I finally understand why Charles Stross is so popular even though I often find his fiction borderline unreadable. I think he writes for a tech savvy readership and they love him for it. It's great when an author gives you credit for intelligence and understanding and never talk down to you. However, while I know my way around Windows and Android phones I don't consider myself tech savvy, certainly my understanding of programming is minimal. A lot of what Stross puts in his fiction goes right over my head.
This is my third Stross book, originally it was going to be the first as it is available as a free e-book under Creative Commons licence, Unfortunately on that first attempt I could not read more than 50 pages and had to give it up. I had better luck with his [b:Singularity Sky|81992|Singularity Sky (Eschaton, #1)|Charles Stross|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1386924988s/81992.jpg|1192005] which I quite enjoyed, not long after that I read [b:The Atrocity Archives|101869|The Atrocity Archives (Laundry Files, #1)|Charles Stross|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1434300755s/101869.jpg|322252] which I partially enjoyed, very much like my second attempt at Accelerando. I wanted to give Accelerando another try because it is a highly rated book among my friends at PrintSF
online discussion group. While I don't rate the book quite so highly myself I kind of understand my peers' enthusiasm for it, there is a lot to admire in Accelerando even if the end result does not quite work for me.
Charles Stross has an immense imagination, he knows his science, and he has a sense of humour. In addition to all that his blogs and other online posts give the impression that he is a great guy, kind, friendly, modest, and enthusiastic about science and science fiction. The only snag is I find his prose style difficult to read. He employs a ton of technical jargon and neologism, most of which is never clarified I understand that he has numerous fans who do not have any problem comprehending his work, more power to them, I can only speak for myself.
Accelerando is a fix-up novel comprised of nine short stories about events shortly before the advent of the singularity, through the singularity and events post-singularity.There lies the weakness of the book as a novel for me, the nine stories do not bind together into one cohesive tale. The fix-up nature of the novel plays hell with the narrative rhythm, I find myself veering crazily back and forth between enjoying the book to feeling a bit bored and frustrated with it. The end result is on the positive side but not by a large margin. Practically every page is brimming with new ideas and concepts, sf readers who in this genre for the technological speculation is likely to have a field day. This is under the proviso that they are able to follow the author's technical expositions. I have to confess about 25% of these ideas flew right over my head, may be I just don't have enough bandwidth or storage space to cope with them. Be that as it may, the reading experience can be frustrating from time to time. Another complaint I have is with the characterization, most of the characters (except that weird cyber-cat) are of not worth caring about as Stross does not spend much time developing them, they just exist to drive the plot forward. I really do like the ideas that I was able to absorb though, especially those concerning posthumanism and Stross' speculation of what our race may eventually evolve or transcend into.
After being disappointed with [b:The Atrocity Archives|101869|The Atrocity Archives (Laundry Files, #1)|Charles Stross|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1434300755s/101869.jpg|322252] I kept telling myself that Charles Stross' sf books are just not for me, yet somehow his ideas always manage to entice me to pick up another one. I like Accelerando over all but I am also disappointed in it. The trouble is I am almost certain to read another one of his book in the near future and I probably won't enjoy it!