“The Rapture of the Nerds”

Cory Doctorow & Charles Stross

Had a bit of a roller coaster in reading this book—it started off well, with the sort of fascinating worldbuilding that I do associate with Doctorow’s visions of the future. By the midpoint, though, I found myself rooting for the vague sense of doom. None of the characters were at all likable, and the idea of everyone being removed from the universe to make it a better place for everyone else started to feel nice.

The second half recovered well, though, and while I still think the protagonist is a bit of an ass, there was at least some personal growth on display. A lot of that arc of the story reminded me of The Improbable Rise of Singularity Girl—that same feeling of explorative transhumanism, and trying to apply computer science concepts (and scale!) to sentience. (That “bringing in actual computer science and engineering” stuff also reminds me of Ra, which takes a wildly different approach to this kind of story, but also quite enjoyable.)

Overall, I do totally recommend this book. And, being a Doctorow novel, you can actually pick it up as a free ebook, although I do recommend, for the sake of both the authors and the publisher that they apparently quite like, buying a physical copy.

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