A microscope through allegory 


Charles Stross
ACE Science Fiction; $7.99

One of the apparent causalities of the 21st century seems to be science fiction prose, a casualty that Charles Stross’ Accelerando ignores. It starts off in a cyberpunk world accelerated from today and ends up in a post-singularity world. Manfred Macx roams Europe in flight from the eventual cultural wasteland that is the United States (two words: President Santorum), his daughter Amber wanders space in flight from Earth because of her control freak mother and her son Sirham, for one reason or another, is a historian of sorts.

Rather than fall prey to the trap that lies in most cyberpunk novels to imagine a new, unthinkable interface to the Internet, Stross makes the technology easy to understand; it has evolved simply from what already exists around us. In fact, you’re more likely to notice the activities of the Macx clan than wonder about the technical bits of the story. You’ll meet people who’re beautifully screwed up just like anyone you’d know, with hearts crossed and passions ablaze. As a result, Accelerando falls into the category of most great science fiction, a place where humanity is evaluated under a microscope through allegory.


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