Bruce Sterling’s “Swarm”

I decided to read a story before turning in last night, so I flipped through The Oxford Book of Science Fiction Stories, ed. by Tom Shippey. I settled on Bruce Sterling’s 1982 story, “Swarm” (first published in the April 1982 issue of Fantasy and Science Fiction). It’s an interesting story about opportunistic human Shapers, genetically augmented supermen/women, attempting to take advantage of a once space faring insect-like species that inhabits an asteroid near Betelgeuse. Unfortunately for the two Shapers within the hive, the group “organism” responds by producing an embodied intelligence that is periodically useful in eradicating troublesome species that threaten the “swarm.” It’s a fun story, and recommended!

I am a professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on 20th/21st-century American culture, science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology.

Posted in Review, Science Fiction
Who is Dynamic Subspace?

Dr. Jason W. Ellis shares his interdisciplinary research and pedagogy on Its focus includes the exploration of science, technology, and cultural issues through science fiction and neuroscientific approaches. It includes vintage computing, LEGO, and other wonderful things, too.

He is an Assistant Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY (City Tech) where he teaches college writing, technical communication, and science fiction.

He holds a Ph.D. in English from Kent State University, M.A. in Science Fiction Studies from the University of Liverpool, and B.S. in Science, Technology, and Culture from Georgia Tech.

Reach him by email at jellis at citytech dot cuny dot edu.


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