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Charles Stross: Halting State

sparkchaser

Administrator and Stuntman
Staff member
I accidentally bought Halting State instead of another one and you know what? I loved it. What we have here is a well-written whodunit in near future that rings a little too close to home for comfort.

It's 2018 and augmented reality is, well, a reality. China, India, and the EU are in the midst of waging a never ending infowar, while the United States is rendered obsolete by the crumbling of its aging data infrastructure. Oh, and Scotland has its independence and is a full EU member.

Against this backdrop, Edinburgh cop Sgt. Sue Smith gets pulled into an investigation involving the bank heist of an on-line game. Seems that Orks from an entirely different game, show up in another game's bank and made off with a small fortune of in-game magic items. Stuff like that is not supposed to happen. This theft of 1s and 0s equates to several million Euro. Turns out, it's not just items in a game's database that have been compromised.

If it sounds similar to REAMDE, that's only because they both feature an online game as its backdrop. That is where the similarities end.

:star4:

One quirk about this book that you should know is that it is told in second person from the perspective of either Sue, Elaine, or Jack. It works well for this story.

Oh, and beer good: there are ample references to Lovecraftian horrors, including a game based on At The Mountains of Madness.
 

sparkchaser

Administrator and Stuntman
Staff member
I don't remember. I thought it was some post-singularity one but I can't remember.
 

beer good

Well-Known Member
Oh, and beer good: there are ample references to Lovecraftian horrors, including a game based on At The Mountains of Madness.

I know. I tried to read his The Atrocity Archives a while back, which used a lot of Lovecraft too, and I just couldn't get into it. He frontloaded the book with about 50 pages of technobabble, and I couldn't bring myself to care.
 

joderu95

New Member
I gave up on The Atrocity Archives and Halting State although it may have been partly my fault for not concentrating enough early on in both books and then having no clear idea of what is going on. I did like his collection Wireless though.
 

Sneezy

Well-Known Member
So a few chapters into this, and I have laughed quite a few times already.

I haven't heard or read the term isnae since my grandmother died.
 

Sneezy

Well-Known Member
Fin.

Worth the read. The second person delivery is a little disconcerting at first, but towards the end it really makes the story fun as the viewpoints jump from character to character.
 

sparkchaser

Administrator and Stuntman
Staff member
I gave up on The Atrocity Archives and Halting State although it may have been partly my fault for not concentrating enough early on in both books and then having no clear idea of what is going on. I did like his collection Wireless though.

I'll check out Wireless. Have you read The Jennifer Morgue? I think you might like it.
 

joderu95

New Member
No, not yet. I think I have Saturn's Children and Accelerando too but I'll damned if I can find them right now.
 
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