Singularity and post-singularity fiction
What are some good singularity novels? I started thinking more about the genre recently after having read some softer sci-fi pieces, and then moved on to some fairly hardcore Greg Egan short stories.
The genre's not really that big compared to other sections of sci-fi (though outside of the written word it becomes vanishingly small), and certainly there's a lot of wiggle room around its borders. Transhumanism, superintelligence, post-scarcity ... there are a lot of themes that may be present in novels that don't necessarily qualify them as being post-singularity, but hey, I'm not being too picky here.
Of course, you could easily have a story involving an AI in a society that's nowhere near the technological singularity. Not so much what I'm considering here. You could also have some sort of singularity society of superintelligence without AI ...
There is also the issue of trying to find some sort of balance between something with science and reality, and something that's radically advanced.
For reference, I find Charles Stross' Accelerando
to be a brilliant example of realising a world that's undergoing accelerating technological progression. Hannu Rajaniemi's Quantum Thief
trilogy, the concluding book pictured, is an awesome imagining of how much things change in a radically advanced future.
Looking over the web, I found some interesting lists, in particular Robin Lee Powell's list of post-singularity and transhumanism fiction - http://goo.gl/Zxiqog
Notable books and series from Robin's list include:
Neal Asher's Polity
series, with AIs and enhanced humans across the universe.
Peter F Hamilton's Night's Dawn
and Commonwealth Saga
with AIs and enhanced humans across the universe.
John C Wright's Golden Oecumene
set in a future post-scarcity solar system.
Tom Purdom's Fossil Game
when humanity gets heavily into mental enhancement.
Simon Funk's After Life
about the first upload.
Roger Williams' The Metamorphosis of Prime Intellect
and the Passages
series, the former about an all-powerful computer and its relationship to humans and the latter about the future colonisation of the universe.
Karl Schroeder's Lady of Mazes
Bruce Sterling's Schismatrix on competing factions in a future solar system.
Vernor Vinge's Zones of Thought
series, with AI and intelligence spread across the galaxy.
In addition, for some only lightly touched on in Robin's list, there's:
Greg Egan's novels (eg Permutation City
Wil McCarthy's Bloom
in a nanotech-filled solar system, and the Queendom of Sol
Ian M Banks' post-scarcity Culture
Finally, other series worth mentioning include:
William Hertling's Singularity
Daniel Suarez's Daemon
Ramez Naam's Nexus
Charles Stross's Eschaton
David Simpson's Post-Human
Feel free to tell me of notable omissions, highlight the ones you think are particularly delightful, or correct the ones that you think are merely "entertaining space opera" and not even remarkably close to post-singularity fiction :)