I just finished Earthweb (I got it from Amazon as soon as I read about
its release here; thank you!). Overall, I found it highly enjoyable.
It's a great novel of ideas, esp. ideas that we frequently discuss on
the list; featured
private law enforcement agencies
fees for unsolicited email
credibility ratings for web postings
free-market incentives for research
widespread encryption & surveillance tech
Background stuff mentioned but not expanded upon:
the demise of Microsoft
the demise of the Federal govt in "The
privatization of most govt functions
Sequels are a definite & welcome (by me) possibility.
The story moves pretty quickly (all the action takes place over a month)
& only occasionally lapses into long expositions on various ideas,
usually justified in the context of the scene in question. I must admit
some of the characters seemed a bit 2-dimensional to me, but not enough
detract from my enjoyment.
Things I didn't see that surprised me:
not a single mention of nanotech
no mention of life-extension (2 characters are centenarians, but it's not clear how unusual this is)
not much in the way of biotech
Since the novel is set approximately 50-60
years in the future, I suspect most on this list would expect these
things to be well
along in their development by then. A curious omission, but not really detrimental to the story.
Though it's probably preaching to the choir, I recommend this book to all on the list.