Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Accelerando by Charles Stross won the 2006 Locus award for best science fiction novel, which is why I happened to decide to read it. The book is readily available and I picked mine up at my local Borders, but it is also free online here, having been released by its author under a CC license. It's nice to be able to browse books online like that, but I don't read books online. I like curling up on the couch or in bed with my books.

I'm glad I discovered this author. I'll be looking for more by him.

from the back of the book:
The Singularity. It is the era of the posthuman. Artificial intelligences have surpassed the limits of human intellect. Biotechnological beings have rendered people all but extinct. Molecular nanotechnology runs rampant, replicating and reprogramming at will. Contact with extraterrestrial life grows more imminent with each new day.

Struggling to survive and thrive in this accelerated world are three generations of the Macx clan: Manfred, an entrepreneur dealing in intelligence amplification technology whose mind is divided between his physical environment and the Internet; his daughter, Amber, on the run from her domineering mother, seeking her fortune in the outer system as an indentured astronaut; and Sirhan, Amber's son, who finds his destiny linked to the fate of all of humanity.

For something is systematically dismantling the nine planets of the solar system. Something beyond human comprehension. Something that has no use for biological life in any form...

SFSite declares it:
Stross's latest and greatest statement in post-human science fiction
writing for people who know, understand, and love science fiction

Emerald City (oh! how I miss it!) has a review which says,
It is fast-paced, slick and thoroughly seductive. If you wanted to make a case for science fiction being a distinct and very different literary form, Accelerando is a book you would have to study. As for the rest of us, we’ll just add it to that list of seminal books that anyone wanting to understand SF has to read.

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