Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Rapture of the Nerds” as Want to Read:
The Rapture of the Nerds
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Rapture of the Nerds

3.38  ·  Rating details ·  3,377 ratings  ·  473 reviews
Welcome to the fractured future, at the dusk of the twenty-first century.

Earth has a population of roughly a billion hominids. For the most part, they are happy with their lot, living in a preserve at the bottom of a gravity well. Those who are unhappy have emigrated, joining one or another of the swarming densethinker clades that fog the inner solar system with a dust of
Hardcover, 351 pages
Published September 4th 2012 by Tor Books (first published September 1st 2012)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Rapture of the Nerds, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Rapture of the Nerds

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,377 ratings  ·  473 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Feb 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
There's a slight paradox with this execution of this book which might thrill or annoy the lot of it's readers: It reads like a Heinlein juvenile upgraded to all the geeky post-singularity hacking terms we can take a swing at.


Specifically, I think of Have Space Suit—Will Travel if we'd substituted a kid with an engineering project with a real-meat man in a completely digital society, get him embroiled in Objectivist Religionists (BIG LOL there), several courtroom dramas filled with some real
Feb 10, 2013 rated it it was ok
I thought "Little Brother" was great, so I was prepared to adore RoTN. Sadly, I don't have that much love for it.

Most of the book reads like a bargain-basement "Illuminatus Trilogy" (Shea and Wilson). Doctorow and Stross throw a tremendous number of ideas at the wall, not bothering to see whether they stick, or whether in fact they are even internally consistent (cyborg disassembler ants are so bad that they take apart doorways in seconds, but a quasi-medieval society can survive on top of them
Jun 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
I think the easiest way to explain this book is to ask other people to read it.
In a sense it is singularity porn, the style is flashy and witty and very funny. But it also makes you think, and hard. What actually happens in a world where we upload our consciousness to the cloud? Where you can live a trillion years in subjective time but only 10 minutes have passed in earth time?
What happens to the world, to our geography? Does uploaded consciousness let you "feel" or are the feelings just approx
Snail in Danger (Sid) Nicolaides
I was seriously poised to say something like "Great story. I hated it." for roughly the first half of this book. It's very gonzo and action-movie-ish. The thematically interesting, thoughtful parts aren't deployed until about halfway through. The first couple parts are like a really, really long prologue. I was seriously thinking of abandoning the book.

But the second half of the book saved it for me. It's a much more thoughtful examination of the increasingly prevalent SF theme that our physical
Oct 29, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012
Much of this book is the fun, wild ride it's meant to be. But Stross's voice is too strong here (frankly, Doctorow's is barely discernable), and as someone who's now read several of Stross's own novels, I have to say the unceasing cleverness of that voice has become almost totally grating. That said, it genuinely is clever, and quite often funny, and with my teeth a bit on edge, I still enjoyed the work overall. The prose is nothing to write home about, but is at least generally in service to th ...more
Alex Sarll
Charles Stross is, in a few months, going to be Britain's best science fiction writer. Cory Doctorow is a very smart guy and a good columnist whose fiction has generally left me cold, seeming a little too ready to show its workings. And the first of the three component stories here, 'Jury Service', suggests that the two of them writing together will make for the wrong sort of matey self-indulgence - it's all tech buzzwords and madcap techno-picaresque, like somebody's running a bad simulation of ...more
Jenny (Reading Envy)
Aug 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm not sure I'd recommend this book to most people. It would take a great deal of patience, delight in details relating to posthumanism and the singularity, and maybe some experience in virtual living. I enjoyed it because I'm just a big nerd, I guess.

Here's an example of the density of writing:
"Huw last saw her parents at their disembodiment; they'd already had avatars running around in the cloud for years, dipping into meatspace every now and again for a resynch with their slowcode bioinstanc
Sara Calvosa
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was ok
Never start a book with Chapter 1: Jury Service. It made me instinctively want to find a way to get out of reading it. As it turned out, the rest of the Crapture of the Nerds was a huge shitshow, a massive ripoff of Hitchhiker's G2theG, and a tedious read full of lame nerd junk. If you're into bottom of the barrel, low-quality geekisms, then you might like this book. Otherwise it's total rubbish. Like a chump, I bought the hardcover so to get my money's worth I'm going to hollow it out and keep ...more
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sf
This book totally blew me away. (Not unexpected, given that it's Cory Doctorow. Charles Stross's voice is also helpful, and he gives it a nice British feel.) The protagonist, Huw (who?), is mostly minding his own business, trying to act like life isn't so different after the singularity, which has caused most people (including his parents) to upload into a digital worlds in the space around earth, having used up the moon and inner planets to construct physical storage. The uploaded entities--upg ...more
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommended to Eric by: Nikki Romano
My opinion of this is basically complete indifference. I didn't dislike it, I just didn't care enough about any aspect of it to turn the page any further.

