Saturday 26 November 2016

Book Review - Saturn's Children by Charles Stross

This was a fantastic read, which came as a bit of a surprise as I didn't get on with the few pieces of his that I'd read before. Now I will need to read more of his work. For me good science fiction involves big ideas, it is more than simply setting or technology. This book takes the idea of humanity's legacy once we no longer exists.

The author takes this premise and develops into a rich world. Before our demise we developed robots in our image and they permeate every part of life. After humanity's extinction they continue to live and operate throughout the solar system. The setting is well thought out and contains some fascinating ideas. There are some familiar ideas here, but they are expressed in a refreshing way.

A book needs more than just a decent setting and the lead character draws you through a fast paced plot. Freya is intricately developed, and her construct as a defunct concubine designed for human interaction, in a non-human world provides an interesting contrast. The concept of the multiple existences through the soul chips also creates some unexpected scenarios.

The story is strong, and evolves in some refreshing ways. There's serious consideration of the science involved, and while this is handled without becoming a major barrier to reading. I prefer my sci-fi reads to have a solid foundation, and that's certainly the case here.

Final mention should also be made about the author's writing.  In fairness my issues with previous books weren't down to the quality of his prose, and it was a major factor in enjoying this book. The dialogue in particular stands out, but I also appreciated how easily he tackles complex topics, without getting bogged down. This is a damn fine sci-fi read, and one well worth checking out by any fans of the genre.

Freya Nakamachi-47 has some major existential issues. She's the perfect concubine, designed to please her human masters - hardwired to become aroused at the mere sight of a human male. There's just one problem: she came off the production line a year after the human species went extinct.

Click here to buy Saturn's Children from Amazon

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