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Neptune's Brood Hardcover – July 2, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Hardcover (July 2, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425256774
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425256770
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #298,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Stross’ novel Saturn’s Children (2008) took place in a twenty-third century devoid of humans but replete with androids, including a professional sexual companion with no more biological customers left to service. This equally inventive follow-up occupies the same universe, albeit thousands of years later, featuring a new metahuman protagonist named Krina Alizond-114, whose consciousness can be beamed across light-years of space into newly fabricated bodies. When her sister, Ana, unaccountably goes missing, Krina sets out for Ana’s last known home base—the water world of Shin-Tethys—but she doesn’t get far before her ship is seized by pirates. While their captain, Count Rudi, chivalrously offers to ferry Krina to Shin-Tethys in order to meet Ana, his real motive is shadier: capturing a fabled and powerful monetary instrument called the Atlantis Carnet, of which Ana and Krina are part-owners. Readers new to Stross’ densely packed prose and profusion of ideas may want to switch to lighter fare. His many fans, however, will find the author’s usual wealth of futuristic scenarios and technological extrapolation enthralling. --Carl Hays

Review

Praise for Charles Stross

“Where Charles Stross goes today, the rest of science fiction will follow tomorrow.”—Gardner Dozois
 
“Stross sizzles with ideas.”—The Denver Post
 
“Charles Stross may be the science fiction field’s most exciting writer.”—SFRevu
 
“A new kind of future requires a new breed of guide—someone like Stross.”—Popular Science
 
“The act of creation seems to come easily to Charles Stross…[He] is peerless at dreaming up devices that could conceivably exist in six, sixty, or six hundred years’ time.”—The New York Times
 
“Stross’s brand of gonzo techno-speculation makes hallucinogens obsolete.”—Cory Doctorow, New York Times bestselling author of Pirate Cinema

More About the Author

Charles Stross, 49, is a full-time science fiction writer and resident of Edinburgh, Scotland. The author of six Hugo-nominated novels and winner of the 2005 and 2010 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).

Customer Reviews

Great book if one has time on one's hands.
donald eichelberger
Stross is generally very good at exploring and extrapolating the impact of economics in futuristic societies.
hgaphoto
The plot twists are good and the characters are very three dimensional.
Richard Leon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 34 people found the following review helpful By D. Harris on July 5, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is a follow up (not a sequel) set in the same universe as Stross's earlier Saturn's Children (and for completeness, a short story, "Bit Rot" in the anthology Engineering Infinity fits in between and is mentioned in passing here).

It is several thousand years in the future. Humanity has become extinct - and been recreated - several times. Taking our place is a flourishing society of post-humans, originally robots created to do our bidding (as described in "Saturn's Children"). They are tougher than us, better able to survive the rigours of interplanetary travel and able to be transferred, as software, from one body to another. Yet their design was originally based on ours, and they share all our failings and feelings (subject, of course, to the effects of a tweak here or there to increase empathy or decrease libido - the better to focus on the task in hand).

Krina Alizond and her kind inhabit a society that is enthusiastically colonizing the galaxy, establishing toeholds in remote systems where "beacons" and constructed to which colonists can be "beamed" and downloaded into freshly grown bodies. it's a lucrative trade, financed by massive debt, and Stross goes to some lengths to explain the economic basis of the whole thing. Debt is key here, as the brave new post human world is nakedly capitalist: newly created "persons" are owned by their progenitors until they have paid off the costs of their instantiation; newly founded colonies are also deeply in debt, which they pay off, generally, by founding daughter colonies which are in debt to them.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Poppyx TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I don't usually think of Stross as funny, but this is barkingly funny. I mean, "laugh-out-loud", which is not something one usually associates with science fiction.

This is a slightly insane romp through several different cultures and biospheres; if you are looking for unusual world-building it definitely does not disappoint. Our hero(ine) goes from something that sounds like a hyper-computerized Japan to a floating catacomb to a waterworld, and that's only halfway through the book.

Also, one of the main conceits is that, well, no one has figured out an Alcubierre Drive. There is no ftl, which is what seems to make most current science fiction dated. (If you actually pay attention to real science, we probably can't have ftl, without ripping apart stars for power.) This has a very neat solution to that, which I'll leave to the reader to discover.

Well done.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By scott on July 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
With Neptune's Brood, Charles Stross has managed the improbable task of making interstellar finance exciting. He also breathes further life into a universe he first introduced us to in "Saturn's Children", exploring the worlds our children, the robots, have created as they colonized the stars--albeit very slowly, usually at about 1% of the speed of light. It is this odd mixture of global (galactic) finance, Ponzi schemes, interstellar settlement, duplicity by all too human robots, and the very real limits the speed of light imposes on all of these things in the year 7000 AD that is the subject matter of this fascinating book.

The tale begins with the story of Krina Alizond, a robot that could well be afflicted with Asperger's Syndrome and forensic accountant extraordinaire, who plans a small adventure to find her sister, rescue a lost financial transaction, and become fabulously wealthy. Of course, very little goes smoothly for Krina, and she ends up being pursued by several factions who would also dearly love to lay their hands on the stupendous fortune of "slow" money she may (or may not) have found. In the process of trying to escape those who would harm her, she ends up working on a flying interstellar church crewed by skeletons, tangling with nearly immortal hereditary rulers of planets, and venturing far beneath the surface of a planetary ocean that naturally spawns super critical nuclear reactions.

But at its heart, this novel is very much a satire. Robots may be artificially created, but they are very human in their desires and frailties.
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21 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Healey on July 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The disclaimer: I am a longtime and ardent fan of Charles Stross books. I've read nearly every one and I look forward to new ones. I am not, however, a fan of Neptune's Brood.
The premise was sound - great potential for some funny bits, a good launching pad for sniping at convention. And all that's in there. But what one has to slog through to get there simply isn't worth it. Mr. Stross, I imagine you have a pretty intelligent audience overall - you don't need to explain, then explain again, then needlessly overexplain yet again throughout the book. We get it. I was determined to finish the book in spite of the feeling that I was wasting my time after just having gotten through a third of it. And I did - to no avail.
Bottom line: I recommend each and every one of his books... except this one.
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