Bruce Sterling (born April 14, 1954) is an American science fiction author, best known for his novels and his seminal work on the Mirrorshades anthology, which defined the cyberpunk genre.
He writes Catscan, for the SF Eye. In 2003 he was appointed Professor at the European Graduate School where he is teaching Summer Intensive Courses on media and design.
Sterling is widely considered to be, along with William Gibson, Rudy Rucker, John Shirley, Lewis Shiner, and Pat Cadigan, one of the original founders of the early 1980s creators of the pessimistic and dystopian cyberpunk genre of science fiction.
His first novel, Involution Ocean featured the world Nullaqua where all the atmosphere was contained in a single, miles-deep crater; the story concerned a ship sailing on the ocean of dust at the bottom, hunting creatures called dustwhales that lived beneath the surface.
In the late 1970s onwards, Sterling wrote a series of stories set in the Shaper/Mechanist universe: the solar system is colonized, with two major warring factions. The Mechanists use a great deal of computer-based mechanical technologies; the Shapers do genetic engineering on a massive scale. The situation is complicated by the eventual contact with alien civilisations; humanity eventually splits into many subspecies, with the implication that many of these effectively vanish from the galaxy, reminiscent of The Singularity in the works of Vernor Vinge. The Shaper/Mechanist stories can be found in the collection Crystal Express and the novel Schismatrix Plus.
In his hometown of Austin, Texas, the author is known for an annual Christmas yard party that features digital art.
In the 1980s, Sterling edited a series of science fiction news letters called Cheap Truth, under the alias of Vincent Omniaveritas.
He has been the inspiration for two projects which can be found on the Web -
* The Dead Media Project - A collection of "research notes" on dead media technologies, from Incan quipus, through Victorian phenakistoscopes, to the departed video games and home computers of the 1980s. The Project's homepage, including Sterling's original Dead Media Manifesto can be found at http://www.deadmedia.org (http://www.deadmedia.org)
* The Viridian Design Movement - his attempt to create a Green movement without his perceived self-righteousness of the current Green movement. He called his proposed design movement the Viridian movement, to signify its desire for high-tech, stylish, and ecologically sound design. The Viridian Design home page, including Sterling's Viridian Manifesto, is at http://www.viridiandesign.or