Singularity Sky

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Overview

Four hundred years in the future, time travel has been perfected and groundbreaking developments in Artificial Intelligence have been made. But is this a great step forward for humanity--or its ultimate downfall?

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Singularity Sky

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Overview

Four hundred years in the future, time travel has been perfected and groundbreaking developments in Artificial Intelligence have been made. But is this a great step forward for humanity--or its ultimate downfall?

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Set 400 years in the future, Scottish author and computer journalist Charles Stross' debut novel, Singularity Sky, is a highly intelligent space opera with a decidedly twisted sense of humor. It poses the question: What happens when visiting aliens demand to be entertained?

After humankind discovers faster-than-light travel, a godlike race of post-humans called the Eschaton issue a warning of causality violations (time travel) by instantly removing 9 billion humans from Earth and relocating them throughout the galaxy on countless low-tech colonies. The next transgression with time travel will mean total destruction.

Centuries later, one such backwater colony called the New Republic has been doing its best to suppress information -- and ideas -- from the general populace. But when a nomadic group of aliens known as the Festival make a remote planet in the New Republic their temporary home, generations of repression fly out the window. Ringing telephones start falling out of the sky all over the planet. On the other end of the line, Festival members ask to be entertained. Any new information -- be it scientific theories, fairy tales, or local mythology -- is rewarded with anything the respondent desires. Anything!

Singularity Sky is a truly visionary look at the future of humankind. Stross' vision, however, has its fair share of comic elements. Painting on a vast canvas of hard science, Stross lets his colorful imagination go wild by introducing the Festival, an intergalactic traveling road show that would put Grateful Dead followers to shame. What transpires once they arrive at Rochard's World is worth the price of the book alone! Paul Goat Allen

The Washington Post
The book's strengths include Stross's considerable humor, his cutting-edge knowledge of modern science (he knows how a working interstellar vehicle would power up, and how quantum entanglement might be used to communicate faster than light) and a flair for moving things along. — Gregory Feeley
Publishers Weekly
In his first novel, British author Stross, one of the hottest short-story writers in the field, serves up an energetic and sometimes satiric mix of cutting-edge nanotechnology, old-fashioned space opera and leftist political commentary reminiscent of Ken MacLeod. Spaceship engineer Martin Springfield and U.N. diplomat Rachel Mansour hail from an Earth that has gone through the Singularity, an accelerated technological and social evolution far beyond anything we can imagine. The Singularity was triggered by the Eschaton, a super-powerful being descended from humanity that can travel in time and that essentially rules the universe. Springfield and Mansour meet on the home world of the New Republic, a repressive, backwater society that has outlawed virtually all advanced technology other than that necessary for interstellar warfare. When one of the New Republic's colonial worlds is besieged by the Festival, an enigmatic alien intelligence, the Republic counterattacks, using time travel in an attempt to put its warships in position to catch the Festival by surprise. Springfield and Mansour, working for different masters, have both been assigned the task of either diffusing the crisis or sabotaging the New Republic's warfleet, no matter what the cost. As a newcomer to long fiction, Stross has some problems with pacing, but the book still generates plenty of excitement. (Aug. 5) Forecast: In a blurb, Michael Swanwick calls Stross "the Next Big Thing in science fiction," a notion seconded by James Patrick Kelly and Gardner Dozois. He may well be right, but this novel isn't it. Stross is also the author of the story collection Toast: And Other Rusted Futures (2002). Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
When an information plague called "The Festival" strikes the isolationist planetary colony of the New Republic, the world's economy quickly descends into chaos, and its populace becomes a hotbed of revolution against its government. A fleet of battleships approaches the beleaguered planet, but political intrigues and hidden agendas hinder the efforts to combat the plague. Set in a far-future where faster-than-light technology and artificial intelligence have molded the course of civilization, Stross's debut novel explores the concept of freedom of information and the human race's desire to forge its own destiny. This far-future visionary novel belongs in most sf collections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780441011797
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/29/2004
  • Series: Singularity Series , #1
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 352
  • Sales rank: 537,606
  • Product dimensions: 6.74 (w) x 10.92 (h) x 0.94 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Stross was born in Leeds, England in 1964. He holds degrees in pharmacy and computer science, and has worked in a variety of jobs including pharmacist, technical author, software engineer, and freelance journalist. He is now a full-time writer.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 28 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Innovative and imaginative

    During the mid-twenty first century, a superhuman intelligence that calls itself the Echelon makes it¿s presence known to the inhabitants of Earth in a big way. Nine of the ten billion people on Earth disappear and it is discovered that they are involuntary colonists on thousands of worlds. The Eschaton warns the humans that if they try and figure out causality (time travel) and use it, they will be destroyed.<P> When one planet did exactly that, the Eschaton destroyed thirty planets making up that solar system. The empire of the New Republic wants no part of advanced technology and it keeps the inhabitants in the member worlds on a level with Tsarist Russia. One of the most technologically backward planets of The New Republic, Rochard¿s World, is being deluged by an information plague known as the Festival. The fatherland planet is sending its warships to destroy the festival but two people onboard one of the starships have a different agenda that must be carried out if they don¿t want the Eschaton to take hostile action.<P> SINGULARITY SKY is a fascinating space opera that immediately grabs and keeps the attention of the reader. The Eschaton is an ingenious concept and it would be terrific if the author would write another book involving it at a more intimate level. The idea of the Festival, a non-sentient communication repair machine is very original and it is interesting to see how the people of Rochard¿s world react to the information overload. Charles Stross is a very creative and innovative storyteller.<P> Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2013

    While this book wasn't bad, it's not one that I would recommend

    While this book wasn't bad, it's not one that I would recommend to friends. There were just too many places where the writing was confusing, as if the author had just thrown science out the window.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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