Morgan McGuire's Reviews > Accelerando

Accelerando by Charles Stross
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Oct 25, 2011

did not like it
Read in January, 2010

Many people recommended this highly to me. I found that the plot and ideas, as summarized on Wikipedia, were brilliant and mind-expanding.

The writing of the book was intolerable. I couldn't get past page 20. It was like reading Wired Magazine--Stross drops every current technology name and buzzword, apparently without a deep enough understanding to know which might have staying power 15 minutes into the future. When "slashdot", "open source", "bluetooth", "wimax", "state vector" and more terms all appeared on the same page, I felt like I was reading a Bruce Sterling novel. This guy's trying to impress or snow me with dumb vocabulary, rather than telling a story.

I hope he drops the silly vocabulary and trashy sci-fi sentence structure to expand his great ideas in the other books. More Arthur C. Clarke and less Bruce Sterling, please.
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Comments (showing 1-7 of 7) (7 new)

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Kurt I had exactly the same reaction when I read the first part of it. I highly recommend trying it again though, and forcing yourself through. It gets much better/"deeper" shortly after the first chapter.


Sijmen I too had the same feeling when I tried reading it the first time. Like Kurt says, it gets much better.


Jonatron I think you're missing the point. It's *supposed* to feel overwhelming.


message 4: by Sarah (last edited Feb 10, 2013 05:55PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Sarah Fields I completely agree with your review. In my opinion sci-fi writers must be doubly skilled to attempt an experimental style in conveying already experimental content (granted, I think most experimental fiction of any kind fails, as well). As good an idea as pairing futuristic ideas with an experimental writing style might appear on the drawing board, you've got to set aside intellectual hubris for the sake of at least a little artistry, and for me this book (highly recommended to me by friends whose eyebrows literally do a pole vault at the mere suggestion that style might be PART of substance) is an epic fail. Even more so because the concepts are intriguing and worthy of better treatment!


message 5: by W (new) - rated it 1 star

W You summed up my own thoughts perfectly, thanks.


message 6: by Ezo (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ezo lol. Words that you don't understand == dumb words?


message 7: by ABR (new)

ABR The techie terms are fun, though they are going to make the work feel dated pretty quickly. He's not trying to impress anybody, just trying to use the tools he can come up with to contribute to the tone and atmosphere of the story.


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