The censorship wars-during which the Curious Yellow virus devastated the network of wormhole gates connecting humanity across the cosmos-are finally over at the start of Hugo-winner Stross's brilliant new novel, set in the same far-future universe as 2005's Accelerando. Robin is one of millions who have had a mind wipe, to forget wartime memories that are too painful-or too dangerously inconvenient for someone else. To evade the enemies who don't think his mind wipe was enough, Robin volunteers to live in the experimental Glasshouse, a former prison for deranged war criminals that will recreate Earth's "dark ages" (c. 1950-2040). Entering the community as a female, Robin is initially appalled by life as a suburban housewife, then he realizes the other participants are all either retired spies or soldiers. Worse yet, fragments of old memories return-extremely dangerous in the Glasshouse, where the experimenters' intentions are as murky as Robin's grasp of his own identity. With nods to Kafka, James Tiptree and others, Stross's wry SF thriller satisfies on all levels, with memorable characters and enough brain-twisting extrapolation for five novels. (July) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Demobilized after the latest civil war, Robin awakens in a clinic with most of his memories gone, a new identity, and an assassin on his trail. To hide from his pursuer, he joins an experimental community, the Glasshouse, to study life in an older culture-that of Earth in the final years of the 20th century. He attempts to settle in to his new world only to find that, even in a protected environment, he is not free from danger. Hugo Award winner Stross (Singularity Sky) takes an original and often playful approach to his visions of the future. He examines questions of identity, gender, and the human condition in the context of this sf thriller, which belongs in most libraries. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Far-future mind control, from British author Stross (Accelerando, 2005, etc.). By the 27th century, death need not be permanent: People routinely make backup copies of themselves; disease and old age can simply be edited out. Human civilization, scattered across the galaxy in diverse habitats connected via wormhole gates, is slowly recovering from a prolonged and brutal war against an insidious memory-deleting, mind-controlling cyberworm called Curious Yellow. Narrator Robin, a citizen of the Invisible Republic, emerges from a memory edit, guessing he wanted to remove painful memories of the conflict. He meets, and soon falls in love with, Kay-and realizes that somebody's trying to kill him-because of what he was? Or something his former self knew? His robot psychiatrist advises him to join a closed experimental community where he can safely recuperate. So, after his next routine backup, Robin wakes in the Glasshouse-in a female body. Robin, now Reeve, is part of a sociological experiment aimed at recapitulating a long-lost environment: Earth during the 1950s. Glasshouse residents, however, are expected to conform, and there are heavy penalties for deviants. Reeve agrees to marry big, unhappy, skeptical Sam, and tries to assimilate. But things are not what they seem. The Glasshouse is run by two notorious Curious Yellow collaborators, Major-Doctor Fiore and Bishop Yourdon. Meanwhile, Robin's memories begin to surface. He was a member of the combat Linebarger Cats and later became an agent-sent into the Glasshouse, memories suppressed to evade the censors, to find out what's really going on. A perfectly tuned combination of gravitas and glee (the literary/cultural references are a blast).Stross's enthralling blend of action, extrapolation and analysis delivers surprise after surprise.
“The act of creation seems to come easily to Charles Stross…[He] is peerless at dreaming up devices that could conceivably exist in six, sixty, or six hundred years’ time.” – The New York Times
“A NEW WORK OF CREDIBLE AND BOLD SF.” – Science Fiction Weekly
“A world in which new ideas drip from every page.” – Revolution Science Fiction
“Stross’s latest and best (so far) novel…A twisty, engrossing, and very well-done paranoia thriller.” – SF Site
“Where Charles Stross goes today, the rest of science fiction will follow tomorrow.”—Gardner Dozois, Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine
“A new kind of future requires a new breed of guide—someone like Stross.”—Popular Science