What’s Italian for ‘Chairman Bruce’?
So, Cory Doctorow tells us that Bruce Sterling has a sideline as Bruno Argento, producing work in Italian set in and around his adopted city, Turin:
I am no expert on fantascienza, so I don’t know if these are representative of the field, but I am here to tell you that they are completely different from any other sf I’ve read, including Sterling’s, and yet utterly and unmistakably Bruce Sterling stories (a neat trick).
They are mostly set in and around Sterling’s adopted hometown of Turin, and though they span a range from the Middle Ages to the late 22nd Century, they paint a vivid picture of an ancient city whose fortunes have ebbed and flowed through the centuries.
This could turn out to be work that wasn’t strong enough to get published in English initially, or it could be work that US publishers didn’t want to publish because of the risk that the foreign setting and subject matter would put off US readers. Or it could just be that now he’s living in a world where he can publish his work whether he’s living in Belgrade, Turin or Austin and he’s spent forty years establishing a reputation he’s just going to put out material the way he wants to and those who want to read it will find a way.
I’m intrigued enough by this blurb from Peter Watts that I’m going to take a chance on it:
Bruce Sterling “literally” takes you to Hell and back and back in this sprawling, delirious tour of an Italy jarred just slightly off-kilter, parallel universe, nineteenth-century terrorists and bicephalous recluses, cigar-smoking mummies and wandering performance artists who happen to be wheelchairs.
Come on, I’m only human. I’m hoping that somewhere on the way we’ll get Chairman Bruce’s take on Silvio Berlusconi1 but I’ve bought this knowing nothing more than what’s mentioned above.
- Because how could he resist, living where he did when he did? ↩