More than 30 years ago, the novelist and critic Lester Del Rey wrote a review that hammered a John Varley book because it was premised on a wide range of technological advances. A proper science fiction story, Del Rey argued, should be built around a single speculative premise—that faster-than-light travel is possible, say, or that computers can achieve consciousness. Del Rey was wrong, and Doctorow and Stross know why. Like Varley before them, they understand that the future doesn’t happen in that one-new-idea-at-a-time way. It throws a bunch of new stuff at us all at once, and the pace at which it’s throwing keeps increasing. The Rapture of the Nerds, as funny as it is, reminds us that coping with the future will require us all increasingly to become nerds ourselves. And if you’re already on your way to nerd-dom, I’m guessing this potent science-fiction comedy should leave you rapturous.
Mike Godwin, Reason Magazine