Print Story Accelerando
By aphrael (Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 07:37:38 AM EST) (all tags)
I only picked up Accelerando because it was nominated for a Hugo. I have a copy of Iron Sunrise kicking around somewhere (it spent months in the back seat of Jared's car), in the "I ought to read this but I really don't want to" stack; I've tried it a couple of times but just haven't been able to get into it. So I didn't go into the book with the best expectations, and that means my views might be less charitable than those of the people who read it as it was serialized in Asimov's.

I found Accelerando to be both an amazingly good book and an infuriatingly bad book; so ambivalent a reaction I have not had since, oh, Brightness Reef or thereabouts.

Accelerando's strong point is its ideas. I was particularly impressed with the nature of the post-modern currency problem, the details of the likely conflict between the humans and the posthumans, and the satire of capitalism run amok. Accelerando's update of cyberpunk, in the first part of the book, was brilliant (and annoying).

But that doesn't overcome the book's major weakness: the ending. The ending is a cheat which in effect deprives the entirety of the rest of the book of meaning. Perhaps intended to create interesting questions about free will, the ending instead renders all such questions irrelevant, not to mention rendering the characters irrelevant. This wouldn't matter so much, perhaps, if the rest of the book hadn't captured my interest; there's very little worse than finding out that the entrancing toy you are playing with is nothing more than a hollow shell.

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Short stories by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 07:41:48 AM EST
Read as short stories you complain about wasn't so bad, as each "story" seemed to have it's own ending. But yeah, I know what you mean.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
right. by aphrael (4.00 / 1) #2 Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 07:44:18 AM EST
Read as a set of individual stories, each story complete in and of itself, it wouldn't have been as irritating. It still would have rendered the characters irrelevant, but it would have done so a year later, thereby having a diminished impact. :)
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[ Parent ]
good endings are overrated by Nigga (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Mar 28, 2006 at 11:12:20 AM EST
sure they're nice to have, but the main test of a good read is if you enjoyed turning the pages till there were none left.

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