Accelerando

Accelerando

by Charles Stross

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Overview

Accelerando by Charles Stross

The Singularity. It is the era of the posthuman. Artificial intelligences have surpassed the limits of human intellect. Biotechnological beings have rendered people all but extinct. Molecular nanotechnology runs rampant, replicating and reprogramming at will. Contact with extraterrestrial life grows more imminent with each new day.

Struggling to survive and thrive in this accelerated world are three generations of the Macx clan: Manfred, an entrepreneur dealing in intelligence amplification technology whose mind is divided between his physical environment and the Internet; his daughter, Amber, on the run from her domineering mother, seeking her fortune in the outer system as an indentured astronaut; and Sirhan, Amber’s son, who finds his destiny linked to the fate of all of humanity.

For something is systematically dismantling the nine planets of the solar system. Something beyond human comprehension. Something that has no use for biological life in any form...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781519738523
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 12/09/2015
Pages: 406
Product dimensions: 8.50(w) x 11.00(h) x 0.83(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About 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.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

“A cornucopia of notions and neat writing.”—The San Diego Union-Tribune

“Makes hallucinogens obsolete.”—Cory Doctorow

“Stross sizzles with ideas…whimsical and funny as well as challenging and thoughtful.”
The Denver Post

“Like Bruce Sterling or William Gibson at their best, Stross surfs a wave of ideas and information that seems always on the brink of collapsing into incomprehensibility, but never does—a careening plunge through strangeness in which every page contains something to mess with your head.”—SF Site

