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Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology

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Presenting the posthuman future in its wildest science-fictional imaginings and intriguing speculations, this far-reaching anthology of fiction and nonfiction traces the path of the Singularity, an era when advances in technology totally transform human reality. The featured stories and essays travel from the alien far-future of H. G. Wells and the almost-human, near futur Presenting the posthuman future in its wildest science-fictional imaginings and intriguing speculations, this far-reaching anthology of fiction and nonfiction traces the path of the Singularity, an era when advances in technology totally transform human reality. The featured stories and essays travel from the alien far-future of H. G. Wells and the almost-human, near future of Ray Kurzweil to Elizabeth Bear’s fusion of woman, machine, God, and shark and Isaac Asimov’s evolution of ineffable logic. Daring to peek over the edge of the event horizon as intelligence both figuratively and literally explodes, this collection also includes pieces by Nick Bostrom, Cory Doctorow, Robert Reed, Justina Robson, Charles Stross, Vernor Vinge, and more. Content "Introduction: Digital Rapture" by James Patrick Kelly & John Kessel "The Last Question" by Isaac Asimov "The Flesh": Excerpt from The World, The Flesh and The Devil: An Inquiry into the Future of the Three Enemies of the Rational Soul by J. D. Bernal "Day Million" by Frederik Pohl "Thought and Action": Chapter Six from Odd John by Olaf Stapledon "The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era" by Vernor Vinge "Hive Mind Man" by Rudy Rucker & Eileen Gunn "Sunken Gardens" by Bruce Sterling "The Six Epochs": Chapter One from The Singularity Is Near by Ray Kurzweil "Crystal Nights" by Greg Egan "Firewall" by David D. Levine "The Cookie Monster" by Vernor Vinge "Cracklegrackle" by Justina Robson "Nightfall" by Charles Stross "Coelacanths" by Robert Reed "The Great Awakening" by Rudy Rucker "True Names" by Cory Doctorow and Benjamin Rosenbaum "The Server and the Dragon" by Hannu Rajaniemi "The Inevitable Heat Death of the Universe" by Elizabeth Bear


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Presenting the posthuman future in its wildest science-fictional imaginings and intriguing speculations, this far-reaching anthology of fiction and nonfiction traces the path of the Singularity, an era when advances in technology totally transform human reality. The featured stories and essays travel from the alien far-future of H. G. Wells and the almost-human, near futur Presenting the posthuman future in its wildest science-fictional imaginings and intriguing speculations, this far-reaching anthology of fiction and nonfiction traces the path of the Singularity, an era when advances in technology totally transform human reality. The featured stories and essays travel from the alien far-future of H. G. Wells and the almost-human, near future of Ray Kurzweil to Elizabeth Bear’s fusion of woman, machine, God, and shark and Isaac Asimov’s evolution of ineffable logic. Daring to peek over the edge of the event horizon as intelligence both figuratively and literally explodes, this collection also includes pieces by Nick Bostrom, Cory Doctorow, Robert Reed, Justina Robson, Charles Stross, Vernor Vinge, and more. Content "Introduction: Digital Rapture" by James Patrick Kelly & John Kessel "The Last Question" by Isaac Asimov "The Flesh": Excerpt from The World, The Flesh and The Devil: An Inquiry into the Future of the Three Enemies of the Rational Soul by J. D. Bernal "Day Million" by Frederik Pohl "Thought and Action": Chapter Six from Odd John by Olaf Stapledon "The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era" by Vernor Vinge "Hive Mind Man" by Rudy Rucker & Eileen Gunn "Sunken Gardens" by Bruce Sterling "The Six Epochs": Chapter One from The Singularity Is Near by Ray Kurzweil "Crystal Nights" by Greg Egan "Firewall" by David D. Levine "The Cookie Monster" by Vernor Vinge "Cracklegrackle" by Justina Robson "Nightfall" by Charles Stross "Coelacanths" by Robert Reed "The Great Awakening" by Rudy Rucker "True Names" by Cory Doctorow and Benjamin Rosenbaum "The Server and the Dragon" by Hannu Rajaniemi "The Inevitable Heat Death of the Universe" by Elizabeth Bear

30 review for Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology

  1. 4 out of 5

    Frederick Gault

    A series of short stores about the mythical "singularity" where either humans will use technology to attain nirvana, or we will be enslaved or eliminated by superior technical life-forms. Meh. Some of the stories were excellent but some IMHO didn't really address the topic. A series of short stores about the mythical "singularity" where either humans will use technology to attain nirvana, or we will be enslaved or eliminated by superior technical life-forms. Meh. Some of the stories were excellent but some IMHO didn't really address the topic.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Turner

    Excellent collection of stories exploring the singularity and what might come after. Highlights are "Hive Mind Man" by Rudy Rucker & Eileen Gunn, "The Cookie Monster" by Vernor Vinge, and "True Names" by Cory Doctorow and Benjamin Rosenbaum. Excellent collection of stories exploring the singularity and what might come after. Highlights are "Hive Mind Man" by Rudy Rucker & Eileen Gunn, "The Cookie Monster" by Vernor Vinge, and "True Names" by Cory Doctorow and Benjamin Rosenbaum.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Tricia Walker

    a chapter excerpt is not a short story. this book tries to pull that crap at least 3 times.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ondrej Urban

