I like Stross's Laundry novels - as I suspect anyone with an affection for English spy fiction, and experience of English bureacracy, would do. However, that's a pretty closed world, so this excursion into the hardest of hard sf is a laudable attempt to engage with the mainstream. This particular theme is territory that has been explored by Vinge et al. What is commonly acknowleded is that the Singularity will be incomprehensible to us. What, therefore, can they write about? The answer is usually an exploration of what happens to those that choose to remain & therein lies the problem with this book. The main mass of humanity (and sentient financial instruments & all the interesting stuff) heads off into the white areas of the map The protagonsts are essentially reactive to events that happen off stage and that never makes for a compelling tale.