20 August 2006

Glasshouse by Charles Stross

The latest Charles Stross novel comes across like a modernised Philip K Dick story.

It deals with a person far in the future who has undergone radical memory excisions, apparently because of a dangerous part of their past. While recovering, they become paranoid and end up signing on for a historical psychology experiment. This involves taking on a role in a simulated 20th/21st century society. Of course, the understanding of the society is imperfect, and the experiment consists of some terrifying social controls to keep everyone in a perfect suburban lifestyle.

It's an interesting setup and there's a lot of fun poking of stuff around at the moment (e.g. reality tv shows).

As our protagonist gets more and more unhappy with the terms of the experiment, they begin poking around and the story shifts to a thriller mode. The concluding section isn't really as much fun as the earlier stuff about identity in a world of editable memories and personality or the bizarre experiment.

Glasshouse (Amazon)
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