New Charles Stross SF Novel

Accelerando

I haven't read ten pages yet, but can't resist typing in a quote --

...Russia has been back under the thumb of the apparatchiks for fifteen years now, its brief flirtation with anarchocapitalism replaced by Brezhnevite dirigisme and Putinesque puritanism, and it's no surprise that the wall's crumbling -- but it looks like they haven't learned anything from the current woes afflicting the United States. The neocommies still think in terms of dollars and paranoia. Manfred is so angry that he wants to make someone rich, just to thumb his nose at the would-be defector. See! You get ahead by giving! Get with the program! Only the generous survive! But the KGB won't get the message. He's dealt with old-time commie weak-AIs before, minds raised on Marxist dialectic and Austrian School economics. They're so thoroughly hyponotized by the short-term victory of global capitalism that they can't surf the new paradigm, look to the longer term.
Manfred walks on, hands in pockets, brooding. He wonders what he's going to patent next...

... Along the way, his glasses bring him up to date on the news. Europe has achieved peaceful political union for the first time ever: They're using this unprecedented state of affairs to harmonize the curvature of bananas....

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It's close to unreadable (I

It's close to unreadable (I stuck with it for 100 pages or so regardless). Personally, I find it exemplifies all the reasons I'm not a fan of cyberpunk: it's gratuitously and implausibly dark and dystopian, and it goes for the shock at every opportunity - either grossout or gee-whiz or both. Cyberpunk novels tend to be so preoccupied with tossing out far-out ideas, which are often little more than simplistic straight-line extrapolations of current trends at the time of writing, that the storytelling gets lost. It's just like any other form of ideological extremism - the content gets lost in the presentation. It's hard sci-fi's strident, heavily-pierced little brother.

Is that standard english?

Is that standard english? :idea:

Accelerando is,

Accelerando is, unfortunately, the worst Charlie Stross novel ever.

Which is not to say that it's unreadable - it's still better than 80% of the SF novels out there...but it meanders, has flat cardboard characters, has no real plot, has authorial political and economic hobbyhorses throughout, etc.

Blech.

Iron Sunrise, now THAT was a

Iron Sunrise, now THAT was a good novel.

nmg