As Damien Walter noted recently on twitter, some time between 1995 and 2010, the human species began to develop functional telepathy. (Actually, the first sign of this became real on October 29th, 1969, but exponential growth from a small base takes a long time to become noticeable.) We now have over a billion human beings on the internet, and so many devices that the IPv4 address space is saturated: within the next decade we can expect multiple new satellite internet constellations (such as OneWeb and rivals) to bring pervasive internet access to the globe. Smartphones are pushing down into the sub-$50 space where they're affordable even by those living just at the global poverty threshold (and the decline in global poverty over the past decade is working away at the other end). It no longer looks implausible to suggest that almost everybody will be online by 2025.
Charlie Stross: July 2015 Archives
Here's a Big Idea piece about the book that I wrote for John Scalzi's blog.
I did an AMA on Reddit's /r/books forum—lots more stuff here!
Here's a review on Tor.com.
And here's the copy editor's account of working on the book.
(I may update this entry and add more stuff as I see fit.)
Update: On the Audio book front: there's been some delay with the recording process, but the audio book version is due out "soon". (Which in publishing-speak probably means 1-3 months tops.)
It's US publication day for The Annihilation Score!
So here is a spoiler thread.
Feel free to discuss "The Annihilation Score" (and if you ask me a question I might show up and answer it) in the comments below.
But it would be unwise to read the comments below if you haven't read the book yet and want it to hold any surprises.
Some novels just don't happen when you expect them to. That was the case in mid to late 2013. I was supposed to be working on The Lambda Functionary, a third book in a thematic trilogy that started with Halting State and Rule 34, but it was turning out to be tough—much tougher than I expected. Partly I'd loaded too many ideas into it, but I was also becoming uneasily aware of the impending Scottish political singularity. The world of Halting State diverges from our own because I dreamed it up in 2005-06 as a plausible projection for the world of 2017, and we're much closer to 2017 now than we were back then: the flaws are visible. Given that the SPS will extend through 2017 (thanks to the coming referendum on continuing UK membership of the EU) it became impossible to write a third book in that universe. So I shelved it (although a bunch of those ideas will turn up, sooner rather than later, in a different near future novel).
So in August 2012 I was getting a bit panicky over the book I was failing to write. I was at the world science fiction convention, and had a date to do dinner with my editor, Ginjer Buchanan, lately of Ace. (She retired in March 2014.) So once we'd eaten, I raised the topic of The Lambda Functionary. "It's being difficult," I said: "I really need an extra year to write it."
Ever told a project manager that you're running a bit late and please can I have an extra year? Yeah, it went down about the way you might imagine: except that Ginjer had been editing me for over a decade and has my number. "You're thinking of something else," she suggested.
A very brief update (because I'm still knee-deep in work and I don't want to bomb you with trivia):
If you're in Edinburgh, I'll be reading from and signing "The Annihilation Score" in Blackwell's Bookshop this evening at 6:30pm. Tickets are free from the front desk; further details here.
Tor.com have published a longer extract from "The Annihilation Score", which you can read online (it goes a good bit further than the teaser Orbit put out last week: note, may contain spoilers for the ending of The Rhesus Chart).
The official UK/Aus/NZ launch date is tomorrow, which is when the ebooks will show up. In the UK, hardbacks are already showing up on shop displays; they're in a container on their way to the antipodes and on past form I expect them to be in shops by the end of the month. North Americans will have to wait until next Thursday ...