Bruce Sterling's 1998 novel *Distraction* was highly recommended to me by a friend who absolutely loved this book and thought since I'm a science fiction fan I might like it, too. Where *Distraction* really shines is that the number of plausible and implausible near-future ideas that Sterling crams into this novel -- particularly fascinating to me were some of the futuristic architecture ideas and the "proles," groups of people banded together by social network reputation ranking systems. While the characters, plot, and prose don't always hold up in *Distraction*, the sheer number of ideas and bizarre series of events kept me engaged throughout the book. Some of Sterling's observations absolutely have come true in some form or another, and his observations about the possible effect of political and scientific trends are thought-provoking. I also liked the attention to environment and his focus on setting parts of the novel in geographical regions that don't always get the near-future science fiction treatment.