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Neptune's Brood Paperback – 5 Jun 2014


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit (5 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0356501000
  • ISBN-13: 978-0356501000
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 147,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles Stross was born in Leeds, England, in 1964. He has worked as a pharmacist, software engineer and freelance journalist, but now writes full time.

Product Description

Review

Neptune's Brood is fast-paced, imaginative, and embeds some fascinating ideas about the economics of an interstellar society constrained by real physics. Above all else, though, it's just terrific fun (Alastair Reynolds)

Neptune's Brood is the perfect book for our times (io9)

A thoroughly entertaining sci-fi mind-expander from one of the genre's most reliable imaginations (SFX (five star review))

Book Description

Neptune's Brood is a brand new space opera from science fiction legend Charles Stross. Shortlisted for the Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel and the Hugo Award for Best Novel

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Susan Stepney on 28 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a tale of robots, interstellar space travel, body modification, economics, child abuse, brain downloading, deep sea diving, and more. This is set in the same universe as Saturn’s Children, although several thousand years later, when the robots have established an interstellar civilisation. Krina Alizond is a clone-daughter of Sondra, trained as a historical economics librarian, now at loose on the universe, trying to track down her clone-sister. The reason gradually becomes clear: they have a great secret, and lots of other people are after it.

The robots are “humans”, but not the old-fashioned “fragile” variety: those keep going extinct. These new improved less-fragile people still have many of the same issues, though, only with longer lives and stronger more malleable bodies for those issues to play out in.

The main thrust of the book, leavened by many delicious little scenes of utter madness, is how to run a currency across interstellar space when there is only slower-than-light travel, and the scams that can be played as a result. That might sound potentially dull, but remember, this is Stross. The complex plot weaves several threads skilfully together, until the final denouement where all becomes clear (and Stross again subverts Weber).

Good fun, with some deep ideas, and I gave it my vote for the Hugo this year.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By P. Kendell VINE VOICE on 6 July 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
They call economics the "dismal science". So does it follow that a science fiction novel based on economics will also be dismal?

Well, no, not necessarily, but it's a close-run thing. Charles Stross has obviously had a good think about the economics of interstellar colonisation in a relativistic universe and boy, does he want us to know it. So he falls into the the old SF trope of introducing a term, leaving it a couple of pages, and then explaining it. At length. And all that had me doing was saying, 'OK, Charlie. Got it already. Let's move on now, shall we?' Surely Stross has been writing long enough by now to remember the mantra of "show, don't tell"? Trust your readers!

Fortunately he does, mostly. But look - I'm neither an economist nor a nun-historian, so if I can get it without having it spelled out in repeated detail so can anyone.

That over, what's left is fun in a later version of the post-human future history we first encountered in (the superior) Saturn's Children. It all rollicks along in a cheerfully gruesome manner until we reach the final showdown when everything unexpectedly and abruptly sto
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By D. Harris TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 4 July 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book is a follow up (not a sequel) set in the same universe as Stross's earlier Saturn's Children (and for completeness, a short story, "Bit Rot" in the anthology Engineering Infinity fits in between and is mentioned in passing here).

It is several thousand years in the future. Humanity has become extinct - and been recreated - several times. Taking our place is a flourishing society of post-humans, originally robots created to do our bidding (as described in "Saturn's Children"). They are tougher than us, better able to survive the rigours of interplanetary travel and able to be transferred, as software, from one body to another. Yet their design was originally based on ours, and they share all our failings and feelings (subject, of course, to the effects of a tweak here or there to increase empathy or decrease libido - the better to focus on the task in hand).

Krina Alizond and her kind inhabit a society that is enthusiastically colonizing the galaxy, establishing toeholds in remote systems where "beacons" are constructed to which colonists can be "beamed" and downloaded into freshly grown bodies. it's a lucrative trade, financed by massive debt, and Stross goes to some lengths to explain the economic basis of the whole thing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas on 12 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The core story of the book is wonderful, and there's a rich amount of world building that runs deep from accountancy, the interaction of finance and society to radiation and the physics of (non-FTL) space flight. However, it feels like there's far, far too much going on, the plot lines do all intersect and tie together but it as you read through it there's a slight lack of flow until it's all pieced together. Stross is accused (unfairly, in my opinion) of not being able to write an end to a book, but for this one it feels like he ran out of steam or had to drastically trim the word count in and the ending comes and goes in the blink of an eye without a lot of resolution.

All in all, I really enjoyed the book, I just wish the payoff was delivered slightly better.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Alexander J. Thirkill on 6 Aug. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Once again Stross creates an interesting premise, but is unable to satisfactorily conclude.

This is the case with iron sunrise, the whole laundry series. We get to about 95% of the way through and then it is finished in a 1, 2, 3, often a deus ex machina.

I like Stross' work, but like Iain Banks, I think his work rate is undermining the quality control. I'd like to see him get back to the heights of Glasshouse and Accelerando.

Adequate, but I should have waited until it came out in paper-back.
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