enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: Charles Stross, Saturn's Children

I read this book about 22-Sep-2008. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2008. This note was last modified Thursday, 09-Oct-2008 18:23:12 PDT.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


The American edition has a somewhat regrettable cover; not to say inappropriate.

Charlie has described this as something of a late Heinlein pastiche, and I guess I can see that in some ways. It's got a very modern expensive-energy backstory, though, which Heinlein would never have tolerated.

The extensive and meticulous worldbuilding is one of the strengths of this book. When the robots are orphaned by the extinction of their Creators (that'd be us), what kind of society would they evolve? It's messy, complicated, and I find it very believable and nicely thought through. He even manages to make it semi-believable that the only place you find green goo on the loose (um, that'd be plant life) is on a trans-Plutonian planetoid.

The complexities of soul chips and slave chips and new bodies and various body plans for robots are all very relevant to the plot of this book. It's convenient that robots have exactly two slots for soul chips; wouldn't a useful defense aginst slavery be to simply build them with only one? But I guess a second could be wired in by a new owner easily enough, maybe.

I think this is in a tie with Accelerando for most fun I've had with a Stross book. Certainly Glasshouse is a first-rate work; but it's not at all fun, it's too grim and unpleasant.

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David Dyer-Bennet