March 2005
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Day March 20, 2005

Book #17: Singularity Sky, by Charles Stross

Rainy weekend, and I happened to stumble into the University Bookstore yesterday, and picked up Singularity Sky.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, though stylistically it was very different than the almost whimsical Atrocity Archives. In the latter, one always had the sense that the author was writing tongue-in-cheek, not quite taking himself or the story that seriously. Not quite Douglas Adams whimsical, but close to the tone of Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series, of which I’m a huge fan. Singularity Sky is quite different — a space opera combined with a political take on runaway technological evolution. I would have enjoyed more detail on the social consequences of technological singularity, and perhaps less detailed description of space battle tactics, but this is a minor point (and likely an idiosynratic preference).

And now, it’s back to more serious reading. Soros’ Open Society is boring me a fair bit, mostly because I’m finding his method of building up his economic critique from first principles long-winded and philosophically simplistic. And naturally, since I agree with his goals of fostering open societies (which requires a careful balance between regulation, social justice, and healthy capitalism), what I’m hoping is that the middle bits, where I get to read specifics on his economic thinking, will be worth the slog. And, of course, occasional dips in the Penrose pool, but I’m doing that sparingly since I lack the background to read it quickly.