Firstly, let me say I'm a fan of Charles Stross and I think he is writer who is not nearly as well known as he should be (Accelerando is a fascinating book and the Laundry files stories are very amusing). My initial impression of Neptunes Brood was that it was a little too contrived. This is obviously a funny thing to say - all novels are contrived. I lost this feeling as I read, but it came back to me in after I'd finished the book. An enjoyable read, but not for me destined to be a classic.