Reviews & Overviews by Rod Cameron

Accelerando – Charles Stross

Charles Stross is a professional author who has written a number of excellent novels, including Singularity Sky, Iron Sun and now Accelerando. Accelerando is set in the near future where the hero Manfred Macx is an ideas man. He puts people in touch with each other and generally spreads ideas around, but he tries to keep these ideas open, for free access. He receives no money in payment, but everyone owes him, and he manages to live in some style. Although he is being chased by the IRS for back taxes that he claims not to owe. Ironically he is being chased by a very dominant woman who is briefly his wife. He uses cyber-glasses with data storage in his belt. As the rate of technological change accelerates over the years, he upgrades his kit, himself with implants, and his pet robo-cat with anything he can lay his hands on.

At some point, he or his descendants become post-human with uploaded personalities, multiple incarnations and a lot of fancy electronic paraphernalia. I suppose the main thread of the story is that of technology converting the solar system into higher and higher densities of MIPS – processing cycles. The planets are broken down into building blocks for computing power. But it is also how humanity could cope or at least survive with this relentless avalanche. And of course, an alien civilisation is discovered, or at least the remnants of one. This is an extremely powerful novel of where technology could take us. There are even regular sections in the book that give an instructive technical briefing on each decade. On top of these strands we have the more personal stories of the Macx family and its cat…

This is an excellent book. Complex, powerful and technologically dense it paints a very graphic picture of what late 21st century future shock could be like. I cannot recommend this book too highly.

Publisher: Orbit
Date: 2005
Pages: 433 Pages
Price: £6.99
Format: Paperback
Reviewed by: Rod Cameron
Date Reviewed: July 2006

Copyright : Roderick Alasdair Cameron 2001 - 2012         

Copyright : Roderick Alasdair Cameron 2001 - 2015         

Copyright : Roderick Alasdair Cameron 2001 - 2015