“The Interoperation” is a short story by Bruce Sterling, award-winning science fiction author and futurist. Sterling has always been one of the most canny and entertaining prognosticators of architectural futures, and this latest work does not disappoint. “The Interoperation” deftly and fondly sends up starchitecture, obsolescence, digitization, networking and the vagaries of fame. It explores the design process more deeply than his previous fiction. Like most works by Sterling, the story is shambling, episodic and lacking in coherent structure.

While Sterling has in the past been skeptical of Peak Oil and Kunstler’s Long Emergency thesis in particular, note that “The Interoperation” is set firmly in an imagined post-Peak Oil era. Travel is mostly by bike and train; cross country trips are rare; recycling is a pillar of the economy; and sustainability saturates business practices thoroughly.

A few excerpts are below the fold.

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