Copyright 2005 by
I first read this on the 5th June 2006.
The natural intelligence of humankind plus the rapidly accelerating growth of
artificial intelligences finally reach a critical mass of intelligence density.
This triggers an exponential increase as intelligent systems breed like bacteria
throughout the Solar System.
Manfred Macx is something of an eccentric genius. He puts people together with
the ideas they need to trigger new discoveries, inventions and fortunes. He
doesn't need the money himself - he's content to exist on the largesse of
those he's helped.
He's there at the start of the intelligence revolution. It is his vision
and his ideas that will trigger it in the early 21st century.
He'll see his daughter rule an empire in the asteroid belt.
He'll be there at the end when the planets and asteroids of the Solar System have been
devoured in the search for material and energy; when the aliens have been met and
defeated; when empires have risen and fallen; when humanity has travelled
across the galaxy and finally returned home.
You thought that the twentieth Century was a time of accelerating
discovery and innovation. Maybe so, but you ain't seen nothing yet.
You have no idea how fast it is going to get in the 21st.
Charles Stross describes the incredible changes that will hit us in the 21st
You'll be with Manfred Macx and his family: Pamela his ex-wife,
Annette his girl-friend, his daughter Amber and her son Sirhan
and of course Aineko his robot cat. You'll have the most exhilarating ride
through the future as AI processing power exceeds 10,000 times the total human
intelligence in the Solar System, and continues to roar on past, accelerating
That's probably a totally misleading summary of this brilliant,
tightly-plotted, tense, exhilerating rocket-ride of a novel.
There's a real rush in his descriptions of increasing computational
capability. And with respectful homage to Vernor Vinge, of course.
It's a prodigious achievement, I loved it (even if it is really 9 short stories
Loaded on the 25th January 2007.