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Stross (Singularity Sky) explores humanity's inability to cope with molecular nanotechnology run amok in this teeming near-future SF stand-alone. In part one, "Slow Takeoff," "free enterprise broker" Manfred Macx and his soon-to-be-estranged wife/dominatrix, Pamela, lay the foundation for the next decade's transhumans. In "Point of Inflection," Amber, their punky maladjusted teenage daughter, and Sadeq Khurasani, a Muslim judge, engineer and scholar, try to escape the social chaos that antiaging treatments have wreaked on Earth by riding a tin can–sized starship via nanocomputerization to a brown dwarf star called Hyundai. The Wunch, trade-delegation aliens evolved from uploaded lobster mentalities, and Macx's grandson, Sirhan, roister through "Singularity," in which people become cybernetic constructs. Stross's three-generation experiment in stream-of-artificial-consciousness impresses, but his flat characters and inchoate rapid-fire explosions of often muzzily related ideas, theories, opinions and nightmares too often resemble intellectual pyrotechnics—breathtakingly gaudy but too brief, leaving connections lost somewhere in outer/inner/cyber space.
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*Starred Review* During the last five years, Stross has garnered a reputation as one of the most imaginative practitioners of hard sf. Expanded from several stories originally published in Asimov's Science Fiction, Stross' latest novel follows several generations of the Macx family through the rapidly transforming, Internet-enabled global economy of the early twenty-first century to the human and transhuman populated worlds of the outer solar system a half century later. The saga begins with Macx patriarch Manfred, a freelance "venture altruist," giving away patentable high-tech ideas in exchange for endless handouts while looking forward to the day when nanotech-programmed smart matter surpasses humanity in intelligence and productivity. Fifteen years later, his adolescent daughter Amber is an indentured astronaut trolling the orbit of Jupiter, and by 2070, Sirhan is Amber's permanently space-bound offspring, paying witness to the fruits of his grandfather's early innovations as something ominous and nonhuman is systematically dismantling the planets from Pluto to Earth. Stross has his thumb squarely on the pulse of technology's leading edge and exults in extrapolating mere glimmers of ideas out to their mind-bending limits. His brilliant and panoramic vision of uncontrollably accelerating technology vaults him into the front rank of sf trailblazers, alongside Gibson and Stephenson, and promises to become a seminal work in the genre. Carl Hays
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The key thing to understand about this book is that is has nothing to do with Singularity Books 1 and 2 ... I don't know why Amazon says it is "Singularity Book 3". Read morePublished 17 days ago by C. Walsh
A good premise but the novel tends to drown in its own jargon. It seems to be a bit full of itself.Published 18 days ago by Charles Montgomery
Absolutely loved this book. It's a challenging read, and it helps to know at least something about computers to understand it. Read morePublished 1 month ago by H. Caufield
This could have been so much more - kind of a letdown after the first two novels, but still worth a read. Read morePublished 2 months ago by John
This is one of the best science fiction books I've read in many years, but I'd like to please advise you to keep a dictionary close to your hands as you're slowly, carefully... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Matthew Purnell
Three generations of the Macx clan and their respective impact on (and being impacted by) the Singularity, where flesh and blood transforms into digital form - or not. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Carl A. Carter
Very provocative thoughts on trans-humanism and post-humanism. Piece is fiction, so can take assumptive leaps. Story is entertaining. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
On the negative side.... Expressing the craziness of the singularity makes the book disjointed, I thimk that is the point, still it makes the read harder, and chaoticPublished 5 months ago by D. Oblinger