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Book Worms

Local musicians unleash their inner sci-fi geeks

3:33PM, Thu. Jul. 24, 2008

Book Worms

This week, a collection of local musicians geek out about sci-fi. Here's Brothers and Sisters bassist David Morgan's short list of favorite contemporary sci-fi novels:

The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson

Stephenson always packs an insane amount of ideas in his stories. The Diamond Age is set in a not-too-distant future full of nanotechnology, in which nations have given way to "tribes" or micronations. Like most Stephenson books, it's almost impossible to give a brief storyline but let's just say it follows a girl who grows up to lead a "Mouse Army" of young Chinese girls, an engineer who spends years as part of a hive-mind sex-cult human computer, and a technology specialist and hacker turned evil tribe leader named Dr. X.

Distraction by Bruce Sterling

A political thriller set in a near-future dystopia. The United States still exists but as a much looser confederation. A top political operative and genetic researcher fight for control of a research facility against a Huey Long-type Louisiana governor. The world that Sterling creates is recognizable as having grown out of our own if we let some of our own less-than-admirable societal instincts run wild.

Singularity Sky/Iron Sunrise by Charles Stross

Nominated for a Hugo Award in each of the last four years, Charles Stross is one of the most accomplished of the newest wave of writers. These two novels are set in the same fictional post-singularity universe (a singularity being the hypothetical point at which technology progresses so quickly that human society is irrevocably altered), in which an entity, probably a human-created Artificial Intelligence, has scattered humanity across the galaxy for its own mysterious ends. These books are part spy story, part space opera, and part exploration of what life after the singularity might be like.

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