Scratch Monkey

Author: Charles Stross
Published: 1993
Language: English
Wordcount: 103,033 / 296 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 81.3
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 6,611
Added to site: 2008.02.03
mnybks.net#: 19947
License: by-nc-nd
Buy new from: Amazon or Barnes & Noble
Find it used: eBay or AbeBooks
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There are standard methods for lifting material out of brains. Everyone, everywhere in human space, is riddled with nanotech Dreamtime encoders. They're in the air, in the soil, in their cells and reproducing like bacteria. They constantly monitor cerebral activity, transmitting updates of their host personality to the encoders, that upload minds into the Dreamtime when their bodies cease to support them. It even makes a neat debriefing tool, if you have the equipment to interrogate the brain encoders directly. (Only Distant Intervention, that I know of, is allowed to play with this kind of kit.)

Show Excerpt

of the road. They seem to be looking at the sky: I squeeze my eyes shut and pay attention to the microwave sidebands. The webs of phased-array receiver cells implanted at the back of my eyes go to work. The world goes a dim fuzzy orange, and I can see through trees: the sky is a sodium-lit hell paraded by aurorae. But there's no sweep radar! I remember the guns.

The projectiles they shoot are unguided, judging by the lack of sights. Do these people even have radar?

I hear a buzzing from the sky as I wait for the convoy to pass out of view. I itch in the damp heat, and the insects are trying to bite my face. This planet's been terraformed too well for my liking. I swat them away, watching the trail of reddish dust and blue smoke diminishing into the distance as I listen: what now?

The buzzing gets louder. I peep for radar again but nobody's scanning, so I raise my head for an eyeball search; I see a dragonfly through the tangled branches, a dragonfly the size of the engine at the head of

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Average Rating of 3 from 1 reviews: ***
2010.08.04
SaysFred
***..

This read was riddled with some of my favorite theories and terms. From Hawking radiation to Fullerene composite ribbons - its all there. The perspective switched from 1st to 3rd person in a way that didn't become obvious until Halfway through the book - a little confusing, but cool once you catch on. The things I didn't like about this book would reveal too much about the plot and the SUCKY ENDING to go into with any detail, but it kept me occupied for about a week (on and off). If you're a cybergeek like me, you might like this one. NOT a must read. It is hard to feel any emotion for the characters. I certainly didn't fall in love with the heroine. But kudos to Charles Stross for writing this to its end. I'd like to see more from this guy.


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