August 2, 2005

Iron Sunrise

Iron Sunrise
Charles Stross


(August 2, 2005)

Perfect plane reading: craftsmanship and pacing make this thriller in space a delight. We've got all the classic elements -- the experienced (but terrified) agent, the fresh (but resourceful) teenage victim-turned-hero whose life has suddenly come unmoored (in this case because someone blew up her planet's sun), the Nazi conspirators. Around this plotting armature, Stross crafts an interesting speculative fiction world of ubiquitous nanotech where bandwidth is gold.

There's a wonderful moment when the investigator from the second U.N. -- a sort of interplanetary alliance reminiscent of the Federation (Asimov or Roddenberry, take your pick) -- whips out her ID badge with the traditional symbols of the universal human alliance -- a background of stars and the good old triple-W.

Long may it wave.