    It's been some time since I read Rewired and loved it, and thus it filled me with great enthusiasm to pick up this book. Now, speaking from the other side after having finished it, I can honestly say it doesn't match up. Why? First of all, it's a mater of personal taste, which I'm not sure how much belongs into a review. If there was a brilliantly told unicorn story that I wrote off based on my disliking unicorns or whatever, that would not be fair. So, to get this out of the way, I prefer storie It's been some time since I read Rewired and loved it, and thus it filled me with great enthusiasm to pick up this book. Now, speaking from the other side after having finished it, I can honestly say it doesn't match up. Why? First of all, it's a mater of personal taste, which I'm not sure how much belongs into a review. If there was a brilliantly told unicorn story that I wrote off based on my disliking unicorns or whatever, that would not be fair. So, to get this out of the way, I prefer stories about the most basic aspects of human life, seen through the goggles of fantastic ideas. I want to read about people doing their laundry in New Crobuzon, learn how a menial office job might look once the robots rule us, read about wedding albums of the future. Digital Rapture has, as far as I understood, only one of these stories, one of those I quite enjoyed, that begins in a call-support office. Others... are less so. Does it make them worse stories? Absolutely no, it's just me enjoying a different thing. Now, I believe many stories go a bit further into the realm of strange that is good for them. On many occasions I just read the words, not really realizing what the big picture was. OK, maybe that's the way to convey emotions and express the alienness of the post-singular world, but other stories managed to doo that and still keep the reins of sense, so I wonder. On example for all, the "True Names" story, which may well be the strnagest thing I've ever read - and that includes stories of Kelly Link (whom I dearly love) - but still managed to mostly make sense, evne though being about sentient computer programs conquering the Universe. What I kind of liked were the futuristic essays and talk transcripts discussing how the world will look like further down the line, possibly even all the way down the line. Not necessarily for what the authors spoke about - which I didn't always agree on and could think of arguments why - but in general because of the whole, maybe unexpected, retrofuturistic feel of them. I've seem many an internet blogs with albums of pictures "How the wolrd will look in the year 2000" drawn at the end of the 19th century. This seemed similar to me. I imagined how the future people might come back to these and smirk on the stuff that worked out, but differently than envisioned, stuff that didn't work out and stuff that would still be too ridiculous even at their point. The most of the retrofuture feeling, however, came from the - at least in some cases - simple use of future tense. "The future society will use bla heavily and will differ from ours..." - ah, the excitement and also the attempt to write about something utterly unfamiliar in somewhat academic terms. "In the future we will invent (technology), probably made possible through some kind of (sciency sounding expression) that will allow us to..." Loved it! Even though it sometimes broke the rhythm of the fiction stories, but those, as I say above, I didn't necessarily care for that much. To conclude, if you are a future nut, go for this, but be prepared for strange that might be overwhelming.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Falbs

    Some of these stories are waaaaay out there, but I think that's the point. I love the uncertainty over the future and whether or not the singularity may happen, and if so, whether it will be a hard takeoff or a soft takeoff. Some of these stories are waaaaay out there, but I think that's the point. I love the uncertainty over the future and whether or not the singularity may happen, and if so, whether it will be a hard takeoff or a soft takeoff.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Great premise, stories and essays about the singularity, with a star-studded list of writers. It's well-organized too, by types of possible singularities and somewhat chronologically--the last story is "The Inevitable Heat Death of the Universe." I found it enjoyable, though not quite as much as I'd hoped. Everything except the introduction had been previously published, so I'd read more than a few stories already. The book started with some older pieces, one each from the 1920s, 1930s, 1950s, a Great premise, stories and essays about the singularity, with a star-studded list of writers. It's well-organized too, by types of possible singularities and somewhat chronologically--the last story is "The Inevitable Heat Death of the Universe." I found it enjoyable, though not quite as much as I'd hoped. Everything except the introduction had been previously published, so I'd read more than a few stories already. The book started with some older pieces, one each from the 1920s, 1930s, 1950s, and 1960s. Of course, those ideas about the future now seem dated and somewhat quaint. Then "The Coming Technological Simgularity," Vernor Vinge's 1993 prediction and the inspiration for the book. I can't help but think that, say, 50 years from now, his ideas will look as quaint as the earlier ones. The next two or three decades will tell, I guess. I did think Vinge's "The Cookie Monster" was the best short story in the book. I'd previously read the Rudy Rucker story and liked it a lot, though not enough to re-read it. Rucker's essay, however, was a rehash of the plots of some of his fiction; I didn't see anything new in it. The rest of the stories ran the gamut from fair to very good. The offerings from Justina Robson and Cory Doctorow, two of my favorite writers, were okay but not near their best.

  7. 5 out of 5

    M.T. Preston, Jr.

