Blackstone has produced a new audiobook edition of Rapture of the Nerds, the gonzo post-Singularity novel Charlie Stross and I published in 2012, read by John Lee — as with all my Downpour audio titles, it's DRM-free and available without territorial restrictions (tell your friends!).
Welcome to the fractured future, at the dusk of the twenty-first century.
Earth has a population of roughly a billion hominids. For the most part, they are happy with their lot. Those who are unhappy have emigrated, joining the swarming densethinker clades that fog the inner solar system with a dust of molecular machinery so thick it obscures the sun.
The splintery metaconsciousness of the solar system has largely sworn off its pre-post-human cousins dirtside, but its minds sometimes wander … and when that happens, it casually spams Earth's networks with plans for cataclysmically disruptive technologies that emulsify whole industries, cultures, and spiritual systems. A sane species would ignore these get-evolved-quick schemes, but there's always someone who'll take a bite from the forbidden apple.
So until the overminds bore of stirring Earth's anthill, there's Tech Jury Service: random humans, selected arbitrarily, charged with assessing dozens of new inventions and ruling on whether to let them loose. Young Huw, a technophobic, misanthropic Welshman, has been selected for the latest jury, a task he does his best to perform despite an itchy technovirus, the apathy of the proletariat, and a couple of truly awful moments on bathroom floors.
The Rapture of the Nerds is a brilliant collaboration by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross, two of the defining personalities of post-cyberpunk science fiction.