There is just no hook for me. The main character has no personality, no friends, no love interest, and no reason to root for him. So why should I, especially in a post-humanity/singularity world where literally anything can happen at any point, with no warning or ground rules clearly laid out? This book is untethered, and maybe that is the poi
Mar 30, 2013 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Microchipped meatbags and sophisticated simuLuddites
Recommended to Alan by: Theme, and this one posthuman time-traveling gorilla...
You don’t think progress goes in a straight line, do you? Do you recognize that it is an ascending, accelerating, maybe even exponential curve? lt takes hell's own time to get started, but when it goes it goes like a bomb. And you, you Scotch-drinking steak-eater in your Relaxacizer chair, you’ve just barely lighted the primacord of the fuse.
—"Day Million," from 1966, by Frederik Pohl

Hapless Huw Jones is a pathetic protagonist, a Welshman (his nationality actually becomes important later, even i
1 Star

I started reading The Rapture of the Nerds last year, but it was not engaging so I put it aside for several months. I finally forced myself to finish it. While it had an interesting concept, the writing was bombastic, the plot was chaotic, and character development was pretty much nonexistent.

"The system from the outside resembles a spherical fogbank radiating in the infrared spectrum; a matryoshka brain nested Dyson spheres built from the dismantled bones of moons and planets. The splint
Sep 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Rapture of the Nerds really didn’t take me long to read. It truly is an enjoyable book that is well worth your time, for the humor and descriptions alone. However, the first half can be rather plodding, confusing and lacking in substance. The second half is where the plot and deeper themes really start to hit home and everything starts to tie together nicely (where plenty of “Ah ha!” moments happen). When I finished the book I realized I really only had one complaint. While enjoyable, the hu ...more
Jan 04, 2014 added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf
I've never read Doctorow before but I've read quite a few Stross novels and this fits squarely in his techno-geek SF vein of novels, quite similar to Accelerando in style, theme and even plot to some extent.


See the complete review here:
Eric Herboso
Nov 04, 2012 rated it liked it
Post-singularity scifi is always weird, but Doctorow & Stross do an excellent job of describing the weirdness rationally in a way that feels more scifi than fantasy. It's definitely a fun read, though I doubt I'd ever choose to pick up the book a second time.

While the largest defect of the novel was (for me at least) an inability to really empathize with the main character, the most visible defect was certainly the sheer number of obscure references packed into the book. Those not moderately
Sep 30, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
A book with some really thought provoking concepts for sure. I had to stop reading a few times and think about the role of emotion and how we deal and process it a few times when I was reading this book. There are some mind melting meta-cognition moments in it, but those are the fun part.

The not fun part? I kept getting the feeling like I had skipped a page or something. Most books I don't have to go back and reread, but this one was like that at times. I would go back and re-read things and as
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 01, 2014 rated it liked it
There's a lot to love in this book. Actually, there's way too much.

This is a book so packed with big ideas and that moves at a such a breakneck pace that Huw, the main character (a hapless hero that reminds me nothing so much as a latter day Heinlein hero in the "Friday" mold), seems to have been fired straight from the barrel of some kind of narrative cannon and rips through breathless escapade to the next at a rate that's often disconcerting when it isn't confusing or annoying.

Meanwhile, the
Nov 09, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
This felt like a few different books shoveled together. I enjoyed this for the first few hours of the audio version, but found the plot went sideways about 1/3 of the way through, when the book becomes a longer exploration of the destruction of earth as taken from “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”. Yes, they even mention Vogons and hyperspace bypasses when this section starts. It’s like an entirely different book – much less action, much more deep thought on simulations and time in the serv ...more
Tim Poston
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Vastly enjoyed it . . . but the number of (good) nerd jokes per page obviously limits its audience!
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was recommended to me because it has some similarities to my current WIP, addressing the lives of people living nebulously, up in 'the Cloud'.
I liked it - read it twice in fact. The characters and language are typically Doctorow, quiet average people in a peculiar world that have greatness thrust upon them, all told with a mix of techo-babble and puns.
Jan 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Jason, Amy, Jennie
Smart, fast, and Robert Anton Wilson-esque, if you replaced Wilson’s occult fascinations with paranoid internet tropes and utopian longings. Our POV EveryWo/Man techno-phobe, Huw, gets dragged along like Rincewind on a mission to Save Humanity – err, whatever that means post-uplift, post-singularity – that s/he profoundly resists being part of.

I’m sure I did not pick up 10% of the repurposing of our genre patrimony. One that particularly delighted me, as Huw is unwilling descending on what is l
Mouldy Squid
Feb 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Gonzo post-singularity speculative fiction by the, I am sure to be re-united again, duo of Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross. Both of these writers are known for their computer-geek, wildly futuristic, bizarre technology flavoured science fiction so their combination should mesh well, and it does. If I had to choose who wrote which parts, I would refuse to try since the prose, style and diction are almost indistinguishable.