    Kelly and Kessel have put together another great anthology, following up on Feeling Very Strange, which brings together today's top writers working in the slipstream genre. Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology collects stories from classic SF writers such as Asimov, Sterling, Pohl, and Vinge, alongside more modern writers like Rajaniemi, Doctorow, Bear, and Stross, providing a broad spectrum of views on the Singularity. Personal favorites in the anthology include "The Last Question" by Isa Kelly and Kessel have put together another great anthology, following up on Feeling Very Strange, which brings together today's top writers working in the slipstream genre. Digital Rapture: The Singularity Anthology collects stories from classic SF writers such as Asimov, Sterling, Pohl, and Vinge, alongside more modern writers like Rajaniemi, Doctorow, Bear, and Stross, providing a broad spectrum of views on the Singularity. Personal favorites in the anthology include "The Last Question" by Isaac Asimov and "The Server and the Dragon" by Hannu Rajaniemi. The Singularity is a hot issue in the field of AI and robotics, and Kelly and Kessel have selected the best of the best in the emerging genre of Singularity-centered fiction. Highly recommended for anyone interested in our potentially posthuman future.

  8. 5 out of 5

    John Orman

    Stories and essays by many writers, including Ray Kurzweil, Isaac Asimov ("The Last Question"), Bruce Sterling, Cory Doctorow, and all the way back to Olaf Stapledon. Twenty years ago, Vernor Vinge wrote that "within 30 years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will end." That is a prediction of the time frame for the "singularity." This book features mainly fictional revelations of the singularity, with a few non-fictional essays o Stories and essays by many writers, including Ray Kurzweil, Isaac Asimov ("The Last Question"), Bruce Sterling, Cory Doctorow, and all the way back to Olaf Stapledon. Twenty years ago, Vernor Vinge wrote that "within 30 years, we will have the technological means to create superhuman intelligence. Shortly after, the human era will end." That is a prediction of the time frame for the "singularity." This book features mainly fictional revelations of the singularity, with a few non-fictional essays on how the singularity may come about. Not good news for those of us comprised of flesh and blood. Scary stuff--and not just the sci-fi stories!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Joshua R Derke

    This anthology explores leading voices on the singularity, including Vernor Vinge's essay and many science fiction pieces devoted to exploring the consequences of a post-human world. Most of the stories are great, and they challenge your notions about the future of humanity. While I think the collection deserves 5 stars, there is a story and an essay that I feel traveled too far to the fringes of pseudo-science to have much merit, and therefore detracted from the rest of the book. This anthology explores leading voices on the singularity, including Vernor Vinge's essay and many science fiction pieces devoted to exploring the consequences of a post-human world. Most of the stories are great, and they challenge your notions about the future of humanity. While I think the collection deserves 5 stars, there is a story and an essay that I feel traveled too far to the fringes of pseudo-science to have much merit, and therefore detracted from the rest of the book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Grace Troxel

    For my full review, see here: http://bookswithoutanypictures.wordpr... Overall, I enjoyed this “Digital Rapture” tremendously. It was the kind of anthology that could entertain, but at the same time made me think and ponder the possibilities that the future could hold. I recommend it. For my full review, see here: http://bookswithoutanypictures.wordpr... Overall, I enjoyed this “Digital Rapture” tremendously. It was the kind of anthology that could entertain, but at the same time made me think and ponder the possibilities that the future could hold. I recommend it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Picrochole

    Although I enjoyed the majority of the stories within this compilation, I found that by the time I had read them all, and despite the fact the stories were quite varied, they all became somewhat "same-ish". The essays however I found quite fascinating, and they have prompted me to do further research into the science behind the genre. Although I enjoyed the majority of the stories within this compilation, I found that by the time I had read them all, and despite the fact the stories were quite varied, they all became somewhat "same-ish". The essays however I found quite fascinating, and they have prompted me to do further research into the science behind the genre.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    I found this a thought-provoking series of stories dealing with the implications of the Singularity. I would recommend it to anyone interested in this sub-genre of SF

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gwen Perkins

    My full review is here: http://gwenperkins.wordpress.com/2012... My full review is here: http://gwenperkins.wordpress.com/2012...

  14. 5 out of 5

    Matt Comstock

    To much singularity at once. I read this alongside Rapture of the Nerds. I had to take a break from stories featuring anthropomorphic routers.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Janito Vaqueiro Ferreira Filho

    Some excellent stories are presented in this book.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brooke

    This was one crazy, but mind-opening book. It was interesting to read so many different takes on "the singularity" written by people with great intelligence and imaginations. This was one crazy, but mind-opening book. It was interesting to read so many different takes on "the singularity" written by people with great intelligence and imaginations.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Estes

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tachyon Publications

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sunrise Sci

  20. 5 out of 5

    Cybernexus Colin

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jessie Marion

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bobby McDonell

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dylan

  24. 4 out of 5

    Grigori

  25. 5 out of 5

    cweslewis

  26. 4 out of 5

    Fran

  27. 4 out of 5

    John

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rob Liebscher

  29. 4 out of 5

    Deathmetalroze

  30. 5 out of 5

    Chris Stutts

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