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Trouble and Her Friends

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  975 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
Less than a hundred years from now, the forces of law and order crack down on the world of the computer nets. The hip, noir adventurers who get by on wit, bravado, and drugs, and haunt the virtual worlds of the Shadows of cyberspace, are up against the encroachments of civilization. It's time to adapt or die.

India Carless, alias Trouble, got out ahead of the feds and settl
Paperback, 379 pages
Published June 15th 1995 by Tor Science Fiction (first published May 1994)
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(showing 1-30)
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rating: 4.5/5

There is just so much to think about/analyze with this book I'm not sure where to begin. I'll admit that I'm not familiar with cyberpunk, it has always been on my tbr lists but this is the first I've been able to get to it. Some other reviewers have said that this book borrows too much from other cyberpunk books but I wouldn't know, haven't read them yet.

That said, wow! I loved this ride! The descriptions and details of the world inside the net were so vivid it felt like I was insid
Feb 06, 2011 Na'amen rated it really liked it
It's good to go back to books from my adolescence that have not been visited by the suck fairy. This was most likely the first cyberpunk novel I ever read and definitely the first that I remember. When the lawlessness of the net is lost, when the wild frontier is gone, when you have lawmen who don't understand the net but still feel they have the right to police it - what do you do? Trouble knows what do to, leave in the middle of the night taking all of her equipment and not saying a word to he ...more
Anna Anthropy
Jan 15, 2015 Anna Anthropy rated it it was ok
i was really disappointed by this queer cyberpunk novel, which is a sentence that pains me to write. it was just too CLEAN. i think of cyberpunk as a dirty genre. it's messy. people with complicated lives and complicated desires that intersect with technologies whose ramifications are too huge to fit within the bounds of the story. we see just the margins of that terrible landscape, and how the protagonist manages to exist in them.

i was prepared for a cyberpunk story about queer outlaws to be re
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Apr 16, 2011 Shellie (Layers of Thought) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: sci fi lovers
Recommended to Shellie (Layers of Thought) by: Tor
Original review post at Layers of Thought.

A futuristic science fiction novel with underground “noir-ish” themes, which takes the reader on a journey via internal biological internet connections into an intriguing online world.

Trouble is well known online as one of the best and most notorious “crackers”. She is a future version of a hacker, where cracking is breaking through IC(E) – the acronym for the complex security systems which simulate actual ice. Intriguingly, web users have connections to
Lit Bug
Slightly put off by classic cyberpunk on account of its difficult prose, the way it dumps the unwary reader in the middle of a strange world, hoping s/he will figure it out before s/he misses out on what is happening, I was skeptical of taking up another work that promised cyberpunk, though of a different flavor. Not only was I pleasantly surprised at how lucidly the process of jacking into the matrix and running its programs can be described, it was an adrenaline of pleasure to see how many not ...more
Aug 25, 2016 Charles rated it it was amazing
Stuff I Read – Trouble and Her Friends by Melissa Scott Review

I picked this up mainly because it's considered a classic in many circles. At the least, it represents a rather mainstream queer addition to a time in SFF where that wasn't the most popular thing. I mean, most queer SFF that I can think of either has happened somewhat recently or well before I was born, and here's a book out in the 90s that features not one or two but pretty much an entire cast of queer characters battling their way a
Linh Nguyen
Sep 03, 2015 Linh Nguyen rated it really liked it
Shelves: queer, sci-fi
This is the first time I've read a cyberspace sci-fi written in the past about an imaginary future quite different from our present world, thus I had a hard time figuring out what happened for about a third of the book. Once I could grab my head around the concept I found it rather interesting. One mystery isn't solved at the end is the thing involved that Coigne bastard and the real motive why Multiplane wants to get rid of Trouble; but I guess at that point no one would care anymore.
Romance is
Dec 22, 2014 Theresa rated it really liked it
I read this not long after it originally came out, and now I've re-read it. Many of the professional reviews I've found online of the re-release have focused on its supposed datedness. There are some dated elements-- like all near future SF, things don't always go exactly as the author imagines and we get to live through the reality in the intervening years.

There are still many issues in this novel that are relevant and timely today. Net neutrality, GBLT issues, online sexism, and ecological col
Dec 06, 2014 Elizabeth rated it liked it
Entertaining mid 90s cyberpunk, interesting as much as for what Scott got wrong about the future as what she got right. I love that she imagines full-immersion virtual reality, but no wireless internet. And it's old enough that the big network is the "BBS" not the web or the internet. The non-techy parts -- the question of what happens when people who have defined themselves as outsiders try to "grow up" -- were good, although the characters were a bit underdeveloped.
Apr 19, 2013 Xdyj rated it liked it
Shelves: o, q, fa
The plot about Internet regulation seems interesting and somehow premonitory, but the author borrowed too much from classic cyberpunk like those by William Gibson, especially the awesome yet impractical VR and the concept of ICE.
Aug 03, 2016 William rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, cyberpunk, 2014
Interesting for the most part, but the ending 20% was rather boring and felt a tad rushed, with little payoff for all the buildup. The world is not really well defined, lacking in texture, detail and feeling. Also feels sort of like Anonymous self-insertion, where hackers are well known celebrities in the Net.
Florin Pitea
Oct 25, 2015 Florin Pitea rated it it was ok
Bought it in 1999, read it in 2009. It was okayish, but that's about the size of it. For a detailed review, please visit my blog:
Althea Ann
Mar 03, 2013 Althea Ann rated it really liked it
Good cyberpunk. It's more of a fun adventure than a deep, analyzing society kinda book, but I enjoyed reading it twice....
Mar 16, 2011 Erika rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally reviewed here:

