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Accelerando (Singularity) Mass Market Paperback – June 27, 2006
"Across the Winding River" by Aimie K. Runyan
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“Stross sizzles with ideas…whimsical and funny as well as challenging and thoughtful.”—The Denver Post
“Like Bruce Sterling or William Gibson at their best, Stross surfs a wave of ideas and information that seems always on the brink of collapsing into incomprehensibility, but never does—a careening plunge through strangeness in which every page contains something to mess with your head.”—SF Site
About the Author
- Publisher : Ace; Reprint edition (June 27, 2006)
- Language : English
- Mass Market Paperback : 415 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0441014151
- ISBN-13 : 978-0441014156
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 4.3 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #258,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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On a silly note, it is noted in the early stages of the acceleration to the Singularity that Manfred, the genius inventor and innovator, has developed a set of "algorithms" that enables the "non-coercive" central planning of an economy. Of course, toward the end of the book after much more accelerating technical progress, the same Manfred, in order to explore an extra-galactic world, says (P. 370): "If we win the election, we'll have the resources we need to do that." Apparently, the non-voters for his scheme somehow will not be coerced into giving up those resources, or perhaps Manfred (and Stross) have a different definition of coercive.
On a final note, this book attempts to explore the power, and potential malevolence, of trans-human (accelerated AI) intelligence. Perhaps we humans should be fearful of all-powerful trans-human intelligence. I've read that there's a cult in California (where else!) that pre-emptively worships super-AI, so that "we (humans) will be treated as pets and not livestock."
Iron Sunrise was by far the best book of the series. Its plot line and characters were intriguing, and it hinted that some race (the Remastered or perhaps their "gods") was able to hide events from the Eschaton and maybe even threaten or destroy them. This turned out to be a major, dangling plot thread that was never addressed in Accelerando. The lack of follow-up was very disappointing.
So Accelerando is the back-story for books 1 and 2. Pre and post singularity events play out, starting on Earth and spreading out vastly, that presumably lead to the rise of the Eschaton. But that eventuality is only very loosely implied by the ending, and the Eschaton is never actually encountered in book 3.
Top reviews from other countries
What does A.I REALLY mean? What does acceleration of technological change actually offer? Now biological evolution seems to have been arrested by our control of the environment, what will deliberate evolution do to our future?
These are questions explored through following one man from a recognisable near future through to near-transcendence. The necessary legal and ethical challenges are covered in the authors well practiced engaging credible entertaining narrative manner. Family and dynastic issues illustrate some points. But this is a likely future, no 'warp' bypass reality cheats; this really could be where our grandchildren end up. And it is a NEW Unexpected but perfectly logical vision. For that reason alone 5* but it is well written and gripping.
Mr Stross, I liked you before, but this is not your run of the mill. It is a departure from your other work. It is a thoughtful MASTERPIECE: I salute you.
This book covers the stage from after when the acceleration has become noticeable, to -um- later.
There are other books out there that approach the topic through a slice in time, or after the signularity has occurred. This is one of very few that climbs the curve.
I have always liked Stross's works. They cover a wide variety of themes. One of the best books I have read since the lockdown. Quite enthusiastically recommended.
Not as simplistic as the Laundry series (which I also enjoy) and with possible influences from Hannu Rajaniemi and Iain Banks amongst others, this is outstanding hard core science fiction.
Accelerando represents near-future science fiction at its very best. Charles Stross takes an idea, and like a prop forward in a rugby game he holds tight and runs forward with it. Only an author completely at home with his genre can write a book like this, and the way in which Charlie takes the idea of the increasing power of computing and information technology and basically lights a fire under it is gripping. From the beginning with an always-connected genius spinning off new ideas and patents right through to a solar system that is almost all converted to smart, computing matter, the scope of this book explodes from page to page.
I won't spoil it by giving a synopsis of who did what and when as that'll spoil it. However if I could give this book six stars I would. it's simply epic.