from Charlie’s Diary
My next SF novel, the stand-alone “Glasshouse“, comes out in hardcover on June 30th in the US, and July 6th in the UK. And this is what Publisher’s Weekly had to say about it in their starred review:
The censorship wars -- during which the Curious Yellow virus devastated the network of wormhole gates connecting humanity across the cosmos -- are finally over at the start of Hugo-winner Stross's brilliant new novel, set in the same far-future universe as 2005's Accelerando. Robin is one of millions who have had a mind wipe, to forget wartime memories that are too painful -- or too dangerously inconvenient for someone else. To evade the enemies who don't think his mind wipe was enough, Robin volunteers to live in the experimental Glasshouse, a former prison for deranged war criminals that will recreate Earth's "dark ages" (c. 1950-2040). Entering the community as a female, Robin is initially appalled by life as a suburban housewife, then he realizes the other participants are all either retired spies or soldiers. Worse yet, fragments of old memories return -- extremely dangerous in the Glasshouse, where the experimenters' intentions are as murky as Robin's grasp of his own identity. With nods to Kafka, James Tiptree and others, Stross's wry SF thriller satisfies on all levels, with memorable characters and enough brain-twisting extrapolation for five novels.
More info from Charlies FAQ:
Glasshouse is a claustrophobic far-future helter-skelter ride through an experimental archaeology project gone horribly wrong. Due for publication by Ace (US) and Orbit (UK) as a hardcover in July 2006. As the cover flap says:
"Hi, I'm Robin. When people ask me what I did during the war, I tell them I used to be a tank regiment. Or maybe I was a counter-intelligence agent. I'm not exactly sure: my memory isn't what it used to be."
When Robin wakes up in a clinic with most of his memories missing, it doesn't take him long to discover that someone is trying to kill him. It's the twenty-seventh century, when interstellar travel is by teleport gate and conflicts are fought by network worms that censor refugees' personalities and target historians. The civil war is over and Robin has been demobilized, but someone wants him out of the picture because of something his earlier self knew.
On the run from a ruthless pursuer and searching for a place to hide, he volunteers to participate in a unique experimental polity, the Glasshouse. Constructed to simulate a pre-accelerated culture, participants are assigned anonymized identities: it looks like the ideal hiding place for a posthuman on the run. But in this escape-proof environment Robin will undergo an even more radical change, placing him at the mercy of the experimenters, and at the mercy of his own unbalanced psyche ...
Apparently, it was almost written stream-of-conciousness style – as he told Locus:
With my next novel, Glasshouse, the first draft just came out in a mad frenzy. It would not let me get up from my word processor for a month! I basically had an entire novel materialize in my head in two hours flat one day, which had to be written — and it was, in a solid 24-day consecutive rush. (And then I fell over.)
Plus, it has a sweet-ass looking cover…
..another reason to stalk Charlie at Continuum..