The Rapture of the Nerds

The Rapture of the Nerds

Book - 2012
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Welcome to the fractured future, at the dusk of the twenty-first century.

Earth has a population of roughly a billion hominids. For the most part, they are happy with their lot, living in a preserve at the bottom of a gravity well. Those who are unhappy have emigrated, joining one or another of the swarming densethinker clades that fog the inner solar system with a dust of molecular machinery so thick that it obscures the sun.

The splintery metaconsciousness of the solar-system has largely sworn off its pre-post-human cousins dirtside, but its minds sometimes wander...and when that happens, it casually spams Earth's networks with plans for cataclysmically disruptive technologies that emulsify whole industries, cultures, and spiritual systems. A sane species would ignore these get-evolved-quick schemes, but there's always someone who'll take a bite from the forbidden apple.

So until the overminds bore of stirring Earth's anthill, there's Tech Jury Service: random humans, selected arbitrarily, charged with assessing dozens of new inventions and ruling on whether to let them loose. Young Huw, a technophobic, misanthropic Welshman, has been selected for the latest jury, a task he does his best to perform despite an itchy technovirus, the apathy of the proletariat, and a couple of truly awful moments on bathroom floors.

Publisher: New York : Tor, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780765329103
Branch Call Number: SF DOC
SF DOC
Characteristics: 349 p. ; 22 cm
Additional Contributors: Stross, Charles

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SCL_Justin Jul 24, 2017

I’d read the Appeals Court part of Cory Doctorow & Charles Stross’ The Rapture of the Nerds when it was first published and thought it was kind of meh. This version has two more stories to flesh it out into more of a book, and the last section makes the whole worth reading.

I guess the early bits about the messenger and the being called into techno-court are okay, but so much of it seems like an excuse to just toss a bunch of ideas together. They're interesting ideas, but it didn't really pull me in. I appreciated the gender-switching as Huw got incarnated differently through the story and the family relationships, but mostly the book didn’t really do it for me, until part three.

ikehull Jul 08, 2013

This is a fascinating and hilarious read, packed to the gills with amazing ideas as well as solid characterization. Some of the ideas refine ones presented in Stross's previous works like "Accelerando" or other SF books, but are presented more entertainingly. The book moves at breakneck speed, and there's no sign of which parts were written by Doctorow and which by Stross.

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scp2695
Apr 09, 2013

My first reaction to collaborations like this is to look for the seams. Having read some of Stross', "Laundry" series I was familiar with his style, the relentless parade of ideas, and humorous bits. Not so with Doctorow; I have read his n.f. on the web. I abandoned the one novel of his I have picked up.No matter; the seams are barely discernible.

Enjoyed the book because of the ideas, representation of the crappy future on Earth.The rest of humanity has uploaded themselves to the inner system, sending Care packages to earth. These Care goodies have to be judged before they can be released generally, and Huw, the atavistic protagonist of the novel, is tasked with sitting on such a jury. And we're off.

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elevatorman
Jan 10, 2014

elevatorman thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

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