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Scratch Monkey Hardcover – February 18, 2011

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: NESFA Press; First edition (February 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1886778957
  • ISBN-13: 978-1886778955
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,856,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. Richardson on April 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Note: read Accelerando (Singularity) first. Though the 2 aren't (explicitly) connected, the technological ideas essentially the same and are better explained in Accelerando, minus the tediously unnecessary expansive vocabulary used in Scratch Monkey.

Scratch Monkey pulls no punches as it explores the effects of the ability to live forever combined with the emergence of hyperintelligent AIs on humanity and the physical universe. Suffice it to say that the outcome isn't that bright for humans who live in the real world. Stross makes their existence as painful and difficult as possible. The most unpleasant parts of every scene are described in excruciating detail, making the book read like one continuous nightmare.

As in Accelerando (and in Saturn's Children), Stross continues his exploration of sexuality and gender, albeit without fewer transvestites than in the former and no virtual role switching. This time the main character - written about in the first person - is a bisexual female who survived hellish abuse as a child beggar and whose male lover dresses in drag.

As creative ideas and thought experiments (as most posthuman/distant future works are) go, Scratch Monkey is a tour de force. Stross clearly has a firm understanding of IT concepts, Newtonian space travel and (speculative?) human biology. That said, the space vehicles are horribly unimpressive, a fact which is the only reason I didn't give the book 5 stars.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover
(I have only read this novel prior to it's publication)

The best way to sum this up is to say that if you loved Accelerando, you'll love Scratch Monkey as well. Essentially a much darker, grittier novel that represents a sort of intellectual precursor to Accelerando. Many of the same ideas are present, but are not taken to their logical conclusion. In that way, it is probably a far more accessible book than Accelerando, though it's subject matter includes things like genocide which could perhaps make it unpalatable to some readers.

As far as style and imagery go: Top notch.
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