With solid writing and compelling ideas, Bruce Sterling’s ROBOT ARTISTS & BLACK SWANS is entertaining and thought provoking

Bruce Sterling’s forthcoming ROBOT ARTISTS & BLACK SWANS: THE ITALIAN FANTASCIENZA STORIES is already generating some excitement. Though not due until March 2021, it is currently available for pre-order from your favorite bookseller or direct from Tachyon.

The first reviews for collection appeared on GOODREADS.

Although I have enjoyed many of the scifi sub-genres over the year, Bruce Sterling’s ROBOT ARTISTS & BLACK SWANS was my first solid encounter with Italian “Fantascienza” stories. Having enjoyed earlier works by Bruce Sterling, I naively anticipated that this latest collection would simply be cyberpunk with an Italian flair. After reading each of the stories and rereading the introduction, I learned that I had it backward. These are first-and-foremost stories about Italy. Secondly, they are examples of creative genius. Thirdly, they tend to have some aspect of historical fantasy (in Italy) or future history (in Italy) with a seasoning of scifi and/or cyberpunk ideas. Each story was entertaining and thought provoking.


In conclusion, I am glad that I could expand my understanding of international science fiction, and look forward to learning more about Italy and reading more stories by either Bruce Sterling or his alter ego Bruno Argento.


In the current collection, Sterling writes Italian-style short stories (think Italo Calvino, whom Sterling invokes often), under the alter-ego Bruno Argento. It’s a cute conceit, one that escapes being too cute through solid writing and compelling ideas.


SFF188 is looking forward to the book.

On the Tachyon Publications Channel, watch both the ROBOT ARTISTS & BLACK SWANS book trailer and the galley unboxing video starring Zeppo. If you enjoy the videos, please like and subscribe.