Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Post Script - The Rapture of the Nerds

The Rapture of the Nerds, by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross, was a frustratingly difficult novel to review. The pacing and plot are so frenetic, and the subject of the Singularity so esoteric, that the first dozen drafts were either excessively detailed and lengthy, or uselessly vague. At least half of my attempts turned into essays on the Singularity which left me with little opportunity to segue into a summary of the novel. 

The reading experience that came before the review process was excellent, however. I can't think of any other story so crazed and yet so seamless. There's a point where there is quite literally danger at every turn, and the protagonist's hands-in-the-air, "now what?"/"are you kidding me?!?" responses throughout are hilariously truer to life than most works of fiction dare portray. There's an element of self-satire for which this book particularly stands out in my mind. 

The pop culture references, though not necessarily a rare occurrence in modern fiction, were all personal favorites, e.g. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Doctor Who, The Matrix. There were even some references to David Brin's Uplift series, which completed a sort of circle given Brin's reference to The Rapture of the Nerds in the chapter epigraphs of his recently released novel Existence

Ultimately, I believe I managed a decent job of breaking things down for potential readers. The review garnered several retweets, including one from each author. For me, exploring the limitless possibilities of the posthuman era made for an exciting and amusing ride. The Rapture of the Nerds is definitely a book I recommend to fans of science fiction and absurdist literature.

My original review of The Rapture of the Nerds

My review of David Brin's Existence @ Literally Jen