Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club
Singularity Sky (2003)
Charles Stross - Singularity Sky
Singularity Sky is a quirky science fiction book set 500 years in the future on planets of the New Republic (which were settled mostly by Eastern Europeans) and in space aboard the starship Lord Vanek.
The Festival, a group of interstellar travelers, visits technologically and socially backward planet Rochard's World, where the New Republic government suppresses technology and oppresses the common people. The Festival drops telephones from orbit, offering those who pick up the phones anything they wish in exchange for "entertaining" them. The influx of new goods and instant change causes havoc and economical collapse.
The New Republic, hearing that Rochard's World is "under siege", sends an interstellar military fleet. Hoping to surprise the Festival, which they wrongly assume to be a conventional opponent, they implement a secret plan that takes the fleet on a roundabout route through space and time so as to arrive at Rochard's World unexpectedly early with information dropped from their future. They don't dare go directly into the past and arrive before the Festival, because that would create a time causality violation which is forbidden by a nearly Godlike artificial intelligence known as the Eschaton, or "the Big E". In the 21st century the Eschalon displaced 9/10 of the population of Earth overnight to planets throughout the universe, because someone was fooling with time travel.
Earth engineer Martin Springfield is hired to update the space drives on the battlecruiser Lord Vanek. Rachel Mansour is UN weapons inspector with amazingly versatile luggage. Each is working alone, and has a secret mission. Neither is trusted by the New Republic. Martin is followed, and Rachel is despised because she's an intrusive woman with diplomatic immunity. Martin and Rachel discover that they share much in common. They soon realize that being aboard the flagship Lord Vanek, leading the New Republic attack against The Festival, may not be the safest place to be. The Festival has technology so advanced the New Republic can hardly imagine it, let alone fight it.
Meanwhile Burya Rubenstein, an exiled political dissident who had been plotting revolution for years, sees the anarchy on Rochard's World firsthand as he travels across the transformed landscape with Critic Sister Seventh, a cryptic tusked creature hosted by The Festival.summary written by
10 Wow! Don't miss it
8-9 Highly recommended
5-6 Mild recommendation
3-4 Take your chances
1-2 Below average; skip it
0 Get out the flamethrower!
U Unfinishable or unreadable
- Skipped or no rating given