From Publishers Weekly
This brilliantly conceived techno-crime thriller spreads a black humor frosting over the grim prospect of the year 2012, when China, India and the European System are struggling for world economic domination in an infowar, and the U.S. faces bankruptcy over its failing infrastructure. Sgt. Sue Smith of Edinburgh's finest, London insurance accountant Elaine Barnaby and hapless secret-ridden programmer Jack Reed peel back layer after layer of a scheme to siphon vast assets from Hayek Associates, a firm whose tentacles spread into international economies. The theft is routed through Avalon Four, a virtual reality world complete with supposedly robbery-proof banks. As an electronic intelligence agency trains innocent gamers to do its dirty work, Elaine sets Jack to catch the poacher. Hugo-winner Stross (Glasshouse
) creates a deeply immersive story, writing all three perspectives in the authoritative second-person style of video game instructions and gleefully spiking the intrigue with virtual Orcs, dragons and swordplay. The effortless transformation of today's technological frustrations into tomorrow's nightmare realities is all too real for comfort. (Oct.)
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A great read, and a fascinating look at the future of security in a massively networked world. (Bruce Schneier, CTO, BT Counterpane
The first couple of pages had me hooked, and I didn't touch another book until I finished it. (John Carmack, Technical Director, iD Software and creator of Doom and Quake
As keenly observant of our emergent society as it is our emergent technologies, Halting State is one extremely smart species of fun. (William Gibson
Charles Stross is the most spectacular science-fiction writer of recent years. In Halting State, he has written a near-future story that is at once over-the-top and compellingly believable. (Vernor Vinge