The Artificial Kid

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9780060140984: The Artificial Kid

The ultra-rich satellite-dwellers orbiting the planet Reverie love to tune in to the televised exploits of the world's best professional combat artist, The Artificial Kid. But when an enemy discovers a secret from The Kid's murky past, The Kid must face the fiercest battle of his life, placing the fate of the entire planet in his hands. First published in 1980.

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Review:

The entertainment industry rules on the planet Reverie, a world founded by Moses Moses as an experiment in corporately controlled equality. Instead, the experiment has caused Reverie to mutate into a landscape of decadence and class separation. Miles above the surface, the ultra-wealthy live in orbital homes, watching the surface citizens' home-produced videos of sex and extreme violence. The title character of The Artificial Kid, Arti, is the most popular of the Combat Artists. These futuristic mirrors of professional wrestlers or American Gladiators confront each other in superhero-esque battles (although the Combat Artists' contests are real) within a complex system of honor, ritual, and conduct. Arti has reached the height of his fame--equally loved by his fans and friends and despised by his competitors. However, he is not entirely who he seems to be, and when the planetary founder mysteriously returns, The Artificial Kid finds himself embroiled in a battle for power that's not ready for prime time. Bruce Sterling, best known for his nonfiction work, The Hacker Crackdown, and the classic cyberthriller, Islands in the Net, presents a seminal, vivid, and turbulent future in The Artificial Kid. The Artificial Kid is a work of satirical social commentary with the breakneck pace of a Hong Kong action film.

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Sterling, Bruce
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