Full Title: The Rapture of the Nerds
A tale of singularity, posthumanity, and awkward social situations.
I read somewhere that speculative fiction that predicts the future is truly about the era in which it is written. I believe this was in reference to one of the classic dystopian novels, Brave New World or 1984. The Rapture of the Nerds is written in our far-flung future but definitely reflects our current world.
The novel is set in a future Earth where most of the population has chosen to leave and become part of “the cloud,” which occupies the inner solar system. The protagonist, Huw, is quite happy in his simple home and garden in Wales where he spends his time throwing pottery. His parents gave up their earthly bodies and left for the posthuman cloud fifty years ago.
Huw volunteers for jury duty to judge whether or not to accept the latest technology tossed back to Earth from the cloud. This leads him to being chosen as witness for those still living on our planet when a decision is eminent as to whether to preserve Earth or use its resources and move everyone into the cloud.
The book is ridiculously funny, full of pokes and prods at today’s world. If I read it ten times I would probably catch something new each time.
I have read other novels by Doctorow but none by Stress. Together they wrote a rollicking good story.