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Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology Paperback – July 17, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 431 pages
  • Publisher: Tachyon Publications (July 17, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616960701
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616960704
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1.3 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #418,244 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Full of compelling and controversial stories.”
Publishers Weekly

“There are a few things I always look for in a high-quality anthology: First, it should have a wide range of selections that yet epitomize the theme of the anthology. Second, it should be a diverse collection of author and genre. Third, it should have a well-written introduction that acts as a thesis of sorts and adds to the literature on the subject. Digital Rapture has all these things....”
Nerds in Babeland

“Even those in the know will be enthralled by the visions of post-biological futures in this collection of short stories and essays. Sci-fi stalwarts James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel have assembled a definitive primer on the singularity, with contributions from top-tier scientists, futurists, and science-fiction writers.”
Cosmos

“...this book rocks for those who are looking for a primer on the subject. The facts explain the thinking, the fiction tries to figure out what all that thinking could mean. The strength of the book lies in this mashing together of the theorists’ theories and content creators’ creations.”
Book View Cafe

“It’s the kind of anthology that opens your mind so far that your brain feels like it’s going to fall out.”
Blogcritics

About the Author

James Patrick Kelly is the Hugo, Nebula, and Italia award–winning author of Burn, Think Like a Dinosaur, and Wildlife. He is a member of the faculty of the Stonecoast Creative Writing MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. He has co-edited a series of anthologies with John Kessel, described by the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction as “each surveying with balance and care a potentially disputed territory within the field.” Kelly is the technology columnist for Asimov’s Science Fiction magazine and the publisher of the e-book ’zine Strangeways.

John Kessel is a Nebula, Sturgeon, and Locus award winner and the author of Corrupting Dr. Nice, Good News From Outer Space, and The Pure Product. He teaches courses in science-fiction, fantasy, and fiction writing at North Carolina State University. His criticism has appeared in Foundation, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, the New York Review of Science Fiction, and Science Fiction Age.

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Customer Reviews

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Wickedly intelligent, edgy in style, often laugh-out-loud funny.
K. Bunker
The story explores whether beings with superhuman abilities will be bound by the same morality that we are.
Grace L. Troxel
Jim Kelly and John Kessel have done an outstanding job as editors of this marvelous anthology.
Lou J Berger

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Grace L. Troxel on September 2, 2012
Format: Paperback
I received an advance copy of "Digital Rapture" from the publishers at Tachyon in exchange for an honest review.

"Digital Rapture" is the type of anthology where the order of the selections conveys a greater meaning. The book explores the concept of Singularity, or the idea that humanity might one day be replaced by robots, taking the idea of evolution to a unique but still logical conclusion. The book is broken into four distinct sections: The End of the Human Era, The Post Humans, Across the Event Horizon, and The Others. Each section explores the idea of Singularity in greater depth and at a later point in time. It was interesting to be able to see the progression of the idea of Singularity, beginning from the notion that superhuman intelligences could exist and culminating in "The Inevitable Heat Death of the Universe."

As with any anthology, there were stories in this book that I loved as well as some that were rather "meh" or just went over my head. I'm going to talk about some of my favorites in the collection. It was hard for me to decide which to discuss here because so many were excellent!

"The Last Human" by Isaac Asimov is written in Asimov's typical style. Rather than focusing on specific characters, we see the progression and exploration of an idea as different humans throughout history ask a computer whether entropy can be reversed. I loved the ending.

"Thought and Action" by Olaf Stapledon is a selection from his larger novel entitled Odd John. The story explores whether beings with superhuman abilities will be bound by the same morality that we are. In this story, John rationalizes committing a murder, and we see that he truly doesn't believe that it was wrong.

"Sunken Gardens" by Bruce Sterling is set on Mars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bezdomny on October 14, 2012
Format: Paperback
A garnish of history, a side order of science, and a heaping helping of engaging fiction make this an excellent read.

Fans of James Patrick Kelly will not be disappointed; though these are not his words, the stories feel like something he might have written, or wished he had.

It's difficult to pick a favorite from such a diverse mix but "Cookie Monster" and "True Names" bubble to the top. Many of the lush worlds represented could support full length novels while others are just the right length.
I came away excited and also a little afraid of the coming revolution.

One note of caution: If you dislike even the slightest spoilers, skip the informative introductions at the beginning of each story and read them afterward.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Cassian Ardent on August 16, 2014
Format: Paperback
There is a tremendous variety of material in this anthology, and it varies tremendously in quality. Its contents are arranged in chronological order, and can be divided into fiction and nonfiction pieces. Rather than try to review the entire volume I'll just offer a few comments on the individual pieces.

The first and last of these stories, Isaac Asimov's ''The Last Question'' and Elizabeth Bear's ''The Inevitable Heat Death of the Universe,'' imagine a future so unimaginably distant that the universe has begun to wind down to the point of complete and total inertia. It is then ''rebooted'' through human technological agency. Such a view of the universe, that it is cylical, self-creating, and self-sustaining. would appear to be a necessary consequence of a secular culture - a universe that was not created by some external agency must be self-sustaining in some way. However, this notion is not easily squared with the observation that the universe is becoming, and must become, less organized and less energetic over time - so human agency gets introduced in order to resolve the difficulty. Elizabeth Bear's story was the more appealing of the two, at least to me. I enjoyed its sparse and lyrical weirdness. Of course we cannot really say anything meaningful about how the universe might wind up so many billion years from now. No doubt all our present notions will have to be radically revised in light of new discoveries at some point, and quite possibly within our lifetimes.

Day Million was fun, and it's written in Pohl's usual conversational style. If I can nitpick a bit, I think Pohl underestimates just how much of our modern world would, in fact, be comprehensible to the ancients. The Babylonians certainly knew what a bureaucracy was.
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By Taylor on September 24, 2013
Format: Paperback
Kelly and Kessel have put together another great anthology, following up on Feeling Very Strange, which brings together today's top writers working in the slipstream genre. Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology collects stories from classic SF writers such as Asimov, Sterling, Pohl, and Vinge alongside those of more modern writers like Rajaniemi, Doctorow, Bear, and Stross, providing a broad spectrum of views on the Singularity. Personal favorites in the anthology include "The Last Question" by Isaac Asimov and "The Server and the Dragon" by Hannu Rajaniemi. The Singularity is a hot issue in the field of AI and robotics, and Kelly and Kessel have selected the best of the best in the emerging genre of Singularity-centered fiction. Highly recommended for anyone interested in our potentially posthuman future.
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