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Old December 29 2012, 12:36 AM   #1
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Rapture of the Nerds

A humorous look at the Singularity from the minds of Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross!!

The novel is available free on Doctorow's website, as a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND download.

The pitch:

Welcome to the fractured future, at the dusk of the twenty-first century.

Earth has a population of roughly a billion hominids. For the most part, they are happy with their lot, living in a preserve at the bottom of a gravity well. Those who are unhappy have emigrated, joining one or another of the swarming dense-thinker clades that fog the inner solar system with a dust of molecular machinery so thick that it obscures the sun.

The splintery meta-consciousness of the solar-system has largely sworn off its pre-post-human cousins dirtside, but its minds sometimes wander…and when that happens, it casually spams Earth's networks with plans for cataclysmically disruptive technologies that emulsify whole industries, cultures, and spiritual systems. A sane species would ignore these get-evolved-quick schemes, but there's always someone who'll take a bite from the forbidden apple.

So until the over-minds bore of stirring Earth's anthill, there's Tech Jury Service: random humans, selected arbitrarily, charged with assessing dozens of new inventions and ruling on whether to let them loose. Young Huw, a technophobic, misanthropic Welshman, has been selected for the latest jury, a task he does his best to perform despite an itchy techno-virus, the apathy of the proletariat, and a couple of truly awful moments on bathroom floors...
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