A few years ago I read an excellent sf book about nanobots that went out of control. In the book they were used for weather control, when they went amok the scientists threw in yet another bunch of nanites and so on, until Earth became uninhabitable, teeming with nanites, I remember the weather also became cold. The planet still could be visited but when they lost cloaking the nanites would attack.

Also, some humans in the book merged with nanites, they could behave benevolently but I forgot the plot too.
I only remember fragments of this book, I would like to read it again in English. (loaned a long time ago from a library here in Sweden but they closed the library).

I only know that it was written by an Anglo-American contemporary SF writer, probably 30-55 y.o.

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    Robots that ran out of control? That's unpossible. – Valorum Jan 25 at 0:46
  • I'm looking for a book title, thanks! – Attila Jan 25 at 0:52
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    I got a faint memory of 'Bloom' by Wil McCarthy. But it was a long time ago that I read it so maybe not the same novel. – DannyMcG Jan 25 at 1:32
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    The first paragraph could refer to "Century Rain" by Alistair Reynolds, not second paragraph though. – lolrus Jan 25 at 9:36
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    Wow, I think this could be "Century Rain" since on the web they mention the nanocaust in that book, lol. I've definitely read "Century Rain" but it has many subplots, maybe that's why I couldn't remember. And of course it has to be a known author to be bought for a library. I will check it further, many thanks for the help guys! – Attila Jan 25 at 11:15

I think this might be Century Rain by Alastair Reynolds. However I'm a bit hesitant because this is an alternate Earth novel and the weather control is only a bit of background and not the main thrust of the novel. However the details do match your description.

In chapter 28 there is a discussion about the weather catastrophe that happened on one of the alternate Earths:

It was late July twenty seventy-seven,” Auger said. “For the last couple of years, we’d been busy releasing tiny machines into the environment in an attempt to fix the climate. The planet had been heating up for more than a century, as we spewed crap into the atmosphere. The oceans were screwed up. Sea levels were rising, flooding coastal town and cities. There were freak storms. Some places got colder. Some places got hotter. Some places just got…strange. Really strange. And that was when some coalition of dickheads had the idea that we ought to try squirting some intelligence into the weather system. ‘Smart weather,’ they called it.”

The smart weather control goes wrong:

“It was never going to work. Late in twenty seventy-six there were rumours—unconfirmed reports—of some weather patterns refusing to follow orders. Ocean circulation events no one could turn off. Clouds that wouldn’t disperse, no matter what you did to them. A persistent obscene symbol off the Bay of Biscay that had to be airbrushed out of every satellite image. It was clear—even though no one was admitting it—that some of the machines had evolved a little too far. They were more interested in their own self-preservation than obeying sequenced shutdown-and-disassemble commands. So you know what the coalition of dickheads did, for an encore?”


“They came up with some even cleverer, slyer machines and said they’d sort out the first wave. And so they were given authorisation to inject these into the environment as well. Trouble is, they only made things worse."

I don't recall anything about humans merging with the rogue nanites. However the surviving humans split into two groups, the Slashers and the Threshers, and the Slashers do use nanotechnology to enhance their bodies. However this isn't related to the rogue weather control nanites.

  • Many thanks for your help, yes, indeed it was "Century Rain"! I only remembered the good hard scifi parts with the nanites, lol, but not the additional plots, that's why it was impossible to remember despite I seldom forget a scifi novel. I'm going to read it again, many thanks! – Attila Jan 25 at 12:48
  • I thought it was a novel by some other great author like Charles Stross or Neal Asher who also writes a lot of nanotech-theme novels but I was totally wrong. I was looking for this particular title for a year now, can't believe how I could forget the exakt title/author. Also, it seems that the good parts with the nanobot war was much smaller what I remembered but that part was very impressive. – Attila Jan 25 at 13:06

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