Sunday, April 7, 2013
Review:Accelerando by Charles Stross
The last thing this book needs is another review. It seems to run the whole gamut of stars in the system. It's that type of book that has a love hate relationship. There seem to be a lot of complaints about the overflow of cyber geek talk which doesn't surprise me. What did surprise me is that I went right through this book with only a couple pauses to look up words. It seems I cut right through the geek talk without flinching. Maybe I should say blissfully through. Since it might be argued that I was bliss-ed just enough to remain unaffected.
What some of the longest -geek-speak passages reminded me of was some stuff I'd recently tried to digest at the Depau science fiction studies site.:: http://www.depauw.edu/sfs/backissues/... ::this one in particular was what kept coming to mind every time we took a trip down through all the buzzwords and slang from every notion of cyber punk and the socioeconomic of the net. There were complaints that this is not how they will be talking in the distant future. Get real people if you can pick out the slang I will give you that but buzzwords are forever they just shift around in meaning through the years.
I suppose if you can read the articles for the science fiction studies without much pause then Accelerando shouldn't affect you. There is something to say about the characters being a bit distanced and dysfunctional enough that you don't seem to feel for them. I have a feeling that Charles Stross may have been going for that.
Another thing that Charles did was he put together a tough combination of things that would drive any writers forum crazy. Much of this book is written in first person and present tense. Other part seem to be third person- close- and present tense. These alone are not easy tasks to pull off. Then there are those long and greatly punctuated sentences that would grind on the nerves of the OCD driven punctuation people at a certain forum I will leave unnamed here.
Charles pulls this all off well. I would almost guess he might be thumbing his nose at these forums that are trying to spit out cookie cutter writers. All of them clones of the churlish administrator who is still learning to write. And this is where I can see that a few people might not like this book. Not because it is not written well or that it is full of geek-speak but because it doesn't conform to what the majority of books are that are spit out by the presses of the large publishing houses.
Sure there might be some Science in this story that is suspect. It is after all science fiction and the best of them that have started from the most solid what-if have all digressed a bit and wandered off the path. I again think that Charles has done well.
Of course there is the notion that these separate stories do not quite congeal together well even though they are about the members of the same dysfunctional family. To that I say we missed a larger point. These are not just the story of Manfred Macx and his wives and children and grandchildren. This is the story of the birth of an AI (catlike) and its growth into something that transcends its creator.
This is Aineko's story- Aineko is there all the way through the whole story. Right to the end. And I'll admit that its hard to empathize with Aineko but that might be because it's not really human.