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Black Swan - download pdf or read online

By Bruce Sterling

Bruce Sterling brings us a story of espionage, cyber-threats, trade realities and intrigue in “Black Swan”, a gloomy and cyberpunk novelette.

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Out came stored-away things and things got up on the spot: guitars and late melon, hazelnuts, rhubarb pies and a mouth organ, a washboard, roast lamb, pepper rice, Lil Green, “In the Dark,” Louis Jordan and His Tympany Five; homemade beer and groundhog meat fried and simmered in gravy. The women tied bright scarves over their hair; the children made themselves hats of wild poppies and river vine. Ossie owned a two-year-old and a four, both fast and pretty as brides. The other horses were simply company: Ace’s spotted horse, Miss Esther’s ancient featherweight, all four of Nathan’s plow horses plus his mare and a half-broke pony that, unclaimed, grazed the creekbank.

You’re all I have, now your brothers gone and got themselves shot up like—” Birdie slapped the table. ” “What? Do what? ” “They? Who? Frank? ” “All of them. ” “Kill you? ” Mavis nodded. Birdie Goodroe widened her eyes first, then looked into her lap as she held her forehead in the palm of her hand. ” Mavis stared at her mother. “No! Oh, no, Ma! Are you crazy? ” “All right. All right. Just asking. It’s unusual, you know, to think little children…” “Unusual? It’s—it’s evil! But they’ll do what he says.

That is why they are here in this Convent. To make sure it never happens again. That nothing inside or out rots the one all-black town worth the pain. All the others he knew about or heard tell of knuckled to or merged with white towns; otherwise, like Haven, they had shriveled into tracery: foundation outlines marked by the way grass grew there, wallpaper turned negative behind missing windowpanes, schoolhouse floors moved aside by elder trees growing toward the bell housing. One thousand citizens in 1905 becoming five hundred by 1934.

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Black Swan by Bruce Sterling


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