Tony Gleeson's Reviews > Saturn's Children

Saturn's Children by Charles Stross
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Aug 07, 09

Read in July, 2008

This was probably not the best place for me to begin exploring Charles Stross-- I read it to be familiar with it when he showed up at our shop for a signing. This book is ablaze with homages to science fiction authors old and new, from Asimov to Scalzi, and it's written quite puckishly despite there being some rather dark and disturbing ideas behind the whole thing. As any good speculative science fiction should, it has some intriguing extrapolations of social implications for the future. Think of it kind of as a more realistic and foreboding "Wall-E": humans have died off and synthetic humans, originally created to serve the humanity that has disappeared, are now the sum and substance of society. Their original programming has led to logical but frightening evolutions into various castes and societies. The preservation of consciousness beyond a solitary body creates a huge can of worms of puzzles and problems. A synthetic woman designed to be a prostitute for humans (that's a whole issue right there-- what does she now do to find meaning in "life"?) gets entangled in a very complicated intrigue and searches for the gaps in her own life story. Violence, paranoia, and confusion ensue. The book ultimately left me cold on a personal level, though I'm looking forward to sampling a few of his other earlier works. My understanding is, his books vary wildly in tone and style. That's intriguing.
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