By Bruce Sterling
Bruce Sterling brings us a story of espionage, cyber-threats, trade realities and intrigue in “Black Swan”, a gloomy and cyberpunk novelette.
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Extra info for Black Swan
They’d been clearing the trees, the final cut, bringing down the tall Sitkas, strip–Ping them with machines like giant pencil sharpeners, carting them 45 off on big trucks. What was left – what he could see as far as a ridge a kilometre distant – was a chaos of smashed branches and torn pieces of smaller trees; a pale jumble of fractured wood like something from a volcanic disaster or the first days of a war. He looked up at the stars, then back down at the frozen fury of shattered wood. The pee went on.
Remember this? Remember Singapore? Oh, fuck! ’ ‘Yeah,’ Alban said. ’ ‘Woh! Not like you, cuz. What’s the problem? Don’t answer that. Good idea. Let me just say that right now. However, I have a counterproposal. ’ ‘Wasted? ’ ‘Most certainly do. ’ ‘You brought drugs to Singapore? Are you fucking insane? Haven’t you been paying any attention at all? ’ ‘Alban, get real. I’m not a fucking dealer, just a user. And if I did get caught, so what? ’ He laughed, waved his arms. ’ He laughed louder. It was 1997.
I’ll be fine,’ he muttered. He bent over his plate and started removing the fat from the edges of the pork chops. ‘Hope you weren’t doing a Geldof in front of my little girl, Alban,’ Uncle James said, slathering apple sauce over his plate. ’ ‘Swearing, like that Geldof guy. ’ ‘James, please,’ Sophie said, rolling her eyes. Sophie’s father made a show of turning round in his seat to look behind him at the dining–room door. ’ he asked, frowning mightily. ’ ‘Dad, Da, Pater, Papa,’ Sophie said through tight lips, glaring at him.
Black Swan by Bruce Sterling