I just read Bruce Sterling's "Black Swan" (Interzone, Issue 221). I'd picked up the magazine intending to read Alaya Dawn Johnson's fantasy story in the issue, but when I saw the title of the Sterling story, I decided to read it first. (Johnson's an interesting new writer whom we've reprinted a couple of times before.)
I was seduced by the Sterling story. Not just that it was by Chairman Bruce, but the title itself is an incredible narrative hook. I have a real fascination with unexpected catastrophic large-scale events driven by the interaction of simple principles. I am a sucker for Black Swan theory. The term "black swan" is, I gather, a coinage of Nassim Nicholas Taleb whose website is called fooledbyrandomness.com.
The set-up os the story is pure old-school cyberpunk: a somewhat corrupt tech journalist is meeting in a cafe with a guy dressed all in black who's involved in some kind of industrial espionage. Okay. We know whose movement we're in.
And Sterling has packed a whole novel's worth of material in a story, on his way there. And it is bursting with moments of well-observed reality. I was going to quote a few, but I think this is a story that should be read in sequence.
And then read again. I have a suspicion it will be different the second time through.