Chapter 17
Illustration by Haylee Bolinger

Tall Tower

Neal Stephenson’s Tall Tower has withstood the ravages of time, becoming a launchpad for humans seeking disembodied transhuman enlightenment among the stars and the centerpiece of a sprawling metropolis. Cowboy adventurer Cody Jennings and his horse Levi undertake a spiritual quest to climb to the top of the 20 kilometer behemoth. On the way up they overcome hardship and danger, encounter the tower’s inscrutable inhabitants, and confront one of life’s most vexing questions: as we strive to transcend our human limitations, can our horses go on the journey with us?

Bruce Sterling is an author, journalist, editor, and critic. Best known for his ten science fiction novels, he also writes short stories, book reviews, design criticism, and introductions for books ranging from Ernst Juenger to Jules Verne. He is a contributing editor at Wired magazine, and in 2013 he was the Visionary in Residence at the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University.

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