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The Artificial Kid (Roc) Paperback – 7 Jan 1993

4.3 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Paperback, 7 Jan 1993
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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: RoC; New edition edition (7 Jan. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140178635
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140178630
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 1.7 x 18 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,329,798 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description


Shallow seas, coral-atoll continents, flying islands - this is the world of Reverie, the Artificial Kid its most notorious video star, a professional combat artist who tapes his acts of violence for sale to an avid public.

Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I was desperate to read this book after having come into contact with "The Difference Engine". I like Sterling's writing style and the plot kept me hooked all through. Not a standard kill-fest, as a lot of this genre can be, so if that's what your looking for - go elsewhere.
The Artificial Kid appears to be a young man - but has actually led many lifetimes - all of which have been devoted to the pursuit of excellence in the sphere of combat. This gives him a huge edge in his chosen career. That of "combat artiste" - very popular in the media.
The book begins with very cyberpunk origins, enters something of a traditional sf phase - dabbles in philosophy and carries the reader with it on an enjoyable ride. Don't worry, the plot is easy to follow and isn't too eclectic - its just not standard fayre - a big plus in my book.
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Format: Paperback
RT, the Artificial Kid, is a video violence artist - kind of a computer game character but for real. Great novel, ripping good fun at the beginning though the ending doesn't really punch it's weight.
I never did work out the character that William Gibson thinks is the reincarnation of Richard Burton (the explorer, not the actor) - read the foreward...
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Format: Paperback
Various weird and very unique characters are thrown together, fleeing for their lives. They learn each others' secrets and develop as characters. Lots of very intelligent twists, uses many imaginative sci fi ideas creatively. Also very romantic I thought. Deserves great recognition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x97b90450) out of 5 stars 21 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97ba4fcc) out of 5 stars The Artifical Kid really did change my life... 23 Oct. 1997
By - Published on
Format: Paperback
I found this book in the library, of all places, back when I was in junior high school in 1982. Crouched between all that hoary Silverberg and Simak that I didn't want to read, it said "Psssst!". I haven't been the same since. The Kid jumped out and smacked me across the forehead with his lush, tweaked-out postpunk setting and sweeping, interconnected plot. A little bit of old-world pangalacticism, a little futuristic DIY chopsocky, a bunch of toungues in cheeks, and loads of high-tech wetware polymers and lurching biomasses, from before wetware polymers and lurching biomasses were cool. And all the while, Sterling's trademark core of optimism shines through.
It's taken the world about ten years to catch up to this baby, and it's about damn time. If you don't know Bruce Sterling, this is a fine place to start. Now, where's my Smuff?
John Zero (, Dallas, Texas
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97c4a03c) out of 5 stars Hilarious, Delightful Early Bruce Sterling Novel 15 Sept. 2007
By John Kwok - Published on
Format: Paperback
With "The Artifical Kid", a young Bruce Sterling demonstrated his excellence in writing comedic novels, to which he would return much later, in full force, in novels like "Holy Fire" and "The Zenith Angle", among others. While his second novel isn't nearly as polished as his later classic "Schisimatrix", it does explore in embroyonic form, some of the same issues of identity and what it means to be human, that he did quite remarkably well in his mid 1980s work. I couldn't help but laugh as I worked my way through the pages of Sterling's early novel, observing that it's nearly as funny as some of Harlan Ellison's best satirical short fiction. For anyone who wishes to understand Sterling's development as a leading member of the cyberpunk literary movement, then this early novel of his is required reading.
HASH(0x97e85ba0) out of 5 stars Combat Artistry 14 Sept. 2013
By Michael Burnam-fink - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is it. The only Bruce Sterling novel I haven't read. So how does my guru's second novel hold up?

Well, it's original, aggressively stylized, and full of provocative ideas. In the distant future people are effectively immortal, with ennui a leading cause of death. The titular Artificial Kid inhabits the body of of a deceased politician, making his living as a combat artist, beating up other artists with his nunchuks and selling the tapes. He stumbles into a massive historical/scientific conspiracy, and a whole bunch of crazy stuff happens in a unique post-human biological journey.

This isn't a perfect book. If the characters are a little flat, or the writing drags a little, then that's the price of journeyman work-as opposed to Schismatrix, where Sterling finally arrives. But Sterling's obvious talent and energy is on display, and its definitely a fun read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9800a984) out of 5 stars fun and clever 25 May 1999
By Sean Burke - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is such a strange, imaginative, interesting novel -- it's sad that it was out of print for ages, and then Wired Books brought it back, only to let it fall back out of print! Anyone who likes Bruce Sterling's other stuff should go to and try to find a used copy of this!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97c4a504) out of 5 stars An excellent and amusing book: issues of fame and growth 6 Oct. 1997
By Oliver Chubb - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the book which got me hooked on Bruce Sterling. A less poundingly gritty world than Gibson's and more playful as a result. It brings together aspects of fame and change - and the adolescent desire to seek one while shunning the other - in an enjoyable combination. The focus is still the action which let me read (and re-read) it for the escapist element.
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