Uses This

Interview

What do people use to get the job done?

Bruce Sterling

Bruce Sterling

Novelist, journalist

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Bruce Sterling. I'm a novelist and journalist with an interest in futurism, technology art, and design. I tend to unite my time between the three cities of Austin, Texas, Torino, Italy, and Belgrade, Serbia.

What hardware do you use?

Mac laptops, a pocket camera, Victorinox and Leatherman multitools, paper notebooks, pens, shoulder bags, travel clothes. I'm fond of augmented reality gizmos and maker-lab gear. Passports, visas, credit cards and international banking services are a big part of my life. I've also got zipper-bags always standing by, stocked with the every-day carry rubbish a writer needs on the road: vitamins, string, carabiner clips, combs, international power plugs, batteries, thumb-drives, that basic airport-store stuff.

I've decided I don't much care for cellphones or smartphones any more, because I dislike the surveillance marketing and the abuse by intelligence services. Actually, I don't even like the smartphone manufacturers or the wireless service providers. That's become a cruel, sick industry.

And what software?

Nisus Writer Pro, TextEdit, Wordpress, iTunes, Safari, Netscape, Wordpress, Twitter, Tumblr, Flickr, Vimeo. I decided I don't like Google Plus or Facebook. I like "Ghostery" because it shows the cookie-trackers that pounce on you as you surf the web nowadays. Being a writer, I just plain read a lot of stuff. I've got a book in the bag, most of the time.

What would be your dream setup?

Being a science fiction writer, I can dream pretty big. I suppose my ideal situation would be some kind of scholar-in-residence gig, where I had immediate, painless, cost-free access to several tons worth of tech-art equipment, a fab lab, a library and a private publishing house. As long as I didn't have to personally pay or maintain any of that stuff, or, in fact, do anything at all, except mess around blogging about cool oddities, and maybe lecture sometimes. That's what I generally, in fact, do.

Failing that, I can dream up some radical guerrilla alternative where I'm a complete cyberpunk autonomist dropout, Information Wants to Be Free style. A small, post-national island in the net, with my own, personal solar power, satellite broadband, and open-source, secondhand everything. No ads, bills, governments, cops, priests, or salesmen. I might be willing to put up with some rain barrels and some Thoreau-style green gardening, just to get out of the matte-black bunker a little.