Michael Swanwick
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Vacuum Flowers - Written in 1987, Vacuum Flowers is one of a number of cyberpunkish, Interplanetary Age space-operas that appeared around that time, (others include Schizmatrix and Voice of the Whirlwind). The story is fast-moving and involves some interesting OA-relevant themes, such as frontier-capitalist asteroid polities (the Klusters) who specialise in advanced wetware engineering, Dyson Tree settlements in the Oort Cloud, Earth-bound humanity absorbed into a sort of posthuman entity called the Comprise that has developed an advanced form of space propulsion, and a People's Mars, which gives a new twist to the idea of "the Reds" :-) who are working on terraforming Mars. A few gripes - the central theme of a wetware personality taking over so completely I find frankly implausible, and it is never explained how the Vacuum Flowers (which infest everything on the outside of space habitats etc) came about; they are just this surreal element, a metaphor of sort, or a kind of magical realism, just sitting there and at odds with the rest of the relatively hard science setting. Otherwise a great read, and it is worth noting that Swanwick uses the Dyson Tree trope long before Simmons wrote Endymion.

M Alan Kazlev