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On the road

I'm in Leeds, visiting relatives, so blogging will be light for a few days. Meanwhile, I'm mentioned tangentially in this article in the Guardian, by Wendy Grossman, on the subject of trusted computing, Vernor Vinge's "Rainbows End", and the panopticon singularity.

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1:

A good article. I liked Rainbow's Edge alot. It seemed to me to be an interesting alternative to the future you depicted in Accelerando. Rather than technology being controllable, he basically has the DRM folks win. The resulting futures are very similar though, seeming to hint at the futility of trying to resist progress.

Of course, the scope of his novel was a lot smaller -- a couple kids, some spies, and a giant rabbit in San Diego vs several generations and a couple solar systems.

2:

I'd say pop over and I'll buy you a beer - but Leeds isn't realistically that close to Manchester!

Didn't notice that article actually - very interesting that the Guardian's picking up on this stuff.

As a minor hitch to the RFID society - I just learnt that RFID tags are subject to the new RoHs rules (harmful substances in electronics). I wonder how badly they'll be effected?

3:

I'd actually like to write a review of "Rainbow's Edge," but the problem is that I don't know where to start. How do you write a science fiction review?

The short version is that I hated it. I know this because I had to force myself to keep reading. My disbelief finished the process of desuspending itself somewhere around page 100 and never returned.

The interesting part would be trying to figure out /why/ I hated it. The thing is, I'm not sure. I doubt it was the writing style, since I've enjoyed Vinge's other books. In fact, I know it wasn't stylistic; rather, it was substantive. What I don't know is how exactly to assemble my substantive problems with the book into a detailed critique. I'll give it a shot if anyone cares; otherwise, I don't really think highly enough of my thoughts on these issues to force them onto your blog comments.

Strangely, I read two science fiction novels over this vacation, and I haven't read an SF novel --- no, wait, I haven't been able to /finish/ an SF novel --- in quite some time. Ironically, my a priori expectation was that I would be bored by "The Patron Saint of Plagues" (due to desuspending disbelief, of course) and rather enjoy "Rainbow's Edge." Instead, the reverse occured, even though the biology in TPSOP is rather mickey-mouse, the economic reasons given for the relative decline of the United States pass into the realm of the ridiculous, and the Spanish in the book is laden with orthographical and grammatical errors. Yet the plot, (most of) the world, and what I perceived as the underlying message gripped me, whereas Vinge merely set my eyes rolling on the first two counts and only kept me wading through it on the third.

Charlie, what did you think of Vinge's book? Oh, and would you mind if I asked you a question about "Accelerando" that might be taken as hostile, but which truly is not intended as such?

4:

The beginning - including the dedication - of Rainbows End was very promising - I really had a sense of aniticipation. The end fizzled, for me at least. The last half of the book would have been better reduced to a third, or a quarter...

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This page contains a single entry by Charlie Stross published on June 29, 2006 11:03 PM.

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