Most helpful positive review
Space Opera Meets The Singularity
on November 19, 2003
About 250 light years from Earth a planet called Rochard's World is being 'attacked' by an entity going by the name of "The Festival", which gives the inhabitants of Rochard's World almost anything they want in exchange for seemingly very little. Rochard's World is a colony of "The New Republic" which, in this far future novel, prohibits, due to religious beliefs and philosophy, imports and use of technology above a certain level, including life extension medical benefits. The New Republic, in their reactionary way, sends starships across time and space to defeat The Festival, not even knowing the true nature of the 'enemy'. One of the technologies outlawed by The New Republic is nanotechnology, so it may seem they are at a disadvantage from the beginning. They spend much of their time on board ship polishing their extensive brass fittings, laughable. Martin and Rachel, two of the primary characters, have excellent banter between them. Martin is an engineer and Rachel is a U.N. representative, neither are citizens of The New Republic. Lots of intrigue along the way, keeps it interesting. Another power to be reckoned with is the Eschaton, an omnipotent artificial intelligence, which forbids most kinds of time travel for a good reason, The New Republic stands to recieve their wrath for using time travel in their attempt to defeat The Festival.
This is all great reading, part of it old-fashioned space opera of The New Republic and their pre-nanotech strategies as they go against post-singularity nanotech. I took one star off of my review as I thought Charles Stross at times had an unclear writing style, sometimes I had difficulty making some sense of what I was reading, but this is a minor criticism, this novel is very good and well worth your time.