Pirate Utopia: Bruce Sterling's novella of Dieselpunk, weird politics, and fascism

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2016/11/15/pirate-utopia-bruce-sterling.html

Between 1920 and 1924, the Free State of Fiume was a real-world “pirate utopia,” an ungoverned place of blazing futurism, military triumphalism, transgression, sex, art, dada, and high weirdness. In Bruce Sterling’s equally blazing dieselpunk novella Pirate Utopia, the author turns the same wry and gimlet eye that found the keen edges for steampunk’s seminal The Difference Engine to the strange business of futurism.


On the one hand, Dieselpunk smells worse, but on the other, you have not as much toxic mold.


Thank you for explaining “Fiume!” I helped start Fiume Bar in West Philly and that’s what we named it after! Nobody ever gets it.

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“Fiume” means stream (the town was called Flumen in Latin.) Disappointingly, the town of Frome (which means the same) in England doesn’t seem to be twinned with Fiume.
This is only apparently irrelevant, because Frome in the UK has an independent, party politics free council and has just voted in a referendum to take some power from the next tier up of local government and give it to their council, with an 85% majority.
There’s obviously something in a name.

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