This is a thrill ride, despite the average rating I have assigned it, fil
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
Perhaps some familiarity with the term 'technological singularity' would have been helpful before reading this book, but being introduced to the concept through vicariously experiencing the unstable, ever-shifting environments the books protagonist must navigate makes it a philosophical/emotional exploration of what turns out to be an increasingly popular science fiction premise.

The action in this story occurs after the 'singularity' - the world which results from the unleashing of 'greater than
Jul 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: adult-fiction
Another reviewer on Goodreads called this book "a zany romp," and then added that she does not LIKE zany romps. Me, I like a zany romp. I liked The Gone-Away World and Year Zero. I very much liked Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom and Rule 34.

But there's not enough zany here to make The Rapture of the Nerds a truly funny book, and there's not enough challenging mind-bendy new concept stuff to make it a truly challenging book, as, I will say, most of Charlie Stross's and Cory Doctorow's books...
Oct 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2012, sf
How do you talk about life in a world that has fundamentally changed? That’s the challenge that faced Doctorow & Stross. Their solution is to provide us with a luddite protagonist, Huw, who is almost as much of an outsider as the reader. Much like Arthur Dent, Huw is propelled through a series of misadventures that provide Doctorow & Stross with the opportunity to riff on both the singularity and contemporary culture.

There’s a paradox at the heart of this book. While its tone is light an
Karen Grothe
Jul 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: personal
I got this book at my local library as a "Blind Date with a Book" - it was wrapped in brown paper wrap with the description, "Humorous Sci-Fi. Cyberpunk Fiction. Full of Pop Culture References. Revenge of the Nerds." At first, I was concerned that it might be Ready Player One, which I have already read and liked, but I decided to give it a try anyway. I was pleasantly surprised that it was this book because I had just been considering this book a few minutes before I picked up the wrapped one!

Patrick DiJusto
Oct 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Not quite a sequel to Accellerando, it seems to be set in the same universes.

The worst part of the book, (and I do mean the WORST part; it practically ruined the whole book for me) was the authors' cutesy game of cramming the text with as many SF references as possible. Someone drinks Diet Slurm, they dine on Megatherium, and toward the end of the book, without out any fuss, the stars go out. Since part of the plot deals with the end of the universe, I was expecting -- and dreading -- a restaur
Oriyah Nitkin
Nov 08, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sci-fi perverts
Shelves: fiction
Well. That was unpleasant.

At first I thought this book was just one big science-fiction cliche...until I remembered that I don't hate all science-fiction. Some other reviewers said it was written to sound like The Hitchkiker's Guide to the Galaxy. And it did, but a far more annoying, explicit version. Gratuitous sex and cursing. Bla bla bla. There were 2 lines in the book that I actually thought were clever, but that's all.

Until around the halfway mark, I wavered between dropping the book entire
Michael Jones
Sep 06, 2012 marked it as did-not-finish
I chose not to finish this book. I'm no idiot when it comes to technology, but even so the humor in this novel is a little too cerebral for me... every sentence seemed to have some term or concept in it that I wasn't familiar with. I would have had to keep Wikipedia open the whole time just to get all of the jokes. On top of that, the narrative is uncomfortably quick to go in sexual directions. I'm not a prude when it comes to fiction, but when it's random and gratuitous, in my opinion it just s ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Slow Apocalypse
  • Intrusion
  • The Fourth Wall (Dagmar Shaw #3)
  • Toast, and Other Stories
  • The Fractal Prince (Jean le Flambeur, #2)
  • The Eternal Flame (Orthogonal, #2)
  • Any Day Now
  • Be My Enemy (Everness, #2)
  • In the Mouth of the Whale (The Quiet War, #3)
  • Up Against It
  • Postsingular
  • Lost Everything
  • Spin Control (Spin Trilogy, #2)
  • Arctic Rising
  • The Caryatids
  • Bowl of Heaven (Bowl of Heaven, #1)
See similar books…
Cory Doctorow is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger — the co-editor of Boing Boing and the author of the YA graphic novel In Real Life, the nonfiction business book Information Doesn’t Want To Be Free, and young adult novels like Homeland, Pirate Cinema, and Little Brother and novels for adults like Rapture Of The Nerds and Makers. He is a Fellow for the Electron ...more
“What you’ve got to understand, son,” says the doctor, “is it’s all the fault of the alien space bats.” 6 likes
“Giant letters march across the dome of the sky: HOME NOT FOUND. Huw, who knows Comic Sans when she sees it, winces in mild disgust.” 3 likes
More quotes…