Charlie Stross and I have a new book out and I’m about to put up a website were readers can download free, CC-licensed copies of it in ebook form. As with other recent books, I’m going to collect and publish the names of librarians, teachers, and public institutions that would like to get free copies of the hardcover, and then ask people who want to thank me for the free ebook by buying copies for these institutions.
So! If you’re a librarian, teacher, instructor, or similar, and you would like a free copy of Rapture of the Nerds for your institution, please send your name and the name and address of your institution to firstname.lastname@example.org. I think we’ll launch the site early next week, and it’d be great to go live with a good, long list of potential donation recipients, so act quick! My assistant Olga Nunes (thanks, Olga!) is staffing that address and will get your listing up ASAP.
Note for teachers: this isn’t a young adult novel, and it deals with some decidedly adult themes and contains a lot of cussin’. Here’s the plot summary:
Welcome to the fractured future, at the dusk of the twenty-first century.
Earth has a population of roughly a billion hominids. For the most part, they are happy with their lot, living in a preserve at the bottom of a gravity well. Those who are unhappy have emigrated, joining one or another of the swarming densethinker clades that fog the inner solar system with a dust of molecular machinery so thick that it obscures the sun.
The splintery metaconsciousness of the solar-system has largely sworn off its pre-post-human cousins dirtside, but its minds sometimes wander…and when that happens, it casually spams Earth’s networks with plans for cataclysmically disruptive technologies that emulsify whole industries, cultures, and spiritual systems. A sane species would ignore these get-evolved-quick schemes, but there’s always someone who’ll take a bite from the forbidden apple.
So until the overminds bore of stirring Earth’s anthill, there’s Tech Jury Service: random humans, selected arbitrarily, charged with assessing dozens of new inventions and ruling on whether to let them loose. Young Huw, a technophobic, misanthropic Welshman, has been selected for the latest jury, a task he does his best to perform despite an itchy technovirus, the apathy of the proletariat, and a couple of truly awful moments on bathroom floors.