I am reviewing a copy provided by the US publisher.

Science Fiction sometimes runs the risk of becoming dated. Technology advances so quickly today that it’s illuminating to consider iPods, camera phones, and the iPad were only released within the last decade. While not impossible to predict what the future may bring, even as close as a few years from now, it’s a tricky balancing act between what we want to advance and what actually
Stephen Poltz
Nov 10, 2016 Stephen Poltz rated it it was ok
“Trouble” is the username of India Carliss, a former hacker who gave up her underground life traversing the net to be a network admin for an artist’s colony when hacking became criminalized. She left everything behind, including her friends and girlfriend. Three years later, someone is causing trouble in the net using her username, implicating her in illegal activity. Trouble and her ex go on a quest to find the culprit uncovering a much more sinister plot.

I’m not a fan of cyberpunk, but this bo
Nov 12, 2016 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great, classic cyberpunk

Would highly recommend this to anybody interested in the cyberpunk genre or in virtual reality as an emerging technology. Certainly, some of the notions of how technology would evolve (phones, physical media such as hard drives) have already proven to be wrong (but not bad guesses given this was written in 1994), but the concept of the lived-in experience of virtual worlds is important perspective as the technology becomes increasingly available. Plus, the characters are
Ian Wood
Sep 20, 2014 Ian Wood rated it it was amazing
This is the complete review as it appears at my blog dedicated to reading, writing (no 'rithmatic!), movies, & TV. Blog reviews often contain links which are not reproduced here, nor will updates or modifications to the blog review be replicated here. Graphic and children's reviews on the blog typically feature two or three images from the book's interior, which are not reproduced here.

Note that I don't really do stars. To me a book is either worth reading or it isn't. I can't rate it three-
Jun 15, 2012 Alexandra rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-in-2011
So... I've been meaning to write this review since August, when I read it. I've therefore managed to get to it before a year is out, if only just. Which is good. But the reason it's taken me so long is because there are so many things I wanted to say! ... and of course I've forgotten most of them. Because that's the way these things work. I did make a little list of notes as I went, so this is going to be a somewhat disjointed review as I write those notes and try to remember what I meant by the ...more
Laura Rainbow Dragon
Jul 30, 2015 Laura Rainbow Dragon rated it it was amazing
India Carless, a.k.a. Trouble has tried to go straight. When the law cracks down on the wild frontier of cyberspace with an aggressive new bill which makes it possible for computer hackers to be convicted of armed robbery, Trouble knows that it's time to get out. Trouble was the best of the netwalkers, but the net had gone crazy now. What she once saw as high adventure is now simply suicide, so Trouble walks away from it all.

Away from the shadow world of the netwalkers -- professional hackers wh
Jessica Strider
Aug 11, 2011 Jessica Strider rated it really liked it
Pros: 'realistic' internet, relevant (net coming under government control/interference, environmental problems)

Cons: grammar tense shift from the real world (past tense) to the net and character's thoughts (present tense) was distracting

Pro/Con: very involved story (you have to pay close attention), slow paced, two lesbian love scenes (both are short and less involved than what you'll find in a traditional romance novel)

Trouble walked away from her life as a cracker and her girlfriend, when the
Aug 25, 2015 Peter rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf
Feminist cyberpunk from a capable writer. New legal restrictions have forced Trouble and her former lover Cerise out of the hacker underworld they used to frequent, but their life in respectable society is threatened by the emergence of a hacker who claims to be a resurrected version of Trouble herself. To protect both their jobs and their reputations the two protagonists must track down the impostor, and in the process they manage also to revive their expired romance. Scott handles her complex ...more
Feb 27, 2012 Jordan rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi, cyberpunk, own, lgbt
Pretty decent cyberpunk with mainly LGBT characters and a look at gender and identity on the net. After reading so much supernatural romance and bad teen love triangles lately, some queer sci-fi was a nice break. I was particularly interested by how the characters used "it" as the pronoun for all crackers (basically hackers) whose gender was not known off the nets. Usually, as the book points out, a male gender is assumed. I was reminded of the scene from The Matrix where Neo is surprised to fin ...more
Sep 20, 2014 Cucumber rated it it was amazing
I loved it so so much. "Trouble and her friends" is a detective story with some minor romance and some … interesting action sequences set in cyberspace.

