Just run away from home to join the French Foreign Legion. Basically, it means smuggling *yourself*!



Of course, if you're into "human smuggling", you want to study the work of the masters — Chinese "snakeheads."

Stuck in the middle of Russia, frozen, starved and beaten-up… travel sure is broadening.

"Big Sister Ping" was the "Mother of All Snakeheads."



Women rarely join the Foreign Legion.  Instead, women become trafficked commodities. There are swarms of trafficked women. Hordes.  Armies.  All colors.  All creeds.


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.

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