Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Crystal Express Hardcover – 1 Jul 1989

See all formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price
New from Used from
"Please retry"
£50.88 £13.50
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
click to open popover

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Product details

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on Amazon.co.uk.
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star

Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x89c2a8a0) out of 5 stars 7 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x89e444a4) out of 5 stars Archipelago of nightmares; Allegorical sagas 11 Oct. 1996
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Divided into three sections; Shaper/Mechanist, Science-Fiction
and Fantasy, Crystal Express provides a series of vignettes
for the reader. Sterling's Shaper/Mechanist saga follows the
developments of the two parties through war, peace and nervous
antebellum. Starting with a story called the Swarm, the allegories
are firmly underway; justifications for Caananite slavery in the
name of science destroyed by sheer humanity (or entymology).
Through a series of characters neurotic about their own societies,
the Mechanists and Shapers represent the human need for
perfection - with the reptillian Investors acting almost as Greek
Chorus - and yet despite their advances we are still filled with
horror. Sterling is offering a grim caveat that we need to retain
our humanity, no matter what devices become viable to us. The
last Shaper/Mechanist, Twenty Evocations, is in itself a series
of short stories, encompassing the life of a Shaper and yet with
the twist of each sinking deeper to what we conceive to be our
souls. So much for the Shaper/Mechanists, then. What of the
rest of the book? Amongst them are the romance and beauty
of Green Days in Brunei; evocative and rich, though the storyline
somewhat askewed; the twist at the end also questions our
beliefs of what is beautiful and what should be pursued, and
Spook, a delightful thriller-macabre, is essentially Heart of
Darkness with an unexpected twist, and a few nods to the
inhumanity of medical technology. The Fantasy section
reinforces one's conception of Sterling as an iconoclast, his
sly yet almost whimsical story of a man who attains eternal
life without the expected regret destroys a thousand myths;
wise men of an ancient city discuss their eternal reign and;
in perhaps the strangest, yet most wildly exotic in its reality,
deals with the coming of electricity to Japan. In this last, there
are no allegories, aside from a sense that now Japan has lost
all its magic and wonder, just human beauty and rich, rich,
lovingly-researched detail
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x89d3d684) out of 5 stars Surpisingly good.... 8 Aug. 2001
By Jadepearl - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
While waiting at a train station I was loaned this book by a friend and soon found myself interested in the stories. _Crystal Express_ is a wonderful introduction to the work of Bruce Sterling and I found it good enough to actually convince me to try and reread _Schismatrix Plus_. If you are a fan of the Shaper/Mechanist storyline then you should buy _Schismatrix Plus_ and leave this one behind.
Sterling is actually good in the short story genre whereas, some of his novels may drag a bit and be a bit scanty in character development the stories in this collection hpowever, are quite good in pacing and development.
One of the best moments was reading "Flowers of Edo" while on a train to Nara. The story of Japan's embrace of modern technology and the destruction of its past had a great resonance for me after seeing the hyper buzz of Tokyo. I felt that Sterling also showed more hope and charm of his romantic nature with "Green Days in Brunei".
The most daring work within a standard narrative format were all the Shaper/Mechanist stories. The other stories were interesting in ideas and themes, but nothing outside the scope of regular science fiction or fantasy themes found elsewhere.
Before slapping heavier works on your plate such as, _Global Head_ or _Disctraction_ pick up this book of his early work when he was learning his craft and was willing to dare a little bit more.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x89d93b88) out of 5 stars simply amazing 11 Feb. 2006
By Alexander Gödde - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first time I read this I was blown away. These stories are chock full of ideas, and at the same time contain some of the most weirdly beautiful moments I've ever read in SF. The impact hasn't really lessened with any of the half-dozen re-reads in the time since. Highly recommended to any fan of intelligent SF (not space opera).
HASH(0x89eb9f78) out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader 28 Feb. 2008
By average - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A good collection of stories, the highlights of which are, in general, the various Shaper/Mechanist tales and Spook. It is the fantasy inclusions that are weaker and let the overall rating down a bit. Basically you can call this one a 4.25, but not quite, so gets a 4 rating overall.

Crystal Express : SPIDER ROSE - Bruce Sterling
Crystal Express : CICADA QUEEN - Bruce Sterling
Crystal Express : SUNKEN GARDENS - Bruce Sterling
Crystal Express : TWENTY EVOCATIONS - Bruce Sterling
Crystal Express : GREEN DAYS IN BRUNEI - Bruce Sterling
Crystal Express : SPOOK - Bruce Sterling
Crystal Express : THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE SUBLIME - Bruce Sterling
Crystal Express : TELLIAMED - Bruce Sterling
Crystal Express : THE LITTLE MAGIC SHOP - Bruce Sterling
Crystal Express : FLOWERS OF EDO - Bruce Sterling
Crystal Express : DINNER IN AUDOGHAST - Bruce Sterling

Nose For Profit pet interest trade real rescue transformation.

4.5 out of 5

Wellspring of Investors.

4 out of 5

Regal terraforming judgement.

4 out of 5

Shaper/Mechanist list.

3.5 out of 5

Mini country definitely getting away from it all for engineer boy if the best his mates can get him is Foster's.

3.5 out of 5

Super spies not like us.

4.5 out of 5

Copying what a dragonfly does is rather complex.

3.5 out of 5

Dark Girl From the Sea.

2.5 out of 5

Youthful waters arrangement.

4 out of 5

Local art ideas, one demon.

3 out of 5

Prophetic annoyance.

3.5 out of 5
By L. Braverman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Just a quick note--- I read this collection years ago, but every now and again I go back and read "Swarm" again. It's one of my favorite stories, ever.

Not only is it funny and horrifying in equal measure, but it raises questions about the value of intelligence in the universe (in a very stylish and self-assured way)that inevitably lead to questions about Supreme Intelligence: our conceptions of G-D or God or gods, which then lead to questions about our God-appointed right to rule over (and ruin? and kill?) our planet due to the quality and (self) importance of our oversized brain boxes, that I've turned over in my mind every few months since I first read it.

How many short stories have that power? For me, no other than "Swarm" has had that effect on me.

I've repurchased this book, just to give it away, and will probably do so again.

The other stories are fine as well; "Spider Rose" is an especial hoot!
Were these reviews helpful? Let us know