Singularity Sky (Eschaton, #1)

Singularity Sky (Eschaton, #1)

author: Charles Stross

name: Steev

average rating: 3.63

book published: 2003

rating: 3

read at: 2011/05/10

date added: 2011/05/10

shelves: fun, novels, own-it

A grandiose epic of interstellar space battles and intrigue in the far far future.
For a somewhat fun, science fiction potboiler, this is better than most. I'm not sure why I keep reading this guy. Maybe this will be the last one. After reading 3 of Stross's novels I'm detecting a definite pattern: narrative switching between several viewpoints, but mostly dealing with 2 protaganists: a smart but somewhat dorky English/Scottish male and a sort of ass-kicking female who sweeps in and "saves" the dude and fucks him too. In feminist circles this sort of female character is often called the Manic Pixie Dream Girl ( ). I guess these women of Stross's are a little better than the average Manic Pixie Dream Girl because the narrative viewpoint is often their's, in other words the story is "about" them almost as much as it is about the dude. Still, it's a weird pattern to see. Especially because the guy is so clearly the author (scottish, dorky, etc.)

I guess I read these books of his because they held the promise of dealing with such interesting, mind-blowing topics: the Singularity, artificial intelligence, life in the future, etc. And from a scientific, rational perspective, Stross does a great job envisioning these things. But his grasp of human character is a bit lacking, shallow. A lot of the book is full of raw exposition about the big background concepts, interspersed with cardboard personalities doing their thing against the backdrop. It often made me wonder if Stross shouldn't just write a work of creative non-fiction in which he describes the possible sweeping future histories he clearly has thought so intelligently about, and leave out the cheesy space opera romance plotlines. Or, right a story that is just a story and doesn't need to be broken up with pages and pages of out-of-place explanations into physics and cosmology. It's like you never heard "show, don't tell" before, Chuck.