I think I'm going to have to start paying more attention to the Puppy-Blending Professor's recommendations when it comes to SF. He had great things to say about Charles
Stross, particularly recommending Accelerando and Iron Sunrise, the sequel to Singularity Sky - which I just finished reading, and enjoyed tremendously. Singularity Sky is the story of a war set far in the future after the Singularity has occurred, creating an extremely powerful being known as the Eschaton. The Eschaton has scattered 90% of Earth's population on hundreds of worlds, all with nanotechnology, and apparently sits around waiting for people to attempt violations of causality - which it promptly stops with a maximum of force, having warned humanity in unmistakable terms not to screw around with the time stream. Anyhow, getting back to the war...the paternalistic, technophobic New Republic is under attack by the Festival, but in this transhuman time nothing is even remotely that simple, not even the notion of "attack". Hard to describe but very easy to enjoy, this one is. Recommended.
Then we have Neil Gaiman's American Gods, which definitely lives up to all the hype associated with its author. Imagine, if you will, that the old gods of Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas have come to the United States...and what might become of them as their believers dwindle. Imagine further that Americans turn to newer, shinier (sometimes) gods of their own devising. Gaiman tells the story of a man who becomes involved with these gods, and it's a pretty damn fascinating story with some interesting twists and turns. Excessively fascinating, in fact; I picked up the book late Monday afternoon at the library and didn't put it down until about 0130 Tuesday morning, which didn't help me get through that day at work one damn bit. Still, it was worth it. stuckintraffik, you were right - it's nothing like The Great And Secret Show. Nothing at all like it.
In other news, Overstock.com finally sent me the label so that I could ship my defunct Carbon back to them in exchange for a refurbished one that'll (hopefully) work better. Cynical booger that I am, I don't expect to see the replacement back before I leave for Washington again. That's more than a month away, and they could surprise me...but I'm not expecting it.