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Singularity Sky

4 Ratings: 1.5
A book by Charles Stross

From Publishers Weekly  In his first novel, British author Stross, one of the hottest short-story writers in the field, serves up an energetic and sometimes satiric mix of cutting-edge nanotechnology, old-fashioned space opera and leftist political … see full wiki

Author: Charles Stross
Publisher: Ace (June 29, 2004)
1 review about Singularity Sky

Singularly Boring

  • Mar 13, 2009
  • by
This science fiction novel is set far in the future after a forced Diaspora of humans across the universe by an artificial intelligence run amok, the Eschaton. Unfortunately, we find out very, very little about the motivations or activities of the AI - other than its prime goal is to keep humans from messing around with faster than light travel (FTL) and the possibilities of time travel it implies. The Eschaton doesn't want anybody going back in time and changing the conditions that brought it into existence. Other than that, the Eschaton is just background.

The bulk of the novel is about a planetary system, the New Republic, run by a militaristic authoritarian regime that prohibits high technology and is intentionally isolated form the rest of the humanity. A Marxist (yes, Marxist) revolutionary cadre has sprung up on one of it's backwater colony planets - which explodes unpredictably when a mysterious starship calling itself the Festival arrives offering the inhabitants anything they want in exchange for information (stories, theories, what have you). They suddenly find themselves will all the material and technological goods they could have ever wanted, with some unintended consequences. Sound boring yet? It was.

In the meantime, two agents of differing groups but with similar outlooks - Rachael Mansour and Martin Springfield - meet and fall in love, as they continue on their missions aboard a New Republic starship dispatched to crush the rebellion.

And so the story goes...

There are three primary problems with this novel. First, the characters are poorly drawn, except for Rachael and Martin. Second, the story is not well developed and the deeper motivations of various actors are poorly explained. And third, there is far too much filler type writing such as the tedious military jargon and aimless political maneuverings aboard the star ship that do absolutely nothing to advance the story and are tedious to read.

Unless you want to read all the Hugo nominees for the sake of it, I'd recommend skipping this one.

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