First of all, I've got a soft spot for pre-W-LAN cyber punk and there were lots of wires in this one.
Secondly, Trouble and her friends are presented as outsiders: they are “crackers”; and even within the (semi-criminal) internet community they are marginalized for being queer and “on the wire”. (The wire connects their brain with the internet w
Feb 09, 2016 matthew rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction, lgbt
Ugh. There were so many elements that were interesting and successful inversions of cyberpunk's cliched tropes, but they were all hampered by a narrative slower than an iceberg, a narrative hyperbolically committed to conventions (including a grotesquely neat and happy ending), and some excruciating scenes of cyberspace that must've been cliche by 1986, let alone 1994. Which is a real shame, as Scott's command of characterization was top notch and her squeamishness around violence really worked ...more
Sep 20, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi, cyber-punk
A typical cyberpunk novel. The thing is I like the genre (debates of it being dead or not aside).

I like this book the characters were memorable and the story a a strong addition to the genre. Scott pick up the ability to depict a bleak future of corporate dominance and continue weaving more into this story.

I have read this book several times and find it a keeper as part of my library. That being said I not sure I would recommend this as a casual read. Most readers like the hero to kick ass and
Nov 30, 2015 Brandon rated it did not like it
Shelves: stopped-reading
Most of the imagery rips of Neuromancer and other cyberpunk conventions pretty thoroughly, even though it was written at a time when we knew what the internet and personal computers looked like. Maybe that makes it more accessible?

I stopped about a third of the way through. Most of the characters are queer and it's presented as a fact that seems injected after the novel was finished. It doesn't affect the story. It doesn't add depth to the characters. It's just there. It's also painfully outdat
Sep 19, 2008 Tarn rated it really liked it
Cyberpunk. Cyberlespunk, I guess. An excellent little read - if a bleak future for all of us, at least people can still be quirky characters. The plot, a troublemaker-goes-'straight'-then-gets-blamed-for-crimes-someone -else-commits-and-must-reclaim-her-name is a bit predictable, but none the less interesting for it. After all, if staid plots were boring, who would read murder mysteries?
Fascinatingly, the author portrays almost all the characters as living in a world were folks hate and belittle
Owen O'Neill
Jan 14, 2015 Owen O'Neill rated it it was amazing
I read this book when it came out. It is now a bit dated in some ways. I don't much care. The world Melissa Scott creates is well done: vibrant with the right amount of grit. A few bits are a little cliché (fine with me) and the ending isn't a total nail-biter (fine with me).

Ojbectively, this is more likely to be a 4-star book, but I don't have to be objective. I like the writing and I like the relationships, and I like the fact that in 1994, when so few were "going there", Melissa Scott did. S
Jan 15, 2012 Topher rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
I first read this book years ago, before I ever became a computer security consultant. Its a phenomenal book - I'd put it up there with Shockwave Rider and True Names for influencing my career decisions in a weird sort of back - but I just couldn't find it into the allocated space for moving across the country. There are a lot of themes going on in this that I either didn't remember or just didn't get the first time through - lots of what it means to be an outsider, whether or not a blackhat can ...more
Aug 03, 2015 Sally rated it really liked it
I came across this one on a list of quintessential cyberpunk books. About a hundred pages in, I realized I had read it before. I'm not sure whether I was drawn to the fact that the main characters were gay or the frequent use of gender neutral pronouns. Since it had been at least 15 years, I decided to finish it. It is interesting to read books that envision what the future of the internet will be. It is great to read books that have strong female protagonists, and that discuss gender and sexual ...more
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Lethe Press Books: Trouble and Her Friends by Melissa Scott 1 1 Aug 26, 2014 12:39PM  
Sci-Fi & Fantasy ...: July/August 2014 Group Read: Trouble and Her Friends 6 8 Jul 20, 2014 09:49AM  
The F-word: Trouble and Her Friends 10 36 Oct 15, 2013 04:07PM  
She-Geeks: This topic has been closed to new comments. Trouble and her Friends - Feminist Cyberpunk 25 41 Aug 05, 2013 11:36PM  
love M. Scott 2 8 Apr 06, 2011 10:46AM  
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Scott studied history at Harvard College and Brandeis University, and earned her PhD. in comparative history. She published her first novel in 1984, and has since written some two dozen science fiction and fantasy works, including three co-authored with her partner, Lisa A. Barnett.

Scott's work is known for the elaborate and well-constructed settings. While many of her protagonists are gay, lesbia
More about Melissa Scott...

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“There were still too many people who were afraid of a technology that eluded them, still more who would never have access and resented and feared it in equal measures. Mobilize those groups just once, find a demagogue-and there always were demagogues-and the nets would find themselves destroyed.” 1 likes
“You know damn well that's not how the wire works, and if you weren't afraid of it, you'd have one yourself. It's the same as the implants, just like the dollie-slots, but it gives me an edge, yeah, because I'm not afraid of it, of what I can do with it.” 0 likes
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