Sunday, October 16, 2005

Iron Sunrise

See the book on the left, Iron Sunrise by Charles Stross? Never, ever read it. If you don't believe me, don't read on, as I'll ruin things for you, although reading the book will ruin more for you than anything I could do. Yes, yes...I realize I found Stross' first book interesting and was hoping his sophomore effort would address some of the deficiencies in that book, but it's more as though he took everything bad in the first book, amplified it, and added new, significant, annoyances. I can summarize the plot as "Planet of uber(wo)men neo-Nazis attempt to spread their ideology and take down a singularity-looped AI by generating their own ubermensch-uploaded AI they worship as a God, but are handily defeated by the UN, a reporter and a teenager with bad fashion sense, all of whom primarily do nothing more than run around in circles, on a cruise boat in space. Cue killer clown, gratuitous, unnecessary, sex scenes, and a motif of love will defeat the neo-Nazi menace for spice." Don't believe me it's that bad? The characters are beyond annoying. They're insipid, uninspired, unbelievable, unnatural, and unreadable. I can't stress how much I disliked every character in the book by the time I was done. I can't convey my horror that the whole book seems to be a setup for a sequel. I really wish the supernova that gave the book its title had taken out the whole universe that gave rise to this novel. I have read worse, just not recently.

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