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Bruce Sterling


Year 1998
Publisher Millennium  (Orion Publishing)
ISBN 1857988310



Distraction: a startling, darkly comic vision of the future.

2044, and the US is coming apart at the seams.  The people live nomadic lives fuelled by cheap transport and even cheaper communications.  The new cold war is with the Dutch and mostly fought over the Net.  The notion of central government is almost meaningless.

This is your future, Oscar Valparaiso's too - or it would be if he were like the rest of us instead of being only half human.  Political spin doctor par excellence, Oscar has put himself out of a job: he'd only be a liability to his boss in the White House due to his genetic background.  Instead, he takes himself off to the Collaboratory, a facility that's part fuelled by corruption part by dramatic scientific advances.  Whipping his 'krewe' into shape, Oscar turns a no-win situation around.  If he can only straighten out his love life and solve a worldwide crisis that only he has noticed, America should be his for the taking ...




'Sterling is back with a bang with this uproarious, provocative, thoughtful, often hilarious, sometimes inspired medium-future deconstruction of politics, science, economics, and the American Dream'


Satellite image of North America



Credit: NASA

America the Beautiful
This natural-color image of North America combines cloud-free data from over 500 Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer (MISR) orbits with shaded relief Digital Terrain Elevation models from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) and other sources.

In addition to the contiguous United States, the full size image spans from British Columbia in the northwest to Newfoundland in the northeast, and extends eastward to the lonely Bermuda Islands and southward to the Bahamas, Cuba and Mexico. Draped in green, the eastern and central United States and Canada contrast with the vibrant geology that is laid bare across the arid portions of the southwestern United States and central Mexico. Along Mexico's east coast, the lush vegetation to the east of the Sierra Madre mountain range indicates the orographic rainfall gradient along this subtropical-tropical coast. In the high Rocky Mountains and in British Columbia's Coast Range, many peaks remain snow-covered year-round.

The Multi-angle Imaging SpectroRadiometer observes the daylit Earth continuously and every 9 days views the entire globe between 82° north and 82°south latitude. This data product was generated from a portion of the imagery acquired during years 2000 - 2004.

NASA Image of the day archive





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