Islands in the Net by Bruce Sterling

I wonder if the political and philosophical parallels between much of the sci-fi and non-fiction that I enjoy are coincidence, or an active part of what keeps me reading both? Would my life have been any different if I'd discovered the cyber-punk genre as a Ga Tech student in the late 80's? Wow, imagine that. Anyway, this is a cool story, but I mostly enjoyed Sterling's exploration of the political philosophy and strategy employed by the various characters and groups in the novel. Comparable to the Mars series in balance between pleasure reading and thought-provoking. And that is praise from me.