January 24th, 2005


Gradually accelerating or quickening in time

Some time ago, at the ever fabulous Plokta Con, I bumped into SF author Charlie Stross. He was somewhat drunk, and I had a PDA in my hand, so he kindly offered me a pre-production copy of Accelerando, the novel that had been partially serialised in Asimov's. I gleefully devoured it over the following few weeks, offered praise (and a few nitpicks) and told him that I'd tell all my friends to buy it when it came out (it being one of those genre-defining books that I so adore).

He, slightly snottily, pointed out that as the stories had been nominated for various awards, they hardly needed recommending by J random fan. I didn't have the heart to tell him that I knew almost nobody who even knew that the Hugos _are_, let alone what's been won (or even less, nominated), but that I did know a few people who bought books if I shouted about them loudly enough.

So I'm hereby shouting very loudly indeed about Accelerando. Which Charlie describes as a family saga that follows three generations of a dysfunctionally postmodern lineage right through a Vingean singularity, as recounted by the family's robot cat. It's much, much weirder than that, though. And he's completely correct - it starts present day (or just beyond) with something that reads like Wired magazine fed through a hyperactive shredder, and then takes the ideas forward, and then fast-forward, until you end up at some truly interesting places.

It's more a novel of ideas than plot, but it still manages decent characters and kept me going all the way to the end.

It's out in July, but I pre-ordered mine. It's worth it.