JOHN MEANEY

7.12.04

ACCELERANDO

That'll be the dative or ablative case of a gerund, unless I'm mistaken. Doesn't matter. This narrative accelerates so far beyond current norms that old Latin and the world we know right now are equally left in the dust. I'm talking about Accelerando, a splendiferous novel by Charles Stross: an intellectual firework display that just keeps getting faster and furiouser...

It begins in this 21st Century, with a not-exactly-entrepeneur called Manfred Macx living a lifestyle that's rocketing beyond the current norms... but here's the thing: Manfred's on the foothill of an exponential slope. I read the first chapter with my mouth hanging open – good job I waited for the cold weather, so there were no flies about – when I wasn't laughing. Oh, yeah... It's a hugely *funny* book. Imagine that you're in the headstand position, watching a downhill skier: there's a blood-rush to the brain and a sense of someone on a hurtling trajectory upwards. That'll be the entire human race you're watching evolve.

It's a singular novel, about the forthcoming singularity. Oh, and that cat...

Please read Accelerando. If you're the kind of person that knows why applets and sandboxes go together like bagels and soft cheese, then you absolutely GOTTA read it. Regardless, it's mind-expanding and fun. Marvellous. Loved it. Thanks, Charlie.

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