Glasshouse

Hardcover, 352 pages

English language

Published June 27, 2006 by Ace Hardcover.

ISBN:
978-0-441-01403-3
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4 stars (63 reviews)

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 27th 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, 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 the mercy of his own unbalanced psyche.--From publisher description

8 editions

Review of 'Glasshouse' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Reviewed sometime after reading, but sticks in my memory pretty well. :) Weird and fascinating far-future hi-tech story, with lots of mystery and twists and plausible tech amazingness. I'd like to give it four-and-a-half stars, to put it slightly above Halting State and just below Accellerando (100-level ratings now!!). Highly recommended.

Review of 'Glasshouse' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

This is one of the most imaginative sci-fi stories I have encountered. Similar to Cory Doctorow, Stross knows no boundaries when it comes to imagining the future.

The book is about a 27th century war veteran named Robin, wearing a male body (it is common to back yourself up and change bodies as desired). To deal with his past in the war, he underwent memory surgery and is now not entirely sure who exactly he is. But he soon finds out that his former self volunteered to take part in a "glasshouse", a closed experimental research society set in the "Dark Ages" (late 20th century). This is were he wakes up - confused, disoriented, and stuck in the body of a frail woman, assigned the name Reeve.

This book is one of the rare ones which kept me reading non-stop. Reeve's descriptions of the dark ages are very amusing, and …

Review of 'Glasshouse' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Fairly standard fun generic hyper futuristic universe where death is no longer a problem, and you can get downloaded into bodies of whatever gender, shape, type you want. Interesting twist is that characters have had their mind wiped to deal with the longevity of their lives, to deal with lost loved ones, or heinous crimes commited.

Briefly of covers some of the problems relating to gender discrimination and gender dysphoria and then kind of decides that it wants to be a standard sci-fi action book (which is fun, but I've read a few of those now) by forcing the characters into a 1950's-ish (mostly ish) society, and swapping round their genders.

Sort of got tired of it half way though, but this seems to happen a lot with Stross books, then it picked up again towards the end.

Review of 'Glasshouse' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

I really liked it. I did stumble over the gigaseconds, but survived. The twisted questions of identity, purpose and forgiveness are wonderful. The descent into a 1950s suburban sitcom prison is suitably terrifying. I do wonder if certain aspects of the plot were adjusted just so he could write the line: "Now let's go upstairs. We've got a library to open before we can overthrow the government."

Review of 'Glasshouse' on Goodreads

3 stars

''Ironically, the Invisible Republic is now the place where many people come in order to forget their pasts. We who remain human (while relying on A-gate redaction to save our bodies from senescence) sooner or later need to learn to forget. Time is a corrosive fluid, dissolving motivation, destroying novelty, and leaching the joy from life. But forgetting is a fraught process, one that is prone to transcription errors and personality flaws. Delete the wrong pattern, and you can end up becoming someone else. Memories exhibit dependencies, and their management is one of the highest medical art forms. Hence the high status and vast resources of the surgeon-confessors, into whose hands my earlier self delivered me. The surgeon-confessors learned their skills by forensic analysis of the damage done to the victims of the censorship wars. And thus, yesterday's high crime leads to today's medical treatment.''

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