Booksellers, librarians, bloggers, and reviewers get The Godfather of Cyberpunk Bruce Sterling’s new collection ROBOT ARTISTS AND BLACK SWANS: THE ITALIAN FANTASCIENZA STORIES

Review copies of ROBOT ARTISTS AND BLACK SWANS: THE ITALIAN FANTASCIENZA STORIES by Bruce Sterling’s alter ego Bruno Argento, the preeminent writer of fantascienza, are now available via EDELWEISS and NETGALLEY.


by Bruce Sterling
Introduction by Neal Stephenson
Foreword by Bruno Argento
Afterword by Dario Tonani
Cover/interior images and design by John Coulthart

ISBN: Print ISBN: 9781616963293; Digital ISBN: 9781616963309

Published: March 2021

Available Format(s): Hardcover and Digital

The Godfather of Cyberpunk has emerged in this new collection of Italian-themed fantasy and science fiction stories. Bruce Sterling introduces us to his alter-ego: Bruno Argento, the preeminent writer of fantascienza. As always, Sterling is a speculative innovator, skillfully combining technology with art, mythology, and history.

It’s as if Sterling is the only writer paying attention.


In the Esoteric City, a Turinese businessman’s act of necromancy is catching up with him. The Black Swan, a rogue hacker, programs his way into into alternate versions of Italy. A Parthenonpean assassin awaits his destiny while he nestles in the arms of a two-headed noblewoman. Infuriating artists and scientists alike, the wandering robot-wheelchair confounds all with his uncategorizable creations.

Bruno Argento is the acknowledged master of Italian science fiction. Yet that same popular fantascienza author also exists in America. English-speaking readers are familiar with Bruno Argento as Bruce Sterling, and Italians are acquainted with Bruce Sterling as Bruno Argento. In Robot Artists and Black Swans, we have their visionary short stories, including fiction never before published in English.

“[H]is highly caffeinated energy is hard to resist.”

Publishers Weekly


  • Foreword: “Storia, Futurità, Fantasia, Scienza, Torino” by Bruno Argento
  • Introduction by Neal Stephenson
  • Kill the Moon
  • Black Swan
  • Elephant on the Table
  • Pilgrims of the Round World
  • The Parthenopean Scalpel
  • Robot in Roses
  • Esoteric City
  • Afterword: “Bruce Sterling, Erudite Dreamer and Pirate” by Dario Tonani