Charles Stross

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Charles Stross

See first quotes from Charles Stross

41 Quotations from Charles Stross

AI n. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando i. 14 You know anyone who can use a Warpac surplus espionage bot? Recent model, one careful owner, slightly paranoid but basically sound—I mean, claims to be a general-purpose AI?
astrogator n. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando vii. 283 His gaze skitters around the room, looking anywhere but at Amber—and Pierre, her lanky toy-boy astrogator and bed warmer—as he laces his fingers.
Dyson sphere n. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando i. 15 Dismantle the moon! Dismantle Mars! Build masses of free-flying nanocomputing processor nodes exchanging data via laser link, each layer running off the waste heat of the next one in. Matrioshka brains, Russian doll Dyson spheres the size of solar systems. Teach dumb matter to do the Turing boogie!
fanboy n. 2007 C. Stross Halting State (2008) 173 ‘What’s the con-convention?’ you ask, trying to sound only appropriately interested. Not that you know much about such things—you've done a few re-enactment events, but hotels and hucksters and hordes of socially inept fanboys don’t tempt you.
flash crowd n. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando i. 14 Just then a bandwidth load as heavy as a pregnant elephant sits down on Manfred’s head and sends clumps of humongous pixilation flickering across his sensorium: Around the world, five million or so geeks are bouncing on his home site, a digital flash crowd alerted by a posting from the other side of the bar.
graser n. 2004 C. Stross Singularity Sky 129 The ship sensed some of her underlying mood: a target selection cursor ghosted briefly across the enemy glyphs, locking grasers onto the distant projected light cones of the enemy flotilla.
gravity well n. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando i. 15 Mars is just dumb mass at the bottom of a gravity well; there isn’t even a biosphere there.
hubward adv. 2008 C. Stross Saturn’s Children 30 She crawls hubward and settles down on the spaceship’s load-bearing truss.
infodump n. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando v. 174 They’ll be out of the buffer in another couple of days. Maybe a bit longer in the case of the lawyer. He’s got a huge infodump packaged on his person. Probably another semisapient class-action lawsuit.
jump drive n. 2003 C. Stross Singularity Sky 43 The jump drive was, to say the least, more reliable, barring a few quirks. A spaceship equipped with it would accelerate out from the nearest star’s gravity well. Identifying a point of equipotential flat space-time near the target star, the ship would light up the drive field generator, and the entire spaceship could then tunnel between the two points without ever actually being between them. (Assuming, of course, that the target star was more or less in the same place and the same state that it appeared to be when the starship lit off its drive field—if it wasn’t, nobody would ever see that ship again.)
light-hour n. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando iv. 121 Unexpected fringe riders are developing new ecological niches on the edge of the human information space, light-minutes and light-hours from the core, as an expansion that has hung fire since the 1970s gets under way.
light-minute n. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando iv. 121 Unexpected fringe riders are developing new ecological niches on the edge of the human information space, light-minutes and light-hours from the core, as an expansion that has hung fire since the 1970s gets under way.
light sail n. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando v. 172 Many of those are now passengers or spectators of the Field Circus: a light-sail craft that is speeding out of Sol system on a laser beam generated by Amber’s installations in low-Jupiter orbit.
meat puppet n. 2003 C. Stross Curator in Asimov’s Science Fiction Dec. 116 Our friend here’s got a problem, no suitable downloadable body. We meat puppets are all too closely tied to our neuronal ultrastructure.
meatspace n. 2002 C. Stross Lobsters in Year’s Best Science Fiction 19 218 Do it. Do it or don’t even think about uploading out of meatspace when your body packs in, because your life won’t be worth living.
morphing n. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando iii. 82 The office translator is good, but it can’t provide real-time lip-synch morphing between French and Italian. Annette has to make an effort to listen to his words because the shape of his mouth is all wrong, like a badly dubbed video.
nanotech adj. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando iv. 153 The degenerate cores of the traditional stock markets are in free fall, the old smokestack microprocessor and biotech/nanotech industries crumbling before the onslaught of matter replicators and self-modifying ideas.
newspeak n. 2002 C. Stross Router in Asimov’s Science Fiction Sept. 125 Build propaganda into your translation software if you want to established a favorable trading relationship. How cute. Haven’t these guys ever heard of Newspeak?
non-human n. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando iii. 111 We need a framework for rights that can encompass nonhumans, and we need it as fast as possible.
organlegging n. 2011 C. Stross Rule 34 i. 42 There’s a Person of Repeated Interest in Pilton who’s just turned up at the Royal Infirmary with forty sutures in his lower back, a nasty case of MRSA, and a missing kidney. Question from CID, Do we have an organlegging problem or is this just punishment surgery?
