Accelerando by Charles Stross

Charles Stross takes technological civilization off the deep end. Again.

Pages: 390 (Hardback)
Publisher: Ace
ISBN: 0-441-01284-1

As a big fan of Iron Sunrise and other Stross works, I dove right into Accelerando with gusto. And shortly, my head exploded.

This book is like WIRED magazine on nootropics and a six pack of Red Bull, pushed to the redline and beyond. I'm not sure I'm technologically hip enough to even weigh in on this. Imagine every cutting-edge technological/cultural meme you've ever encountered, hopped up on a vast helping of singularity-careening processing power and networking, and pushed into the future at near-lightspeed by Stross' rapid plot developments. Though technically a sequential collection of short stories (three sets of three, probably a multi-tri-dimensional meme I haven't totally grasped) this book reads more like a single novel than many collections, somewhat evoking the timeline of Poul Anderson's Boat of a Million Years or even Robinson's Years of Rice and Salt. It follows three generations of a (dysfunctional) family as Earth's culture passes through The Singularity, a common theme in Stross' books. The Eschaton, a fixture in Iron Sunrise and Singularity Sky, is not present in these stories.

I'd like to say I greatly enjoyed this book -- all of the technorati seem to, but really it just made my head spin until I was slightly nauseous. The final denouement still makes me scratch my head and wonder if I really grasped the entire point of the book. Make sure your have your Whuffie factor optimized and your Twitter feed up to the moment before diving in, or you might get buzzkilled by the intense neophility. I think I just coined that word. Let that be my contribution. Stross is clearly cooler than I, and probably thou too.

This book is so hip it has even been released online under the Creative Commons License:


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