I was cautious about reading this novel after the disappointment of Halting State, but while not bowled over by Saturn’s Children was at least impressed by the crazy, crazy ideas Stross comes up with.
Knowing that sometimes scifi is merely an opportunity for a thinker to showcase either ideas or imagination, witness Red Mars as an example, I embraced Saturn’s Children in the spirit it was intended. And was therefore pleasantly suprised.
Saturn’s Children is the tale of a “robot” [read: android] living in a post homo sapien universe. After creating multiple types of robot to colonise the solar system humanity has expired, but the intelligences we create to assist us are living on. It’s a great premise. Personally I’ve always thought that Clarke’s BLACK MONOLITH travelling through outer space was always more realistic that trying to develop some fictional “hyperdrive”. The fact is, “monkey in a can” is not really a viable option in an environment as hostile as deep space. Androids however? No worries.
Anywho, I digress. The android in question is accidentally drawn into a web of intrigue surrounding the possible smuggling of “replicators” [read: the DNA templates for biological lifeforms], which are highly illegal in this fictional future. And from there this turns into a possible series of books about post-human life.
Now while I’d like to call this space opera, the apparent hard science underlying the novel is plausible enough to my non-trained mind that it keeps the opera label well away, and therefore improves the story. The description of the shitness of space travel is highly amusing for example.
So, all in all, a decent read. And especially for those with a scientific bent to them. Not as fantastic as Atrocity Archives, but… so be it. I’ll try to return this to the library tomorrow, for someone who wants to read it [/looks at Alan]