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Preview — Saturn's Children by Charles Stross
Saturn's Children (Freyaverse #1)
Specifically, it's a semi-satirical rewrite of Friday.
Friday is one of my most hated favorite Heinleins. It was a fantastic story with a cool character in an action-packed scifi universe, and it showcased everything about Heinlein that has him rather out of favor nowadays. Friday, the title character, was a genetically engineered Artificial Person...more
That is perhaps how Dickens might have begun Saturn’s Children, if Dickens had somehow conceived of a near-future world in which humanity is extinct but its human-like robot servitors have kept on going. Charles Stross isn’t quite so economical in explaining this underlying fact, but he’s almost there. Through references to “pink goo” and “green goo” and the lack of prokaryotes and eukaroytes on Earth, Stross manages to c...more
This book was good but I admit that I was expecting more and it wasn't nearly as clever as I think it was suppose to be. I will continue to read Stross but I have a feeling he is going to always be one of those writers that just completely wows me or is just all right.
Charles Stross has been a hit-or-miss author for me. Saturn's Children falls strongly into the "hit" category. It's a hard sci-fi, post-human...more
Stross starts out by quoting Newton "standing on the shoulders of giants..." and then referencing Heinlein and Asimov. I remember liking Heinlein's Friday a great deal, but then that was 20 years ago when I was a Teenager. I read "The Moon is a Harsh Mistess" more recently and enjoyed it, so I'm cool with Heinlein. Asimov is more problematic; I've read lost of his stuff, but even then I found his ideas were neat, but his characters where a...more
I sometimes have a hard time reading Charles Stross. I enjoy his concepts but I don’t often feel empathy for his characters. I adored Freya, however, her voice sang loudly and clearly to me and her personality leapt from the page.
As always, the writing is superb, but in this case, even more so. As all of the characters in Saturn’s Children are constructs of a sort, artificial beings, his writing and his style were particularly relevant. He managed to convert chemical and mecha...more
I have a sort of proprietary narcissistic interest in stross, given that I found out about him early in his career, bought Toast when it was his only published book. Or maybe it's just that I like his writing.
But for some reason the guy just puts out stuff that has a high amount of mediocrity to it. Maybe it's the crazy amount of books he's writing-- I mean, you don't make any money as a sci fi author, so I understand, or maybe that's just how he writes, mostly.
Oh, Charles Stross, how crazy you drive me sometimes! And that's because, as long-time readers know, I have a real back-and-forth relationship with the work of this multiple-award-winning science-fiction veteran, coiner of the very phrase "Accelerated Age" that critics like me now use as a general ter...more
This book was somewhat of an impulse read. I wanted to read Stross’s Neptune’s Brood, because it was one of the few Hugo noms I hadn’t read yet, but noticed it was the second in a series. All the reviews said you didn’t need to read the first one, but I’m me, and I have to do things in order or my brain will explode and I will die...more
Every time I think about this story it goes something like 'I liked X but I feel like it had a problem with Y. So the world was fascinating as a concept but too many infodumps were used to describe it. The characters were sort of interesting but felt shallow and confused. The plot was elaborate and a clever idea but jumped around without sufficiently explaining things. Oh and the sex...more
There are some interesting ideas in here, particularly the musing on how a society of robots designed to serve humanity cope with the fact that humans are extinct, and thus their primary purpose...more
Stross writes a rollicking tale, an explicit homage to the sf of Isaac Asimov and Robert A. Heinlein. The book is dedicated to these giants of the field, in so...more
I loved how this book captures a very strong feeling of the "soft" novels that my mother used to read. The strangely sexual natu...more
The main character is very reminiscent of the lead from Friday by Robert A. Heinlein which is apparently intentional. As with Friday the lead is a robot made for erotic purposes. For what it's worth, the supposed...more
Charles Stross is a unique voice among today's wave of "New British SF" writers, but he also knows his history. Saturn's Children is dedicated to old lions Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov, and the ghosts of both (especially Heinlein) can be felt in the latest effort. Reviews of the novel vary wildly, which may suggest as much about the tastes of particular SF readers as it does about the specific case. The combination of sex and violence clashes a bit with some deep philosophizing on identity a...more
In spite of all of that (or, in the case of Varley, maybe because of it) I liked the novel, and devoured it quickly. In this case it was the science part of the SF, including the whole future presentation, even the many non-serious parts, the details, what kept me mesme...more
So why do I keep reading them? I think it's because they always sound really interesting, but the execution never quite lives up to the promise. I really like his characters, but there's just always too much STUFF in the way of the story!
In this one, even after I stopped reading I still kept thinking about the main character and sort of wondering what was happening to he...more
Stross is sometimes regarded as being part of a new generation of British science fiction writers who specialise in hard science fiction and space opera. His contemporaries include Alastair Reynolds, Ken MacLeod, Liz Williams and Richard Morgan.