Thursday, July 31, 2008

Saturn's Children - Charles Stross


Saturn’s Children
A Space Opera
Charles Stross
Ace

Science Fiction

In the far future, humans are extinct. We’re gone, but our constructs live on after us. Robots, artificial intelligence, and various other constructs continue to live and proliferate through space. Freya is an android, created from a template to be a companion to a human – in all senses of the word – but ‘born’ too late. There are no more humans, making the existence of Freya and her sister-bots relatively meaningless. Many of her sisters have removed their soul chips and died, sending their memories to the remaining sisters to be shared.

Society now is highly stratified. The aristos are the wealthy ruling class. If you’re not an aristo, you have no hope of becoming one. Your construct is your fate in society. As the story begins, Freya is pretty much stuck on Venus, without enough money to pay for passage to anyplace else. That’s why, when someone asks her to travel to Mercury to pick up a package and take it to Mars, she agrees. Anything to get off Venus and away from the very dangerous aristo who wants her deal, for real.

Acting on impulse is almost never a good idea. Although she gets off Venus, this particular package puts her in the path of danger from persons (or robots) unknown. Her trip through the solar system and beyond is as much a futuristic travel adventure as it is a mystery or a scifi story. As usual, the author creates a character-driven story with a scifi background, accessible to any reader, not just fans of the genre. Stross’ novels (GLASSHOUSE, HALTING STATE) are always different, and always well worth the read.

Rating: 8
July 2008
ISBN# 978-0-441-01594-8 (hardcover)

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