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Halting State

by Charles Stross

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Halting State (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,4271174,841 (3.75)101
Sergeant Sue Smith is called in to investigate a daring Edinburgh robbery, a crime perpetrated by a band of marauding orcs with a dragon in tow in the virtual reality land of Avalon Four, and discovers that events in the virtual world could have a devastating impact on the real one.
  1. 60
    Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson (infiniteletters)
  2. 40
    Rule 34 by Charles Stross (Mind_Booster_Noori)
    Mind_Booster_Noori: Read Halting State first. If you like it, don't miss reading Rule 34.
  3. 40
    Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (ahstrick)
  4. 30
    Jennifer Government by Max Barry (ljbwell)
    ljbwell: Both give a humorous-with-a-bite view of the future of global politics & economics with a techie bent.
  5. 20
    Reamde by Neal Stephenson (infiniteletters)
  6. 10
    This Is Not a Game by Walter Jon Williams (noneofthis)
  7. 10
    Makers by Cory Doctorow (grizzly.anderson)
    grizzly.anderson: Both are near-future extrapolations of technology, behavior and society.
  8. 00
    Daemon by Daniel Suarez (infiniteletters)
  9. 00
    Cory Doctorow's Futuristic Tales of the Here And Now #1: Anda's Game by Cory Doctorow (infiniteletters)
  10. 00
    Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge (sdobie)
    sdobie: Near future thriller in an always-online world.
  11. 01
    Kraken by China Miéville (MyriadBooks)
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» See also 101 mentions

English (116)  French (1)  All languages (117)
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
In a sort-of-independent Scotland, a bank robbery in a gameworld draws the police into something far stranger, with spies, people pretending to be spies in a game, and the occasional murder. Packed with Stross’s love of tech and bureaucracy, but not really him at his best. ( )
  rivkat | Dec 21, 2021 |
I read the two Halting States novels out of order, I’d gotten Rule 34 first, after reading that I got a copy of Halting States and liked it every bit as much as Rule 34. Some reviewers didn’t like the book because as Rule 34 was it’s written in multiple second person point of view, just like interactive fiction, very appropriate for a thriller about Augmented Realty Games, spies and the collapse of the web in a society who use it for everything from self driving cars to policing to logistics.

Oh and the writing is great too

“You emerge from the politie station blinking robotically, like an animatronic ground-hog with a short circuit”

“you’ll have a job in a bank lined up by next week, fixing broken spreadsheets while wearing a suit with one of those strangulation devices, what do they call them…?”

“so-called because it was new when it was built in the 1760s: Edinburgh has history the way cats have bad breath”

“Because it’s a thing of beauty, the ability to spin the cloth of reality, and you’re a sucker for it: Isn’t story-telling what being human is all about?”

Those are just a few of my favorite lines in the book, Stross also manages to throw in references to Ankh-Morpork and the TARDIS. Right now he’s my favorite modern SF author.
( )
  kevn57 | Dec 8, 2021 |
Interesting to see the anachronisms in a speculative fiction book published in 2007. I liked this adventure story and also enjoyed finding just a few anachromisms in its near-future setting. ( )
  Je9 | Aug 10, 2021 |
Okay, amusing in some parts. Stross's characters all seem to be the same clever, smarmy type though, and I don't think the virtual reality parts are executed as well as in other novels. ( )
  skolastic | Feb 2, 2021 |
I expected things to turn out much worse - but this is from a simpler, gentler time I guess... ( )
  tatere | Dec 30, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 116 (next | show all)
This is his tightest-plotted novel to date, a detective story with a million perfectly meshed moving parts, and a hundred magnificent surprises that had me gasping and shouting YES.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Oct 2, 2007)
 

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charles Strossprimary authorall editionscalculated
Frangie, RitaCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Toulouse, SophieCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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In memory of Datacash Ltd. and all who sailed in her, 1997-2000
Books do not get written in majestic isolation, and this one is no exception. Certainly it wouldn't exist in its current form without valuable feedback from a host of readers. I'd particularly like to thank Vernor Vinge, Hugh Hancock, Greg Costikyan, Ron Avitzur, Eric Raymond, Tony Quirke, Robert Sneddon, Paul Friday, Dave Bush, Alexander Chane Austin, Larry Colen, Harry Payne, Trey Palmer, Dave Clements, Andrew Veitch, Hannu Rajaniemi, Soon Lee, and Jarrod Russell. I'd also like to thank my other test readers, too numerous to thank today. Finally, thanks to the publishing folks without whom the book wouldn't have been written: my agent, Caitlin Blasdell, my editor at Ace, Ginjer Buchanan, and my copyeditors, Bob and Sara Schwager.
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Hello. We're Round Peg/Round Hole Recruitment. We want to offer you a job on behalf of one of our clients.
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You're a grown-up, these days. You don't wear a kamikaze pilot's rising sun headband and a tee-shirt that screams DEBUG THIS! and you don't spend your weekends competing in extreme programming slams at a windy campsite near Frankfurt, but it's generally difficult for you to use any machine that doesn't have at least one compiler installed: In fact, you had to stick Python on your phone before you even opened its address book because not being able to brainwash it left you feeling handicapped, like you were a passenger instead of a pilot. In another age you would have been a railway mechanic or a grease monkey crawling over the spark plugs of a DC-3. This is what you are, and the sad fact is, they can put the code monkey in a suit but they can't take the code out of the monkey.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Sergeant Sue Smith is called in to investigate a daring Edinburgh robbery, a crime perpetrated by a band of marauding orcs with a dragon in tow in the virtual reality land of Avalon Four, and discovers that events in the virtual world could have a devastating impact on the real one.

No library descriptions found.

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"In the year 2018, Sergeant Sue Smith of the Edinburgh constabulary is called in on a special case. A daring bank robbery has taken place at Hayek Associates, a dot-com start-up company that's just floated onto the London stock exchange. But this crime may be a bit beyond Smith's expertise." "The prime suspects are a band of marauding orcs with a dragon in tow for fire support. The bank is located within the virtual reality land of Avalon Four, and the robbery was supposed to be impossible. When word gets out, Hayek Associates and all their virtual "economies" are going to crash hard." "For Smith, the investigation seems pointless. But the deeper she digs, the bigger the case gets. There are powerful players - both real and pixilated - who are watching her every move. Because there is far more at stake than just some game-head's fantasy financial security."--BOOK JACKET
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