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Charles Stross – Accelerando


„Your drink.“ The barman holds out an improbable-looking goblet full of blue liquid with a cap of melting foam and a felching straw stuck out at some crazy angle. Manfred takes it and heads for the back of the split-level bar, up the steps to a table where some guy with greasy dreadlocks is talking to a suit from Paris.

The story starts in an already advanced world where implants are getting widespread throughout the population. Manfred Macx is a political activist fighting for the rights of lobsters and uploaded kittens.

„But they’re only uploads.“ Pamela stares at him. „Software, right? You could reinstantiate them on another hardware platform, like, say, your Aineko. So the argument about killing them doesn’t really apply, does it?“

Manfred and Pamela somehow get a daughter – Amber – who escapes the imprisonment of her mother and takes the robot cat Aineko with her. Her adventures take her to a faraway router. She reigns over a planet, and leaves a backup behind. While the „real“ Amber is away, her backup is getting married and having a baby with Sadeq. She returns to find her son Sirhan, whom she never met before. Sirhan has had several childhoods and is very interested in the complicated history of his family. His grandmother Pamela (aged in a time where aging is avoidable) has returned to answer at least some of his questions.

Pamela raises her cane and points out into the billowing methane thunderclouds, her expression puzzled. „I’ll swear I saw a lobster out there …“

Interesting aspects of the family story are the thought that politics will stay with us although technology evolves constantly. The robot cat Aineko accompanies the family throughout the centuries, until the last pages nobody has noticed that what has startet as a software-driven robot has achieved consciousness and is silently controlling all the persons in its range.

Did we really split up because Aineko made us? It’s hard to believe: Manfred is too much of a realist to trust the cat to tell the truth except when it serves to further his interests. But this –

I’m not that into Science Fiction literature which I had to see once more while I worked through this complicated book with all its technical details and absurd hops through time and space. But I guess it gave me an interesting insight into the genre of Cyberpunk. I’ll give myself a little break with Terry Pratchett until I take the attempt to read „Halting state“ which is still living on the shelf of unread books.

Weitere Informationen: Accelerando – Charles Stross’s blogPhantastik-Couch.deCyberpunk @