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The final part of Accelerando has, at least compared to the previous two frenetic installments, a peaceful, almost elegaicl feel. Time and place are uncertain and possibly irrelevant now; we might be ten years further on, or a hundred, and humans live in the spaces between the stars, in the shadow of posthuman grandeur. The cast is thinned: various family members are off exploring or dead.

But Aineko--now a fully-fledged posthuman, so sophisticated that it can fully emulate a dead human just by remembering her--is back, because it needs a copy of Manfred to virus-check some suspicious communications. The catch is that after performing this task, the copy will be destroyed.

So the cycle comes full circle, focusing the moral issues of personhood that it's been circling for the past four hundred pages onto a simple choice. Given that Stross has spent much of that time granting increasing equivalence to the many life-variants that populate his future, it's no small deal. In a real sense, Manfred is being asked to condemn a person to death. And so, to the last, Accelerando refuses the easy options. This choice provides a sense of closure, but it's explicitly acknowledged to be artificial; anything else, for this story, would be inappropriate.
thanks for this. :)
man i wish i'd known about the macx stories while i had the chance. never managed to track down troubadour, tourist and survivor. oh well, at least the accelerando e-book is coming out this month (yes!)

in other news, i like this journal. ithinkishallmakeit mine!

therefore, consider yourself friended.