In the 21st century, the perfection of faster-than-light travel and the rise of a prodigious artificial intelligence known as the Eschaton altered the course of humankind. New civilizations were founded across the vastness of space. Now, the technology-eschewing world known as the New Republic is besieged by an alien information plague. Earth quickly sends a battle fleet - but is it coming to the rescue, or is a sinister plot in motion?
©2009 Charles Stross; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC
Stross blends sci-fi, political history, a little philosophy and lots of tongue in cheek wit to make a total hoot of a book. I was alternately lost in the details of the story or the science of the science fiction only to be surprised by the tongue in cheek laugh out loud side references. This was fun.
Warning: if you like your books to have dramatic tension or deep characters, this book is not for you. If you like your sci-fi to consist of carefully-thought-out plausible futures, this book is not for you. For those who enjoy crazy gonzo roller coaster rides through fantastic forests of sketchily described hot-off-the-internet tech jargon, this book IS for you. I imagine Charles Stross sitting at home in his boxers writing this book, giggling madly to himself as he types, spilling Dorito crumbs into his chest hair and listening to punk rock on full blast. It is a nonstop face-blast of Far Out.
Stross is always full of original ideas. I've read the book in paper before- this is a good reading. The Festival is weird, and I'm not sure I get it completely, but the Eschaton concept is very interesting. Rachel and Martin are likeable characters. They also appear in Stross's Iron Sunrise (although they aren't really the main characters there).
reader of books
This was my first Stross book. Pretty good stuff I thought. Characters were interesting, only a few places of info dump. As for the audio, the Narrator was real good at varying voice tone for various characters. Clear speaker and easy to understand.
The plot is a bit weak, but there is so much hard scifi that you can overlook the pauses in the plot. Of course the narrator makes the story move along faster than it perhaps was written. The transitions between story lines are the most confusing, but the chapters aren't too long so you can get back into the more exciting story lines quickly. It refreshing to hear a story that takes place in other than the USA.
I used to think that any story read by Guidall was worth a listen, but this one proves me wrong. I tried to like it, I really did, but I gave up after a few hours - it just couldn't keep my interest. Can't really say why.
This novel really never went anywhere and though very descriptive I now wish I downloaded the abridged version. It just seemed to wander and then there was no payoff at the end.
I believe the author has more imagination that Alice in wonderland. The book was interesting but I cannot rate it highly.
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