He’s one of my favorite science fiction authors. He also writes on his own blog, and it’s fascinating. Not only does he blog about IT, current events and gadgets (here and here), occasionally he’ll write about the business of publishing and the creative process. He’ll also toss out bits of research he’s been doing and packages them into really interesting thought experiments. Currently, he’s writing a series on “Books I Will Not Write”. I would like to bring attention to two of these:
The neatest thing is that, Stross is never a one-trick pony. He has ideas – like pirates who essentially turn into a hedge fund managers cum Blackwater/Brinks security force for hire types – which make sense, even beyond the trappings of the gee-whiz technology he presents. While he has big ideas, he builds from the bottom up. He doesn’t start of with a perfect society (a la Star Trek). He thinks about humans first, how they are a bunch of selfish little shits, how there’s going to be new technologies, and how the assholes will find ways to exploit lesser assholes with new technologies. A very human story, and so generally, his hard sci-fi is recognizable under the trappings of the genre. His characters have regular motives and feelings, even if they are teleporting across universes or uploading their minds into supercomputers.
And his rejected ideas are so thought-provoking! I hope somebody picks up on these ideas, although I would much prefer Stross to write these books.