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“Accelerando” is fantastic

Accelerando is a new science fiction novel by Charles Stross, which is just brimming over with ideas. Even the casual throw-away ideas are great. I mean, what other book would have characters speculating that perhaps the cosmic background radiation is irreducible computational noise left over from some really big calculation…?

The main theme of the book is: what happens when your children become so technologically advanced that you are no longer capable of understanding them anymore? And what happens when their children become so advanced that they can’t understand them anymore? And so on…

Some of the cultural references are daunting…for example, one of the main characters is a robotic cat names AiNeko. I laughed out loud when I read that…because its a play on words of “Aibo” (the name of Sony’s robotic toy dog they marketed a few years back, and “neko”, which is not only the Japanese word for “cat”, but also the name of a famous software program in which a kitten chases your mouse pointer around the screen.) There’s also the Free Genome Foundation, which is a reference to the Free Software Foundation. The goal of the Free Genome Foundation is to create an optimized version of the human genome (with various software bugs such as cancer and sickle-cell anemia edited out), but free of any patents or intellectual property encumerances, so that anyone can have a superchild without having to pay massive corporate royalties.

Fun stuff… :)

3 Responses to ““Accelerando” is fantastic”

  1. Alex Sherman Says:

    Neet. But I thought that sickle cell animia as a recessive trait was useful in combating malaria.

  2. oreverb Says:

    Old info, but, it’s also freely available, http://www.accelerando.org/book/

  3. Bernice Chapoton Says:

    Wow landed on this page on Yahoo researching around for another topic entirely, and now I’m swing back by and go over the rest of your site.

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