Review of 'Saturn's Children'

Saturn's Children by Charles Stross

saturns_children.jpg This is the latest from the SF phenomenon that is Charles Stross and is a bit of a departure from his more straight-forward space opera – But, fans should note, not a significant one.

Freya is a robot (or synthetic human, more accurately) that was created to be a concubine or companion for her human creators. The problem is that the humans are all extinct leaving her without a real purpose. Early in the story Freya has an altercation with an aristo (the elite, and idle, members of her society) that means she has to quickly leave Venus. She takes a job with a somewhat dubious organisation wanting her to courier a package to Mercury. Her problems only mount as the story eventually involves her sibs (“sisters” of the same model, effectively) and a catastrophic change to the social structure of the society she lives in.

Another triumph for Stross, Saturn's Children is full of weird and interesting concepts as well as characters which keeps the reader guessing throughout. I particularly enjoyed his description of travel between planets as being quite a realistic depiction (none of this “faster than light” nonsense) and Freya's reaction to it is quite amusing (let us say it is not a reaction of pleasure…well, after her first trip…). There are several scenes that are quite graphic compared to Stross' previous work but it is in keeping with the story (she is a SEX robot for goodness sake!). I did find the confusing a bit confusing as things get wrapped up using bits and pieces from throughout the story…But, that is perhaps me just not paying attention so well.

Stross' writing is, as always, fluid and extremely easy on the eye. I am looking forward to his next triumph.

Rating: “Really good but I have some issues”

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Orbit

Publication Date: 2008

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