Short story in a collection, written in first person about a bicycle repair shop owner in a slightly apocalyptic near future where lower floors of the building are a bit crazy and lawless. Bike shop is raised by chain at night for security

Story includes a package sent to the main character which has caught the attention of some agency who has sent someone to recover (steal) it, who the main character instead immobilizes by taping or gluing them to the floor.

Main character takes anti-libido meds to simplify life and keep focus on running bicycle shop.

Main character's affluent mother lives on higher floor in the building perhaps, Interacts with her and others "on line" by using a digital assistant called a "Mook".

Appeared in the SF short story collection I read circa 2010.


1 Answer 1


This is "Bicycle Repairman" by Bruce Sterling.

The title obviously corresponds to the general idea of a bike shop owner as the main character, but these two details should confirm it is the story in question.

Anti-libido meds:

Lyle shook his head. “Someone with your gender and background oughta understand how important the treatments are, Mom. It’s a basic reproductive-freedom issue. Antilibidinals give you real freedom, freedom from the urge to reproduce. You should be glad I’m not sexually involved.”

People communicate with proxies called mooks:

He flicked on Eddy’s mediator, to boot the wallscreen. Before he could try anything with the cablebox, his mother’s mook pounced upon the screen. On Eddy’s giant wallscreen, the mook’s waxy, computer-generated face looked like a plump satin pillowcase. Its bowtie was as big as a racing shoe.


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