Peter Tillman's Reviews > Accelerando

Accelerando by Charles Stross
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Mar 08, 2012

really liked it
I own a copy , read count: 2 (or 3?) + most of the original shorts, as published.

I said I was going to review this [at rasfw], but bogged. As a substitute, I'll comment on some aspects of Adam Roberts' interesting but remarkably obtuse review:

"...the baseline aesthetic question as to whether the reader finds passages such as the following bearable or unbearable:

Rita flicks a location-cached idea at him and he takes it cautiously, spawning a couple of specialized Turing Oracles to check it for halting states. It seems to be some kind of optic lobe hack that accesses a collaborative database of eigenfaces, with some sort of side interface to Broca's region. [359]

The problem here is not that these sentences don't parse (they do, with a bit of work); and not that they wholly lack tone (theirs is a rather nerdy and constipated tone, but nonetheless). The problem is just that they strike me as really *ugly*..."

Heh. The English professor confronts the nerd. Speaking as a nerd, in a novel by, for and about nerds, it would be surprising, and counterproductive, for the characters to speak like English professors.

But I have to admire the cut direct: "a rather nerdy and constipated tone," indeed.

Roberts goes on to criticize "A spastic lurchiness to the overall narrative arc"! I love it. Speaking as one who enjoys both Roberts and Stross, it's clear that Roberts has little or no clue to the inner workings of geek culture.

Very cool book, highly recommended. Stands up pretty well to reread -- some of the early, dopier Manfred Macx stuff drags a bit.

Happy reading--
Pete Tillman

-- edited from a 2006 USENET post

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