The Rapture of the Nerds, by Charles Stross and Cory Doctorow
Sci-Fi and Fantasy writers often present original concepts in their novels, but Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross not only invented new ideas for The Rapture of the Nerds, but an entire new lexicon. It is missing a glossary, but if you’re not the kind of reader who immediately needs to make sense of a book, then you can just let all those un-English words and speculative notions roll over you, and eventually something will come out in the wash.
I had to read it three times to get the gist of it, but a couple of new words stuck in my head. One was “meatsuit” – the bodies that humans are in: as much as one would like information and even personalities to be in code and uploaded to the Cloud somewhere, we all live in meatsuits and if we leave the meatsuit we die. At least, that is what one would suppose.
Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, by Cory Doctorow
Cory Doctorow writes about the future as if it were today, as if it were about him and his buddies, and as if everything he invents were the most normal thing in the world despite being completely outrageous.* It makes you think, afterwards. The ideas in this novel, such as the end of death, living multiple lifetimes, choosing to “deadhead” for a while until the world changes, and so on, drop into your head like vanilla custard onto a nice, comfy warm pudding. It all seems quite plausible and entertaining. But then he brings up something which is truly old-school, hardline Psychology, and makes it sound annoyingly and disturbingly futuristic. That is his skill. (Keep going…)