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8.11.2005

I finished Accelerando. It's a really good book and I recommend it to anyone. Basically, it seems to start in the 2020's or so and go for roughly 10 decades, through three generations of a family (technically I think it's four, but Amazon disagrees). It follows the main characters as the world around them changes, both through their influence and things they can't control. It's really well-written and a lot of it is totally believable. It also contains a ton of humour throughout.

My favorite thing about Accelerando is all the technology talked about, because most of it has actually been theorized about, like Matrioshka Brains. Another cool thing is the publicly traded reputation of individuals, kind of how it is in Down and out in the Magic Kingdom (a pretty cool book, only Accelerando is much better by far). The funny thing is the Xbox 360 is going to have a reputation system built in, "Reputation: A rating provided by the community indicates how you are perceived by other players. Think of it as the Xbox Live equivalent of a reliability rating.", so it's not hard to see it actually being used as credit at some point in the future. Some of the things in the book are kind of obscure though, so unless you're insane (me) and spend all your time reading about electronics, physics, and computers, you might want to take a look at this handy Accelerando Technical Companion.

The only warning I can give you is that it starts out a little slow. At first, you're trying to figure out what it's about and where it's going, but once you're into it, you can't put it down.

The best part of the book is that the author, Charles Stross, has actually released it free for download. So pick up a free copy here and tell your friends about it if you like it. Any author willing to release his books for free as well as print versions pretty much instantly earns my respect, because it means they're trying to work with the internet and the changes it brings instead of opposing it, like the RIAA or MPAA are doing.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the robot cat, Aineko. Totally worth it just to read about her/him/it.

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