Synopses & Reviews
When the Singularity arrives and computers possess superhuman intelligence, will there be an ecstatic merging of machine and mindor an instantaneous techno-apocalypse? Will there be the enslavement of humanity or the Rapture of the Nerds”? The post-human future is here in its wildest science-fictional imaginings and intriguing scientific speculations.
This far-reaching anthology traces the path of the Singularity, an era when advances in technology will totally transform human reality. It travels to the alien far-future of H. G. Wells (Mind at the End of Its Tether), to the almost human near-future of Ray Kurzweil (The Singularity Is Near), from Elizabeth Bears fusion of woman, machine, God, and shark (The Inevitable Heat Death of the Universe”), to Isaac Asimovs evolution of ineffable logic (The Last Question”). As intelligence both figuratively (and possibly literally) explodes, science-fiction authors and futurists have dared to peek over the edge of the event horizon. Join them there.
"At least as far back as H.G. Wells' The Time Machine, humans have demonstrated a fascination with the entities that will replace us, just as we replaced earlier hominids. This motif runs through science fiction and its progenitors and is continued in Kelly and Kessel's new anthology, which includes 19 stories and essays that draw on sources new (as in Hannu Rajaniemi's 'The Server and the Dragon' and Charles Stross' 'Nightfall') and old (as in Isaac Asimov's 'The Last Question' and an excerpt from Olaf Stapledon's Odd John). Vernor Vinge's influential 1993 essay on 'the Singularity,' the 'creation by technology of entities with greater-than-human intelligence,' is prominently featured and speculates that this event will occur between 2005 and 2030. This theory was once described by Charles Stross as 'this enormous turd that Vernor Vinge crapped into the punchbowl of sf writing,' while others consider it to be a source of inspiration. Regardless, in the skilled hands of Kelly and Kessel (the duo behind The Secret History of Science Fiction), even the most inane ideas are treated respectfully and discussed sincerely, which allows for an anthology full of compelling and controversial stories. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"These stories are good enough to make the New Yorker's Eustace Tilley pop his cartoon monocle." —io9 on The Secret History of Science Fiction
"All I really want to do, at the moment, is embrace the unsuspecting editors in a massive, spine-crunching bear hug." —Los Angeles Times on The Secret History of Science Fiction
"Oh, these stories! . . . Don't stop until all have been read." —Booklist, starred review on Feeling Very Strange
"Highlight: Lethem's crack-smoking aliens." —Entertainment Weekly on Feeling Very Strange
"Sixteen inspiring, mind-altering stories . . . and every story in the bunch is a knockout." —BoingBoing on Rewired
"Everyone from Asimov to Vinge, from Doctorow to Pohl and more appear here, and there are essays, short stories, novellas . . . everything a Sci fi reader could ask for. . . . I highly recommend Digital Rapture." —www.NerdsInBabeLand.com
"Full of compelling and controversial stories." —Publishers Weekly (August 20, 2012)
"Sci-fi stalwarts James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel have assembled a definitive primer on the singularity, with contributions from top-tier scientists, futurists and science fiction writers." —Cosmos (December 2012)
"With its mix of fact and fiction this book rocks for those who are looking for a primer on the subject. . . . The strength of the book lies in this mashing together of the theorists' theories and content creators creations." —www.BookViewCafe.com
Full of compelling and controversial stories.”
There are a few things I always look for in a high-quality anthology: First, it should have a wide range of selections that yet epitomize the theme of the anthology. Second, it should be a diverse collection of author and genre. Third, it should have a well-written introduction that acts as a thesis of sorts and adds to the literature on the subject. Digital Rapture has all these things....”
Nerds in Babeland
Even those in the know will be enthralled by the visions of post-biological futures in this collection of short stories and essays. Sci-fi stalwarts James Patrick Kelly and John Kessel have assembled a definitive primer on the singularity, with contributions from top-tier scientists, futurists, and science-fiction writers.”
...this book rocks for those who are looking for a primer on the subject. The facts explain the thinking, the fiction tries to figure out what all that thinking could mean. The strength of the book lies in this mashing together of the theorists theories and content creators creations.”
Book View Cafe
Its the kind of anthology that opens your mind so far that your brain feels like its going to fall out.”
Presenting the posthuman future in its wildest science-fictional imaginings and intriguing speculations, this far-reaching anthology of fiction and nonfiction traces the path of the Singularity, an era when advances in technology totally transform human reality. The featured stories and essays travel from the alien far-future of H. G. Wells and the almost-human, near future of Ray Kurzweil to Elizabeth Bears fusion of woman, machine, God, and shark and Isaac Asimovs evolution of ineffable logic. Daring to peek over the edge of the event horizon as intelligence both figuratively and literally explodes, this collection also includes pieces by Nick Bostrom, Cory Doctorow, Robert Reed, Justina Robson, Charles Stross, Vernor Vinge, and more.
About the Author
James Patrick Kelly is the Hugo, Nebula, and Italia awardwinning author of Burn
, Think Like a Dinosaur
, and Wildlife
. He is a member of the faculty of the Stonecoast Creative Writing MFA Program at the University of Southern Maine. He has co-edited a series of anthologies with John Kessel, described by the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction
as each surveying with balance and care a potentially disputed territory within the field.” Kelly is the technology columnist for Asimovs Science Fiction
magazine and the publisher of the e-book zine Strangeways
John Kessel is a Nebula, Sturgeon, and Locus award winner and the author of Corrupting Dr. Nice, Good News From Outer Space, and The Pure Product. He teaches courses in science-fiction, fantasy, and fiction writing at North Carolina State University. His criticism has appeared in Foundation, the Los Angeles Times Book Review, the New York Review of Science Fiction, and Science Fiction Age.