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Science Fiction Fantasy Blog

Our Discussion of Glasshouse by Charles Stross

In the twenty-seventh century, accelerated technology dictates the memories and personalities of people. With most of his own memories deleted, Robin enters The Glasshouse-an experimental polity where he finds himself at the mercy of his own unbalanced psyche. Goodreads

Below are a sampling of our comments:

  • The idea of memory vs identity – how much of yourself can you trust? That feeling when you realize that you are the backup and the “real” you has died.
  • The time measurements were annoying.
  • It’s intriguing that a computer virus wipes everyone’s memory out along and people can be rebooted and running multiple backups.
  • I read the book twice and really enjoyed it the second time.
  • I liked the descriptions of fist-sized feathered dinosaurs and Reeve’s lament over the lack of pockets in women’s clothes.
  • The author deals with the morality issues in recycling people, and that it’s very hard for people to actually die (unless they don’t have a backup), so there aren’t huge consequence (like permanent death) for actions.
  • The Glasshouse environment brings back mortality. It was interesting when all the gender stereotypes of the 1950s were called out.
  • Reeve was a literal tank in a prior iteration and now has to deal with a weak body.
  • The 1950s seems like an alien culture, even now.
  • Identity theft is considered a worse crime than murder.
  • Too much technobabble in the beginning – A Gate, T Gate, etc. But when they went to the polity, it became much more interesting.
  • It was surprising how quickly the characters reconciled with the idea of staying in the Glasshouse.
  • The end seemed too quick, tidy, and patched on.

Please add any additional thoughts or comments you may have about Glasshouse. We gave this title the codes LIBN, HIT, UTP & FEM with an average rating of 3.75.

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