Manual Accelerando

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Jazz has always been an adaptive art, possessed of certain essentials but receptive to variation at every turn. The pianist-composer-bandleader Vijay Iyer knows this as well as anyone. He has made a serious study of it, in theory as well as practice, and his last decade or so of music making can partly be understood as a pertinent provocation. And because it makes a point of connecting with the jazz tradition, it seems all the more likely to exert an influence there, sneaking up on an establishment trained to guard against less amicable incursions.

Iyer, 40, has already earned a prominence beyond the typical reach of the avant-garde, partly by engaging seriously with aspects of a larger culture. More important, he has cultivated a strong signature with ensembles like Fieldwork, a cerebral but combustible collective, and his quartet, featuring the alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa. Both albums flutter with shifting polyrhythm, and both take an incantatory approach to melody.

Both feature dynamic tributes to Mr. And both albums hinge on Mr. His special advocacy of Mr.


Moran, who has composed for ballet, and Mr. Iverson, a former musical director for the Mark Morris Dance Group. Dance, finds Mr. Iyer tracing a series of arpeggios with the lurching, tumbling cadence of a heavy gear turned by hand. Manfred makes his living from spreading ideas around, putting people in touch with one another and leaving a spray of technologies in his wake. He lives at the cutting edge of intelligence amplification technology, but even Manfred can take on too much. And when his pet robot cat picks up some interesting information from the SETI data, his world - and the world of his descendants - is turned on its head.

"accelerando" in English

Why read this book? Have your say. Rights Information Are you the author or publisher of this work? If so, you can claim it as yours by registering as an Unglue. In one, computers get smarter than us, turn evil, and either oppress, kill or enslave us vide The Terminator , The Matrix.

Accelerando - Charles Stross

In the other, from a slightly more optimistic perspective, we all upload ourselves into unspeakably fast computers and live virtually ever after in a kind of Libertarian technotopia that's just enough like a bitchin XBox game to avoid being boring. Charles Stross has done both the former, with his Eschaton novels, and the latter, with Accelerando.

Stross, who I would like to go on record once more as saying kicks mad ass when he's on his game, is in reality a Singularity-skeptic like myself, but in Singularity Sky and especially Iron Sunrise , he imagined such a future in a fresh, relentlessly invigorating, and most importantly funny way. Accelerando is not set in those novels' same future, however.

Originally released as a series of nine novellas in Asimov's beginning in , the full novel is a curious entity: a compendium of often brilliant stories which, when put together and they're intended that way, which is why I'm not reviewing this as a story collection , often felt aloof and alienating. I read many of the installments in Asimov's when they first come out, in fact. I recall enjoying them then.

  1. Accelerando.
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But taken as a whole, it left me cold. Much of this, I imagine, is due to the aforementioned ambivalence I'm feeling towards this whole subgenre. There is also the "insane hype" factor; Stross is one of today's most admired writers — I've heaped my own share of praise right here — and Accelerando , as one of his most eagerly awaited books, has already been lauded by virtually every critic in the field as the Dune of Singularitarian SF.

Once again I'm the guy swimming against the tide. This is undeniably blisteringly intelligent work. There's a healthy amount of wit as well, something Iron Sunrise and the Merchant Princes trilogy has led me to expect from Stross as a matter of course. But like so much SF of this type, there's not much of a human heart to grab hold of. Not surprising, I guess, in a story about the accelerated evolution of humanity into a posthuman state.

Tempo, Accelerando & Ritardando

But there's no warmth to Stross's hyperfuture, in which anything in nature is simply a raw material to be consumed and the only meaningful existence is artificial. I can see how this fiction would have great appeal to programmers, math geeks and slashdotters, as well as people generally turned on by jargon-heavy prose and dialogue like " Sufficiently complex resource-allocation algorithms reallocate scarce resources. But Accelerando illustrates, if nothing else, that different people certainly have different ideas of what constitutes an optimistic vision.

The future this book presents, while some folks' idea of a good time, somehow just isn't mine.