nil.enroll(aetheric_username, quantum_class_id) (adric) wrote,
nil.enroll(aetheric_username, quantum_class_id)

Reading tonight, a Vinge novel

So, I read Rainbows End tonight. This near future masterpiece seems to be celebrated author and computer scientist Vernor Vinge's most recent published work. It deals with a future where ubiquitous networking, trusted computing, and augmented reality have all become common, and many diseases and injuries are curable, or treatable. The Great Powers have begrudgingly allied and combined their intelligence assets to a united effort to quash other lesser powers attempts to develop and manufacture doomsday weapons. It's also about high school. And it is both about being young and about being old. Some characters have to deal with both at the same time.
lorelei-lee-long:~ adric$ pbpaste | wc
    7173  133768  773399
lorelei-lee-long:~ adric$ 6:43 - 1:30

Having read a few words Monday morning at work, after finding the link to the text on some site (, perhaps?), I began in earnest after shutting off the telly tonight, but didn't quite read without interruption. Still this rough estimate clocks me at 133768 / 4:45 ... 133768 / (4*60) - 17 ... 599.86 or 600 words/minute.

I'm still quite fuzzy on one plot point, one conspirator's identity. I am somewhat comforted by the certain knowledge that the author intends this, and probably did not reveal it directly. There were some startlingly unsubtle hints which make me doubt myself in this.

In general this is a brilliant, multilayered and provocative book that fits in creepily with my internal models for more likely futures. Mix it up with Stephenson's Diamond Age and Doctorow's "I Robot" and "After the Siege" and you start to get a glimpse of the nifty tech and the political implications. Throw in "Clockwork Atom Bomb" (EscapePod audio, a PDF )and you get a peek at the horrifying realities that must torment the Marines in Vinge's novel. *shudder* Much more to say about the novel and it's ideas, but not just yet.

The text link above is fully authorized and encouraged by the author (and on his site). A preview story that resembles the first few chapters was published in IEEE Spectrum in 2004, but the link is balky.
Tags: singularity, vinge

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