Review of 'The Rapture of the Nerds'

The Rapture of the Nerds by Cory Doctorow, and Charles Stross

rapture_of_the_nerds.jpg I should have known when I saw the authors and these particular two in combination that this would be an odd book. It is. I found it difficult to follow and get into though oddly entertaining…

In the world of the post-singularity Huw is a technophobe who, answering the summons to be part of a jury defending Earth from the technological blight, gets involved in a whole lot more trouble than he anticipated. The story takes a serious turn for the bizarre with Huw being taken captive then thrown to the whim of religious fanaticism in Glory City, then uploaded into the cloud to spend several years making pottery in a virtually recreated facsimile of his childhood home, and then ruthlessly attacked by a malware-invested copy of himself…topped off with being asked to defend humanity by alien invaders tipped off by a virtual recreation of his long-lost father. Odd, indeed.

It is a fun read, that is for sure, but it is so way-out there that often it is very confusing. Obviously this is largely tongue-in-cheek and a lot of the social commentary laid bare and clear to see - sexual norms, blind bureaucracy, meaninglessness of existence, etc. I took the entire book to be one of humour but certain elements certainly hit home and are quite prescient in the world we live in despite being set in the future.

My advice to potential readers: Don't take it too seriously and try to enjoy the ride. Advice to my past self: Meh. Give it a miss.

Rating: “Average, but who wants to be average?”

Review Date: 2016-04-03

Genre: Science Fiction

Publisher: Titan Books

Publication Date: 2013

ISBN: 9781781167441

Other reviewed books by Charles Stross:

Other reviewed books by Cory Doctorow: