Saturday, April 08, 2006

Book Review: Accelerando

Title: Accelerando
Author: Charles Stross
Grade: F-
Summary: Unreadable

I'm no real fan of the Singularity, but Charles Stross has written a number of pretty good stories around it, so I was looking forward to a good book. Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise are both excellent, so I figured this would be pretty good.

I could not get past page 40 in this. My current operating theories for this disconnect is that a) he's had a massive stroke, b) he lost the draft in a hard drive crash and had to rewrite the entire thing from scratch in an entire night, c) he won the Lotto and just doesn’t care any more or d) aliens ate his brain.

Its flaw was simple, it was logically inconsistent. Too many technological rabbits out of the same, tired hat, weird views of intellectual property, unrealistic views of human motivation and, what made it unreadable to me, too many A implies B errors. If technology B exists and logically depends on A, the effects of A must be seen in other places. In Stross' novel sentient AIs are common as pennies, depressingly so, yet none of them reach the critical point. Nope didn't buy it.

Doubtless many pro-singularity friends could read this and enjoy it and will probably take issue with my review. I'm not down on Stross who I still think is a good author, just this novel which I didn't

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Accelerando" sounds like one of the made-up spells JK Rowling decided to leave out of her book because it sounded "reallylameo".