Books read: April 2010

Here’s what I read in April:

Book covers for books read in April 2010 Starbound by Joe Haldeman (2009): sequel to Marsbound, which I blogged about in October 2008. Some familiar characters, plus some new ones, travel to a distant star to plead humanity’s case before the Others, who nearly wiped humanity out at the end of the last book; meanwhile, Earth is building an armada in case their mission fails. With the same quotidian (if downright pedestrian) detail of its predecessor and the tropes and techniques found in many of Haldeman’s works (humans facing aliens’ judgment, multiple narrative viewpoints). Enjoyable but not his best.

Accelerando by Charles Stross (2005): seminal novel of the Singularity (AKA “Rapture of the Nerds”), as important a book as Neuromancer in its time, more infodense than an augmented Bruce Sterling on amphetamines. Redolent in many ways of Clarke’s Childhood’s End, but for the Internet age, and with better characters (human and otherwise). And, unlike Clarke’s novel, it asks the next question: human transcendence? Now what? I read this as an ebook; it’s available as a free download.

Starbound by Joe Haldeman
Accelerando by Charles Stross