Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise by Charles Stross

I've read several installments of Charles Stross's novel Accelerando when they appeared in Asimov's (back before I let my subscription expire...) They were smart, they were funny, they were well-written -- which set them apart from 95% of Asimov's stories. One day at the bookstore I picked up both Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise because I remembered the author's name.

Here's what really charms about these books: the universe Stross creates is utterly believable, internally consistent and wildly interesting. The science is hard enough to be believable but with just enough techno-hacking to make it fun. There's a LOT going on. Remember the first time you picked up Startide Rising? Stross's universe is like that, minus of course the phantasmagoria of alien species.

Both books (but Iron Sunrise especially) are well-plotted and well-paced. Both engrossed me utterly. Both would make fabulous big-budget Hollywood films (I mean that as a compliment) because they're visual, contain a great balance of action and exploration and have larger-than-life characters.

I'm not going to go on and on about these books. Just this: they're great. If you like SF you should run, not walk, to the bookstore (but who does that anymore?) and buy them immediately.