Today's Reading: Lobsters
The offhand references, several per paragraph, to mind-bending concepts (animal uploading, the first AIs, reputation markets, stream-of-consciousness blogs, metacortex, algamics, post-scarcity economy, AIneko, Matrioshka brains, computronium, 3D printers…); the reckless pace; the nonpareil geek protagonist, Mannfred Macx, a “venture altruist”; the kinky BDSM sex thread; its undeniable modernity; its staggering density (this is an information-overload short-story; to be read with Google, Slashdot, Answers.com, and Wikipedia handy)… Charlie Stross‘s Lobsters is as unique a sci-fi short story as you’re likely to find. It has been almost a year since I read it but in the meantime it has only become more impressive, more unnerving in its increasing overlap with our present. It was the story that made me believe again in a literature that said something about my present, about our impending singularity future. It’s also the first story of Stross’s Accelerando novel, easily one of the best nonfiction books of 2005 (and it’s not like I don’t see its flaws, it’s that his daring more than makes up for them).