The Family Trade, by Charles Stross

I’ve heard a lot of people talk about how great Stross is — I think this was the wrong book to start with. It’s the sort of book that mostly made me want to reread Roger Zelazny’s Amber Chronicles (not on Kindle yet — what’s the deal with that?)

I didn’t like this one much — found the plot pretty derivative of other stuff I’ve read, didn’t like the writing much. Some good parts, but not really my favorite.


  1. This is definitely his weakest work. I also think he’s better at short story to novella length. I haven’t re-read Lobsters to see how it stood the test of time but it was **brilliant** when it came out and any part of Accelerando dealing with Manfred Macx is to be read.

    Also Atrocity Archives helped me understand Yahoo’s matrix management structure.

  2. I haven’t read that one and not sure I would from the cover. I would recommend Accelerando as a good first novel. Halting State, Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise as decent unrelated followups.

  3. I liked this series but it wasn’t his best and it went on a bit. It was purposefully written as a long, multi-book series.

    “Halting State” is quite good and I’d also recommend “The Atrocity Archives.”

  4. Add me to the list of people who like Stross but really find this whole series unreadable. I would definitely recommend starting with Singularity Sky rather than this.

    Kellan: Lobsters mostly stands up… but not as well as I’d like it to. Also, it was better as a short story than as a part of Accelerando; Accelerando took one or two neat ideas and then tried to stretch them out to book length, with only moderate success.