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Iron Sunrise (Singularity) Mass Market Paperback – June 28, 2005

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Product Details

  • Series: Singularity (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Ace (June 28, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441012965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441012961
  • Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 1.2 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #700,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Best known for his short fiction, Stross shows that he's a master of the novel form as well in this exciting sequel to 2003's acclaimed Singularity Sky, serving up compelling space opera and cutting-edge tech with a tasty dash of satire. In the 24th century, a McWorld ("bland, comfortable, tolerant... boring") called New Moscow apparently has been destroyed by trade rival New Dresden—but not before New Moscow launched its own Slower-Than-Light (STL) counterstrike: a massive ship accelerated to 80% the speed of light. The U.N., now central Earth government, knows New Dresden was set up. They need the STL's recall code, now known only to a handful of New Moscow's ambassadors—but someone has been systematically assassinating them. U.N. special operative Rachel Mansour and her husband, engineer Martin Springfield, must protect the last living ambassador and find out who's really responsible for the whole mess. Stross skillfully balances suspense and humor throughout, offering readers—especially fans of Iain M. Banks and Ken MacLeod—a fascinating future that seems more than possible.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

The sequel to the critically acclaimed Singularity Sky [BKL Ag 03] returns to the twenty-fourth-century interstellar domain humankind has forged through the godlike powers of the Eschaton, an enigmatic being from humanity's distant future. Now, in an act of apparent sabotage, one remote interstellar colony, Moscow, has met a disastrous fate: its host star exploded, annihilating an entire solar system and forcing the evacuation of nearby colonies. UN hostage negotiator Rachel Mansour, who is recovering from a showdown with a psychotic performance artist harboring a nuclear warhead, is tagged to make the wormhole jaunt to the scene and investigate. Is one of Moscow's rival colonies responsible? Is the Eschaton? Improbably, the answers to such questions may lie with Wednesday, a rambunctious adolescent girl whose family is fleeing the expanding explosion, and between whose story and Rachel's the novel alternates. Stross improves on Singularity Sky with better characterizations and entertaining technological inventiveness. Fans of hard sf spiced by political intrigue will relish this dish. Carl Hays
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

It's a good story, with likeable and interesting characters.
J. Renaut
This is an enjoyable book, lot sof ideas and a lot going on, but I just don't quite "get" what Stross is going for.
Blaine D. Whitney
Unfortunately, I found it just a little bit more forgettable with a little more polish applied.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The first volume in this series - Singularity Sky - read a bit unevenly, because Stross had a lot of explaining to do to get the reader in synch with his reality. After all, a possible future with has mankind spread throughout the galaxy not by his own ingenuity but by an irate being called the Eschaton, which was someone else's god, but took exception to the way we were learning how to abuse time travel in the process of learning how to exceed the speed of light. Since the Eschaton was not about to let itself be erased by the modification of history it seized the moment and moved nine tenths of the Earth elsewhere.

Since space travel is time travel, the far flung groups moved not just huge distances, but large amounts of time as well. Thus, just as the Earth was recovering from the mass exodus, humans from distant worlds made it back to the solar system, and the universe started to get smaller again. And stranger. There was a lot to explain, and Charles Stross does like to expound on the 'science' of his works.

With that work behind him, the stage is set for this volume, which is a lot more space opera and a lot less explanation. Once again a series of events points to an attack on the Eschaton, and Rachel Mansour and her husband Martin are recalled from their day jobs to investigate the destruction of one world and the immanent obliteration of another.

The the real star of the book is Wednesday Shadowmist, who first saw her entire world destroyed by an intentional supernova, and then her saw her family destroyed by agents from the ReMastered, a dangerous and effective cult intent on building an empire.
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29 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Conrad J. Obregon VINE VOICE on May 31, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The type of science fiction that I enjoy the most shows a future society that is changed by technology in a way that illuminates our present society. I also enjoy a story about a future society that by its changes from our present society reveals the human condition and human behavior by showing us how people behave in the new society. If you add the hero on a quest who discovers himself because of the nature of the quest, I'm really happy. If all an author does is update an old genre, like cowboys and Indians to spacemen and aliens, the update better be clever and original. All of this is by way of saying that while I did not particularly care for Iron Sunrise, some readers might enjoy it.

The McGuffin (a word that Alfred Hitchcock used to describe a plot device that misleads the audience to believe that it is what the work is about) is the inducement of a super nova in a star that destroys one world and threatens the destruction of several others, directly or indirectly. But basically, this is a classic espionage novel. A craft travels from stop to stop and at each destination a diplomat is killed. A counterespionage agent, who becomes a guide to a non-professional, is assigned to catch the killers, and after a few missteps, the villains are caught. In the spy novels set in the 20th century the craft was a ship or train, but here it's a space ship. Instead of pistols the folks use various kinds of high-tech zappers. Otherwise the story is unchanged.

The civilian hero swept up into the story is a Goth girl, who sounds like the nightmare of most parents. Unfortunately, although she saves the day, she doesn't seem to be any further along the road to self discovery at the end of the novel than she was at the beginning.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Elze Hamilton on January 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Instead of just posting my own opinion, I will present a summary of discussion that took place in a reading group I am a part of.

The human angle

One reader liked that this book drives a point home that you can't assume anything about people's motivations. Especially when the people in question are very alien, living in a society that's very dissimilar to your own. He thinks this novel is a lot about how much the human mind projects order and organization where there is none. How much of it is about ascribing motivation where none exists. And the novel teaches you not to do it.

For example, Herman is supposedly Wednesday's friend, but he is a direct representative of Eschaton, so he does not necessarily have any human motivations, and Wednesday's well-being is probably not a high priority for him. Then again, as somebody pointed out, if Herman's gonna work with humans, he has to have some sort of understanding, empathy...

Another reader found the multiplying plot twists tiresome. It was hard to keep up with so many twists, he said. Oh, we're in favor of these people! Oh, wait, watch out for those people. Oh, we knew those people were really bad. But they're really bad for a different reason than we thought. Etc.

Some readers took to heart the warning Stross sends out to the humankind in the form of the ReMastered. They argued it wouldn't be difficult for our society to degenerate into something like the ReMastered dictatorship with its mind control. It would start slowly: we might like to prevent rapists from raping, murderers from murdering, and then it would creep up on humanity.
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More About the Author

Charles Stross, 50, is a full-time science fiction writer and resident of Edinburgh, Scotland. The author of six Hugo-nominated novels and winner of the 2005, 2010, and 2015 Hugo awards for best novella, Stross's works have been translated into over twelve languages.

Like many writers, Stross has had a variety of careers, occupations, and job-shaped-catastrophes in the past, from pharmacist (he quit after the second police stake-out) to first code monkey on the team of a successful dot-com startup (with brilliant timing he tried to change employer just as the bubble burst).

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