Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Saturn's Children by Charles Stross

All humans have died out about two hundred years ago. The robots and androids are left to continue civilization at least in some manner. They are managing fairly well, but there are problems, as many of them have a hard wired obedience for "creators", which limits free will, and some of more ruthless types of robots tend to exploit others using that tendency to obey. The main character of the book is Freya, an android courtesan, who has been designed to serve humans in all manners imaginable - and there are no humans left to serve. After insulting a member of new elite, an "aristo", she is forced to run for her life... Her journey takes her through the solar system habited by several different types of robots and androids, giving at the same time a tour for a reader.
Written in first person present tense (which took a bit get used to). Entertaining tribute to later day Heinlein. The book is dedicate to Heinlein and Asimov, but the writing style is as about far from Asimov as possible.
The main character seems to be modeled on Heinlein’s Friday, and there are even some fairly direct quotes of Heinlein’s some more famous ( or infamous) passages "my nipples went …" :-)
Well, I am not sure why the later day Heinlein would need a tribute of this kind - but fairly decent read this was (but maybe not in all meanings of the word "decent"). I believe that last years Halting State was clearly better book. But I haven’t read a great amount of late Heinlein (practically only the aforementioned Friday), so a greater familiarity with the influencing material might have increased enjoyment.

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