Neptune's Brood

Neptune's Brood
File:Neptune's Brood, UK cover.jpg
First UK edition, cover
Author Charles Stross
Language English
Genre Science fiction
Publisher Ace
Publication date
1 July 2013 (UK)
2 July 2013 (US)
Media type Print (Hardcover)
Pages 336 pp
ISBN 978-0425256770
Preceded by Saturn's Children

Neptune's Brood is a science fiction novel by British author Charles Stross, set in the same universe as Saturn's Children, but thousands of years later and with all new characters.[1][2]

The novel was shortlisted for the 2014 Hugo Award for Best Novel.


Fictional universe

The setting of Saturn's Children was the solar system. Homo sapiens was extinct, and all the characters were androids. In Neptune's Brood, set in AD 7000, Homo sapiens has been resurrected three times, but it remains insignificant, and is known as the "Fragile".[3] In the novel, "humanity" is used for the "mechanocyte"-based metahuman successor life forms, vastly improved over the original androids.

The setting of Neptune's Brood is the part of the galaxy that has since been colonized with slower than light travel. A large part of the plot turns on the question of financing such colonization.[2][4] Money, which is entirely cryptocurrency, has been divided into three classes: "fast", "medium", "slow". Fast money is ordinary day-to-day cash, medium money is ordinary investment instruments, suitable for use within a single planetary system, and slow money is interstellar investment instruments, understood to take centuries, even a millennium, to mature. Slow money transactions rely on a three-way cryptoverification scheme, and so trade at one-third the speed of light.

Two thousand years before the main plot begins, one start-up colony, Atlantis, broke contact without warning or explanation with the rest of humanity, and two attempts to physically contact them also went dark.

Plot summary

The novel presents itself as an extended first-person report by Krina Alizond-114, created by the "incalculably wealthy" Sondra Alizond-1 to be a scholar of accountancy practice historiography. Her clone sister, Ana, has disappeared, and Krina is following her trail.


As always, Stross feels like the smartest guy in the room, pushing the boundaries of identity and humanity while offering up what may be the first epic tale of futuristic macroeconomics.

If you begin by thinking that a narrative about banking, debt and accountancy might be dull, Stross will quickly disabuse you—there’s always a mad glint in his eye, even when he’s explaining some seriously weird and alluring concepts.

The level of invention is as impressive as ever, with virtually every page crammed to bursting with incredible concepts, while the slow-burning mystery turns out to be well-crafted and gripping in the extreme.

— Saxon Bullock, SFX[5]


  1. "Nanowrimo". Charlie's Diary. 2011-11-01. Retrieved 2013-01-22. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 "Fiction Book Review: Neptune's Brood by Charles Stross". Publishers Weekly. 2013. Retrieved January 5, 2015. 
  3. "CHARLES STROSS - NEPTUNE'S BROOD COVER ART REVEAL". 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2013-01-22. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Neptune's Brood". Kirkus Reviews. 2013-05-15. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 
  5. Bullock, Saxon (2013-07-05). "Neptune’s Brood by Charles Stross Review". SFX. Retrieved 2014-10-21. 

External links

  • Hanson, Robin (2013-10-30). "Financing Starships". Overcoming Bias. Retrieved 2015-05-29.  Disputes the economic "realism" of the novel.