hacking matter

One of my highlights from 2005, and amongst my greatest enduring pleasures was a voracious consuming of a tower of new reading, amongst this my return to science-fiction has given me a still unending thrill. First was China Miéville, whom I’ve just finished reading the last of his books, King Rat, and who is one of the most profound and unique writers in the genre. The other, and who in a year of two books a week and continual amazement at the genius science-fiction is awash with at the moment, who generates the same passion in me for the field and for the sheer hedonistic luxury of reading as the sublime Iain M. Banks, is book-of-the-year Accelerando author, Charles Stross. Who has a blog.

I’m an unequivocal whore for science, and particularly the more bizarre stuff (though I also have an unending love for all the children of Geology and all things inter-planetary, extra-terrestrial, astronomical and cosmological), the freak-out acid-trip I-don’t-understand stuff that needles the creationists into incoherence and blubbing with hysteria, that makes me mad with joy at the overwhelming, sprawling incomprehensibleness of the world, the universe. Which means I’d have a subscription to both Nature and Science if I could afford it. But reading science-fiction author and serious non-fiction quantum-dot writer Wil Mccarthy’s book, HACKING MATTER: Levitating Chairs, Quantum Mirages, and the Infinite Weirdness of Programmable Atoms is just as good. Even better it’s free for download from his website. If you can get past the tsunami of traffic sucking on the same download. Or you can get it from Charles Stross if you get in before the bandwidth collapses.