Straight after a story by Bruce Sterling, one by Gregory Benford – oh, editor Strahan, you spoil us!
Mind you, the editorial intro to the story, describing the ‘Galactic Centre’ novel sequence in which this story is set, he does let the reader into a lot of background which it would have been nice to picked up through reading the story : “.. the Family Bishop, fighting for their lives on the distant world of Snowglade, lives dependent on cybernetic implants and mechanical aids to survive the day…”
The story in hand features a short vignette in which a group from Family Bishop have a couple of encounters with the mechanised enemy, but find a cache of stores ‘aspects’ – downloaded memories from ancestors that can be plugged in and drawn up. An interesting conceit, and a good setting, and in an alternate world where I wasn’t also into cycling, home brewing, gardening, and much more, I’d be reading the novel sequence! Mind you, I’m a great believer in the Law of Diminishing Returns, and do wonder, having read and engaged with and enjoyed this story, what the real return on investment in reading a series of novels in this setting would be….