The Artificial Kid (Roc) Paperback – 7 Jan 1993
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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...
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Dallas, Texas
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.