“It takes a special kind of man, a special eye to make the ruins bloom.” The author cites from an archetypical cyberpunk story: Green days in Brunei by Bruce Sterling. Strange thing that this unknown author embeds such a citation from his editor, hm? Green days in Brunei is also about post-oil environmentalism, though a patina built around that story from October 1985.
Here, main protagonist Hope Dawson assists a wealthy mentor in closing up to investigating macroeconomic changes in Spain – from growth to ruin: “The whole region had become a sort of experimental sandbox for heterodox economic systems.” This is a different story than the others – it is not about the omnipresent internet of things but it’s the econonmy, stupid. Andalusia is being left alone by Spanish government; greenhouses worked by cheap African laborers dominate the scenery. But everything is a predictaly short-term business and the locusts will hop on to different regions.
A strong female character and an interesting background define the story’s core. And I have to go back reading some 80s Sterling stories!