A science fiction book for Slashdot geeks ... I would guess it is quite hard to understand, if one is not a bit dedicated to this world and has not heard of these terms (Matrioshka brain etc) before and does not know the background related to (like the Free Hardware Foundation :-) [But actually, there is a Accelrando Technical Companion available!]. It is a nice read, but on the weird side - at least for me. It recounts the history of a family - kind of four generations, but stretched - due to the various new possibilities of up- and downloading from meatspace to brainspace and back, the duplication, freezing etc - over a much longer time.
It nicely plays in the beginning with the description of the increasing augmentation of a normal human by adding external (and later internal) extensions - until the main character, when robbed of his extensions at one point, feels completely disoriented and helpless (nicely described here!).
As the title tells, it also describes the ever accelerating development of new technologies, up to the - and beyond. I am impressed by many of Stross' ideas, for example when he is following the idea that an advanced intelligence will try to convert all dumb matter in a solar system into computronium - but after that, will find it hard to spread any further because of the bandwidth limitations and latency when trying to expand further out.
And another one: that the enormously growing complexity might not lead to ultimately powerful beings, but maybe to the descendants of companies and law structures, which evolve and evolve - but not in the sense I would have hoped for, ultimately becoming stupid or rather senseless (to my limited human feeling) again.
Stross continues the story by following the characters who chose to keep in some sense human and a human individuality. I am not convinced by this picture of the very far future, where the beings stay in or get back to a human form, producing children and everything, although unbelievable powerful - having habitats spread (through wormholes) across light years.
Inbetween are a lot of interesting twists of splitted persons meeting their counterparts, or having to face the actions of the counterparts and many other funny things and surprising turns.
Very enjoyable read all in all!
The complete book is freely available at www.accelerando.org.