Singularity Sky

Singularity Sky

3.8 28
by Charles Stross
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

In the twenty-first century, life as we know it was changed forever by two events: the discovery of faster-than-light travel and the creation of the Eschaton, an artificial intelligence that achieved independent sentience. Four hundred years later, the far-flung human colonies that arose as a result of these two extraordinary occurrences are scattered over three

Overview

In the twenty-first century, life as we know it was changed forever by two events: the discovery of faster-than-light travel and the creation of the Eschaton, an artificial intelligence that achieved independent sentience. Four hundred years later, the far-flung human colonies that arose as a result of these two extraordinary occurrences are scattered over three thousand years of time, across a thousand parsecs of space. One such colony, the New Republic, exists in self-imposed isolation. Founded by men and women suffering from an acute case of future shock, the member-planets wanted no part of the Eschaton or the technological advances that followed its creation. But their backward ways are severely compromised when they are attacked by an information plague that calls itself The Festival. As advanced technologies suppressed for generations begin literally to fall from the sky, the colony slips into revolutionary turmoil. Help is on the way, however, in the form of a battle fleet dispatched from Earth. Or is it? Secret plans, hidden agendas, and ulterior motives abound, both on the rescue ships and among the populace of the beleaguered colony. And watching it all is the Eschaton, which has its own very definite ideas about mankind's future...

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781841493343
Publisher:
Gardners Books
Publication date:
02/03/2005
Series:
Singularity Series

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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Singularity Sky 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 28 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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.

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.

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.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago