THE SPIKE in America - Not!

Damien Broderick (
Sat, 07 Feb 1998 10:50:29 +0000

I sent my pop sci book on the singularity, THE SPIKE - published in
Australia about 6 months ago - to a well-disposed US publisher, who
declined it for the following rather interesting reason (which suggests a
more drastic sense of accelerating change than anything we assume on this
list, he mutters sardonically):


... the editor ...
considered it, but feels that, given the pace at which the technology
is racing, the book would most likely be outdated by the time we were
able to get it out


I replied:

I have to say that I'm *flabbergasted* by this reason for declining the
book. I can only assume that the editor read only the first few dozen
pages, which drew for effect upon the latest news at the time and can
easily be updated. Since the bulk of the book is about the truly
mind-boggling possibilities that won't kick in until about 2030, it simply
*can't* get outdated (unless extraterrestrials arrive, or time travel is
announced). The topics I emphasise are the social impact of mature
nanotechnology, AI and uploading.

That is, THE SPIKE *isn't* a book about the wonders of the Pentium chip and
its immediate successor, but about what happens when (for example) the
entire ecosystem gets suffused with almost invisible `nano Utility-fog', or
people begin to port their consciousness into nanocomputers. I haven't
noticed any uploaded posthumans running on nanotechnology in a Dyson sphere
on my street lately. I don't expect this to occur between now and
publication date.


Damien Broderick