Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Accelerando by Charles Stross

I've been reading an incredibly strange, intense and imaginative science fiction book for the last couple of weeks - Accelerando by Charles Stross (nominated and short listed for numerous science fiction awards when it was released in 2005). It is the type of book that requires you to suspend comprehension for significant portions because the language and set of ideas is completely foreign at first. However, as you progress through it, it starts to make sense, suck you in and carry you away. Would I recommend this book to others to read? Only if you are interested in hyper-science fiction cyberpunk writing that explores the impact of accelerated technological change across multiple generations. If so, definitely. It is a must read.

In an effort to summarize the book in one paragraph, I grabbed this quote from the free eBook copy, which you can find at the link above.
"Here we are, sixty something human minds. We've been migrated – while still awake – right out of our own heads using an amazing combination of nanotechnology and electron spin resonance mapping, and we're now running as software in an operating system designed to virtualize multiple physics models and provide a simulation of reality that doesn't let us go mad from sensory deprivation! And this whole package is about the size of a fingertip, crammed into a starship the size of your grandmother's old Walkman, in orbit around a brown dwarf just over three light-years from home, on its way to plug into a network router created by incredibly ancient alien intelligences, and you can tell me that the idea of a fundamental change in the human condition is nonsense?"

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