planetographer n. 2008 C. Stross Saturn’s Children 269 In the century-plus since Eris was settled, we have already raised the temperature of its lithosphere by several degrees, just as we’ve thickened the atmosphere of Callisto a thousandfold: if this goes on, the more annoyingly farsighted planetographers warn, we can look forward to an increased incidence of icequakes and the threat of a year-round atmosphere.
planet-wide adj. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando viii. 369 Although, on the other hand, if we can mobilize enough broad support to become the first visible planetwide polity…
posthuman n. 2002 C. Stross in Asimov’s Science Fiction Feb. 18 Manfred is a core team member; losing him at this point could be more than embarrassing. Besides, he’s a friend—as such things go for posthumans.
posthuman adj. 2002 C. Stross in Asimov’s Science Fiction Feb. 18 Their owner is an agalmic entrepreneur, a posthuman genius loci of the net who catalyzes value wherever he goes, leaving money trees growing in his footprints.
posthumanism n. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando iii. 108 This is the elitist side of the posthumanism shtick, potentially as threatening to her post-enlightenment ideas as the divine right of kings.
posthumanity n. 2006 C. Stross Glasshouse xii. 245 Isolated pockets of Curious Yellow [sc. a computer virus] are probably still running, out beyond the liberated light cone, in the eternal darkness and cold—just as there may be outposts of free posthumanity who dropped off the net when the Republic of Is disintegrated.
ramscoop n. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando viii. 385 Near the head, things are different: no huge claws there, but the delicately branching fuzz of bush robots, nanoassemblers poised ready to repair damage in flight and spin the parachute of a ramscoop when the ship is ready to decelerate.
sapient n. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando vi. 249 The main life-form is an incredibly ornate corporate ecosphere, legal instruments breeding and replicating. They mug passing sapients and use them as currency.
sharecropped adj. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando v. 209 ‘Probably not,’ Amber says slowly, pausing for a moment to spawn spectator threads to run down the book and all three movie versions of Nineteen Eighty-Four, followed by the sharecropped series of sequel novels.
skyhook n. 2 2005 C. Stross Accelerando v. 185 Several skyhooks have unfurled in equatorial orbit around the earth like the graceful fernlike leaves of sundews, ferrying cargo and passengers to and from orbit.
skyhook n. 4 2005 C. Stross Accelerando v. 185 Several skyhooks have unfurled in equatorial orbit around the earth like the graceful fernlike leaves of sundews, ferrying cargo and passengers to and from orbit.
super-science n. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando vi. 247 But this is supposed to be kiloparsecs from home, ancient alien civilizations and all that! Where’s the exotic superscience? What about the neuron stars, strange matter suns structured for computing at nucleonic, rather than electronic, speeds?
TARDIS n. 1 2007 C. Stross Halting State (2008) 295 ‘Imagine you were a time-traveller from the 1980s, say 1984, and you stepped out of your TARDIS right here, outside, uh, West Port Books.’ (Which tells you where you are.) ‘Looking around, what would you see that tells you you’re not in Thatcherland anymore?’
teleport v. 1 2005 C. Stross Accelerando vii. 311 Traditional optics are long since obsolete—tunable matter can slow photons to a stop, teleport them here to there, play ping-pong with spin and polarization—and besides, the dumb matter in the walls and floor has been replaced by low-power computronium, heat sinks dangling far below the floor of the lily-pad habitat to dispose of the scanty waste photons from reversible computation.
timestream n. 2007 C. Stross Halting State (2008) 160 When you finally stretch and kick back from the laptop keyboard, it takes you a minute or two to remember where the hell you are. There’s the usual moment of disorientation, a kind of existential dizziness as you re-enter the everyday time-stream in which most people spend their lives: hours have slid by unnoticed, feeling like minutes (except for the ache in your neck and the gritty heat in your eyes).
transhuman adj. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando ii. 76 He’s still explaining to her how he’s laying the foundations for the transhuman explosion due early in the next decade when she picks him up in both arms, carries him to her bedroom, and commits outrageous acts of tender intimacy with him.
uplift v. 2004 C. Stross Singularity Sky 370 They milled about downslope, debating the ideological necessity of uplifting non-human species to sapience—one of them had taken heated exception to a proposal to giving opposable thumbs and the power of speech to cats—and comparing their increasingly baroque implants.
vape v. 2004 C. Stross Iron Sunrise 72 We are all vulnerable, because whoever vaped New Moscow has gotten clean away with a monstrous crime.
viewport n. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando iv. 119 The animated purple dinosaur pirouettes and prances in the middle of her viewport, throwing a diamond-tipped swizzle stick overhead.
wetware n. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando iii. 108 There’s an audible hiss of pink noise as his glasses whisper in his ears, bone conduction providing a serial highway to his wetware.
worldlet n. 2005 C. Stross Accelerando vii. 303 The grass is cool beneath her feet, and a gentle breeze blows constantly out toward the recirculators at the edge of the worldlet.