Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Rapture of the Nerds by Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow

The Rapture of the Nerds:  A tale of the singularity, posthumanity, and awkward social situations, Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow.  New York: Doherty, Tom Associates, L.L.C., 2012

Huw Jones is sort of a Luddite.  He's not really into helping to build a Mothership in order to leave the planet Earth and technology behind.  But he certainly doesn't want to upload into the Cloud, like so many of his contemporaries are doing, leaving his dead body behind him.  His parents are rather opposite in their worldview and indeed have done so, dumping him for the wild hedonism and freedom promised by the Singularity.  Huw Jones likes his body and his appearance just fine, thank you.

But there is a party and an ex whose name is Bonnie.  And a sort of traveling tattoo that insinuates itself on Huw's forehead and several other places, a call to jury duty, and an unwelcome gadget that deep throats Huw without permission.  Huw it turns out is a fall guy.

There are fundamentalist post-rapture christians who have their own designs for Huw, a Libyan courtroom, and a djinn in a teapot.  Many djinns in teapots as it turns out.  Huw is forced by the circumstances to rent out his bicycle, a symbol to him of Luddite pride to a sort of hippie going off into the desert with two beautiful women.  His bike is like an old friend.  His old friends and party buddies appear at times to not be trustworthy.  And Huw is forced to go to the one place that he doesn't want to go to.

sapphoq reviews says:  Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow have produced a winning entry in cyperpunk fiction.  Huw Jones is a different kind of character than the ones we are used to Cory Doctorow creating, yet I liked him just the same.  There are several exciting scenes-- including ejection over a swamp somewhere in the Carolinas-- which add to the twists of this novel.  This is the stuff that I can relate to.  Keeping in mind that both authors write for audiences which are technologically sophisticated, absolutely highly recommended for the hip and the anti-Luddite crowd. 

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