by Paul Di Filippo
Following the shock wave of cyberpunk writing in the late 1980s, Paul Di Filippo's first book, The Steampunk Trilogy, burst on the scene in 1995, leading SF veteran William Gibson to declare the young writer's work "spooky, haunting, hilarious." Cyberpunk concentrated on cold hardware. Di Filippo coined "ribofunk" by fusing "ribosome" (as in cellular biology) with "funk" (as in rock and roll). In the world of Ribofunk, biology is a cutting-edge science, where the Protein Police patrol for renegade gene splicers and part-human sea creatures live in Lake Superior, dealing with toxic spills. Ribofunk depicts a sentient river; a sultry bodyguard who happens to be part wolverine; a reluctant thrill seeker who climbs a skyscraper-and finds himself stuck; and a chain-smoking Peter Rabbit who leads his fellows in a bloody rebellion against-whom else?-Mr. McGregor.