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Glasshouse Mass Market Paperback – June 26, 2007
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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.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
Why, you say, should I read SF written before I was born? Because it's part of the history of the genre, and HISTORY IS IMPORTANT - that's the main point of the book!
The ideas include: what makes us human? Is it human shape? Is it being able to reproduce, creating other humans? Is it free will? Is there such a thing as free will? Stross does not concentrate on religion as much as Smith did, and Stross's ideas about it are a bit more simplistic, but he pays every bit as much attention to free will, and to being able to shape the environment one wants to live in.Read more ›
Despite the technological underpinnings, Glasshouse works better than Stross's prior novels in not overwhelming the reader with jargon. This isn't to say that Glasshouse skimps on extrapolative technologies of Stross's other SF work. The SF elements are omnipresent but there is less reliance on infodumps and where they are used they are enmeshed in the storyline. Its also refreshing to have a break from the deus ex machina of technological superiority that took some of the edge off of Singularity Sky and Accelerando.
Overall, Glasshouse is an excellent showing by Stross. It will undoubtedly be shortlisted for the Hugo and stands a good chance winning in 2007.
The technology in Stross' universe allows people to create or to become anything they can imagine, which really makes it more of a fantasy type of novel than anything else(there are blue centaurs and four armed people). You really have to check your brain at the door for a lot of the book.
He gets into the meaning of identity; physical appearances, external surroundings, memory, and he thoroughly screws with the three to entertaining results. He really doesn't get too deep or philosophical in his examination of identity, which I would have liked to see, but nevertheless he uses the constantly shifting appearances of his characters for a few fun twists. I also like how he envisions the future of warfare being almost exclusively psycological. Still, in the end it's the kind of book that you have to want to enjoy. The ending left me smiling at least.
Glasshouse is set later in the same univers as Accelerando, but the story is completely separate and it's not necessary to have read the earlier book. Robin wakes up in a clinic, recovering from memory surgery which has eliminated most of his memory for the period of about an old-fashioned human lifetime. He meets a woman, Kay, who's also recovering from (rather less extreme) memory surgery, and they hit it off--but he also quickly discovers that someone is trying to kill him. He suspects this is because of something he did during the blank period--the little he remembers hints that he was a soldier (a tank?) in the Censorship Wars. At the suggestion of his therapist, he signs on with an experimental social/historical reconstruction, which will put him in a safely sealed environment for a year or two. Kay says she's planning to sign on, too, and they agree to look for each other inside.
Robin wakes up inside the experiment as a woman, now named Reeve. The experiment is an attempt recreate the social culture of a period about which most information has been lost--1950 to 2050. The experimental subjects have to pair off as married couples, and live according to rules that are a nightmare version of 1950s, with technology that's closer to the early 21st century. Individuals gain or lose points according to how well they comply with the rules, and the entire cohort is scored by how well its members do overall. Reeve pairs off with a man named Sam, and suspects that a woman named Cass may be Kay.
Reeve gets off to a bad start because, quite simply, she can't believe how stupid the rules are. No nudity. No wearing the other gender's clothes.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very nice example of modern science fiction. This book really pushes the envelope and had me stopping to reflect on its ideas over and over again.Published 2 days ago by Elena Lenkova
Charles Stross is on of the best ones writing sf these days and this is a self-contained pretzel of a novel that will keep you guessing all the way. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Carol Denehy
Whoa! Just finished and still reeling from the mind-bending explosion of imagination that is this book. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Raillery
Really good novel - Stross is one of my favs. There are some creepy scenes, because you could imagine our tech and society heading there someday. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Elizabeth G.
This was a very interesting and fun story. It was a little slow to start but became very suspenseful. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
A long time fan of Stross and appreciate his energy and willingness to follow the premises to their potential manifestations. Read morePublished 9 months ago by PAV
Complex plot does not describe this book. This is the first novel I have ever read that when someone asks, 'hey, whats that book about?', I reply with, do you have a minute? Read morePublished 11 months ago by sarah maisano
Charles Stross is an excellent writer. Glasshouse is based on a very original premise. His writing comes across as intelligent and insightful. Read morePublished 12 months ago by JayBee3
I hate every smug thing about this book. Cannot finish it. It's like a speed junkie put every sci-fi trope he could think of into a blender and pushed "frappe. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Snaps