Customer Reviews

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Accelerando 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 29 reviews.
SteveTheDM More than 1 year ago
This was an odd novel... It clearly shows its roots as a series of connected short stories; each of the first three chapters especially --- they all have a clear narrative arc with satisfying conclusions when they finish. It isn't until later in the book that things start to actually look like a novel. The book also has an odd metamorphosis, as the narrative starts in the near future and then moves along to post-singularity humanity. Kind of by definition, that means that I can relate to the people in the start of the book, but by the end there's so much hand-waving about how things work, that that ability to relate has faded significantly. It wound up giving me an odd response at the end of the book: while I was still very interested in the story, I really wanted it to hurry up and end! Ultimately, it was a good read, and I think Stross actually did a good job extrapolating out what the future might hold, even if it is mostly hand-waving. He makes interesting characters (for the most part), and kept finding ways to keep his humans puzzling out their issues. It wasn't my favorite Stross book, but it was solid. 4/5 stars.
EngineerDave More than 1 year ago
As a long time reader of science fiction of many genres, I was really surprised and delighted by this, my first novel by Charles Stross (I now plan to read many more). It is set in a future world where nanotechnology has made it possible to create physical goods of any kind at no cost. What a great boon to mankind, to be able to conjure up any physical item desired. But, as you might guess, this comes at a price - the nanotechnology is self-creating its own intelligence, which then competes with humans for dominance of the galaxy. A thoroughly engrossing and enjoyable read.
harstan More than 1 year ago
On the dawn of the new millennium, technology has outpaced humanity¿s ability to keep up with it. Implants plug humans into the internet at all times. Artificial Intelligences have become smarter than its creators and people upload themselves into the neural net leaving their bodies behind. People can replicate themselves and live on two different time tracks and the ability to contact alien species is just a heartbeat away................ The three generations of the Macx clan have done their best to adjust to a brave new world. Manfred is working tirelessly to get the franchise for uploaded minds while his daughter Amber has sold herself into indentured servitude to get away from her mother who wants her to follow in her footsteps as an unaugmented human. Sirhan, the product of another Amber who didn¿t go through the wormhole has brought the family together from various incarnations to help them make the history museum on Saturn a reflection of the history of the humans. The Macx family also must find away to pull away from whatever is dismantling the solar system to create a Matrioshke brain that is clearly more brilliant than humans in all their various forms................... This novel has appeared as short stories in Asimov¿s Science Fiction magazine from 2001-2005. Each story has been extended with its own chapter in a seamless plot. The individual members of the Macx family and those who came into their orbit show three generations of technological change and how it affects society. All three Macx characters are fully developed and have their own distinct personalities but when they come together they are a force to be reckoned with. Charles Stross has written the singular most explosive work of his career.................. Harriet Klausner
Shrike58 on LibraryThing 5 days ago
This book has been getting a lot of acclaim, but I'm not sure that it's all that it's cracked-up to be. There was more than one occasion when I had to wonder if Vinge and Sterling hadn't done this sort of thing better.Besides that the "fix-up" nature of this novel can really drive one to distraction, and the whole package should probably be treated more as an anthology of short fiction rather than a novel.I also think that I could have passed on the family-epic nature of the story, though the characters are attractive and interesting enough. Your patience will be tried with what seem like missed oppertunities with the appearence of the third generation and how Stross achieves closure.The reality with a work like this is that the high concept is the main character and you're either comfortable riding with that or not. To a degree, what Stross is playing with is the reenchantment of the world, as dumb material reality becomes alive again and we all might as well be living in Fairyland; any sufficiently advanced technology being indistinguishable from magic and all that. My second thought is that while there's a decent emotional pay-off in the end, it has more than a touch of the shaggy dog about it.
TimothyBurke on LibraryThing 5 days ago
A good book for people who read a lot of futurist writing: there may not be footnotes at the bottom of the page, but they're effectively there in the text. You can practically sense where and what Stross has been reading. That being said, after some difficult going, a genuinely involving narrative starts to emerge amid all the talk of Singularity and similar kinds of Geek Rapture if you're patient and stick with it.
cmdrsuzdal on LibraryThing 5 days ago
Fantastic, like the drug described within the story: "sensawonda" it opens your brain up and downloads itself into it. Some elements are familiar, some are brand-new, but the sheer idea-per-paragraph ratio is astonishing. It is a pastiche but I think that helped the narrative, since the sense of acceleration, chaos and change is what the story is all about-the feeling that you can't quite keep up with everything that is going on but that no one else can either, and since there's no stopping it anyway you may as well go with it, do your best and enjoy the ride.The other thing I liked was the "utopian dystopia" approach that seems to be a corollary to Clarke's law, any sufficiently advanced civilization will be indistinguishable from global apocalypse, maybe?
cmc on LibraryThing 5 days ago
I have to admit to being a bit wary of the whole singularity story¿by definition, we can¿t know what happens on the other side of a singularity, so books that lead up to, and apparently through, a singularity are suspicious by default.I¿m also not sure I really buy the whole idea in the first place. Singularity stories generally depend on humanity making some pretty amazing breakthroughs on the computing and AI front that I just don¿t see us getting anywhere near. Of course, again pretty much by definition, we¿d be looking at a few small breakthroughs snowballing into amazing leaps ahead, so maybe there is a singularity just around the corner.My qualms aside, Charlie Stross¿s book is very fun. It¿s quite similar in some ways to Cory Doctorow¿s work (he acknowledges Doctorow in the preface). It also reminded me a lot of Rudy Rucker¿s Bopper books, which I also had some issues with but thoroughly enjoyed reading.
geneticblend on LibraryThing 5 days ago
From the first few pages Stross bombards his readers with a barrage of ideas. Stross puts the novel back in novel. This book is dense like star stuff with scientific extrapolation. From self-replicating limited liability corporations to quantum copiers to AI-enhanced post-humans able to make copies of themselves to intelligent planet-dwarfing gas clouds, Stross takes his readers on a wild ride that makes William Gibson look relaxed by comparison. Here's one little taste:"Welcome to the fourth decade [of the 21st century]. The thinking mass of the solar system now exceeds one MIPS per gram; it's still pretty dumb, but it's not dumb all over...Human cogitation provides about 10 to the 28th MIPS of the solar system's brainpower. The real thinking is mostly done by a halo of a thousand trillion processors that surround the meat machines with a haze of computation--individually a tenth as powerful as a human brain, collectively they're ten-thousand times more powerful, and thei numbers are doubling every twenty million seconds...although there's still a long way to go before the solar system is fully awake."There's a story here as well--several of them, actually. It reads like a group of novelettes with common characters and threads winding throughout. I read three of the five 2006 Hugo nominees for best novel, and this one was definitely the most fun.
gregjan on LibraryThing 12 days ago
Loved it, despite the fact that it suffers from a near total lack of continuity. To a certain extent I think that's forgivable in the singularity genre. I think the characters were interesting, but could have been developed in more distinct depth. I would compare this book to Bruce Stirling's Schismatrix, where the conflicts and the technologies are drawn on a similar scale.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
There's a free version on the author's website.
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Alebelly More than 1 year ago
Took a few read throughs, but this has become my favorite Stross book. 
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Ethan O'Brien More than 1 year ago
Sirt of a romp thru rapidly evolving technology as witnessed by multiple generations of a family Got me started on Stross
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