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Annabel Scheme

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  536 ratings  ·  80 reviews
Annabel Scheme is a detective story set in an alternate San Francisco where the digital and the occult live side-by-side. It's a short, snappy read -- about 128 pages/128,000 Kindle locations -- and perfect for people who like Sherlock Holmes, Douglas Adams, ghosts and/or the internet. Finally, it makes a great Kindle gift. In Scheme's San Francisco, an indie rocker's new ...more
ebook, 111 pages
Published November 26th 2010 by robinsloan.com (first published October 31st 2009)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,180)
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Mike
I have two books on my Kindle at the moment that were funded by Kickstarters, neither of which I participated in. One is awkwardly and choppily written, with cardboard characters and no sense of humour. This is the other one.

Set in an alternate world in which Google's place is filled by a company called Grail (a brilliant name for a search engine, by the way), and Wikipedia's by "Open Britannica", Annabel Scheme is difficult to categorize. Is it a detective novel? An urban fantasy? A technothril
...more
Olga Godim
I’m not sure what I think of this Kindle novella. It’s too weird. It starts as a PI comedy. It proceeds as an odd kind of mystery, on the intersection between the internet and demons. It ends in a tragedy, with an assortment of loose ends still dangling. And in between, there are too many unanswered questions. But all the same, it was an absorbing read, very much 21st century. Although I’m not sure I liked it, never once did I want to abandon the book, so I can’t give it less than 3 stars.
The p
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Jenny
aaaahhhh this is awesome except it is too short!!

annabel scheme is a well thought out, creative, and somewhat unique story that takes all of the fun stuff of life and puts it in the same pot.

so first thing, as sloan does so well in penumbra, the real function and ability of computers. it is frustrating how dependent on technology our culture is and how little the people understand about how it works. making a server a character is a pretty ingenious way to humanize something we typically dismi
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Punk
Alternate Universe Speculative Cyberpunk Detective Fiction. Annabel Scheme runs a detective agency specializing in digital and occult cases. Her partner, Hu, lives in a server farm and watches the world through Annabel's earrings. They just took a case: Someone's distributing new music, made by dead artists. It's impossible, but ever since the Shard went up, San Francisco's seen its share of the impossible.

Five stars. Excellent world-building with an economy of words (my favorite kind because it
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Carol Waller
Fun. Not exactly light hearted. Weird. Interesting. Digital, mostly. Some occult - the really weird and largely unpleasant kind. Most characters you want to know more about. Some you truly wish had a different ending**. Plot was twisty, a few WTH moments, but mostly solid plotting. Several areas I would love to see revisited***.

I loved the world, I really did. But this is one I would only visit. Sporadically. Cause I fear it is littered with rabbit holes. But a few books into it, and I can see r
...more
Leslie
So much fun to read -- I really wanted it to be longer! Part Sam Spade, part X-Files, part cyberpunk, this little book (and I was apparently favored in that I was loaned one of the limited number of physical copies printed) presented an alternate San Francisco where gaming avatars are sentient and quantum computers bleed their influence into the physical landscape.
Annabel Scheme is a private detective whose assistant is an AI -- a server called Hu, who is also the narrator. Hu lives in and sees
...more
Anthony Howarth
Robin Sloan is brilliant. I know nothing about him but having read three of his books this year I suspect he is a worthy new generation inheritor of the mantle of William Gibson and that gang of futurist fiction mongers.

As with Gibson I am not sure that "future" is the right word. I suspect, apart from the obvious multiple allegories, almost everything in Annabel Scheme is more with us now than we care to admit.

Superb writing. Amazing imagination. Extraordinary imagery. A writer with his heart
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andrew
Excellent short story, crazy that it is available for free. This and Penumbra cement Robin Sloan as my favorite new author, and one to watch over the next few years!
Sarah Jamison
You are now a member of the Committee to Locate Annabel Scheme. Where is she? The next page? Well that's where she was. Now they only know where she isn't and they have to tell you how she got (not) there. This is a very interesting novel, set in an alternate reality version of San Francisco where it's not Google that blows up, it's Grail. And Grail has quantum computers. And quantum computers don't just make searches faster and more reliable, they permanently alter the fabric of this and other ...more
Paul
From the author’s website:
“This is a story about a Sherlock Holmes for the 21st century. Holmes is a woman, Watson is an AI, all the good cases are on the Internet, and something very strange has happened to San Francisco…”

The publisher’s review compared this work to Douglas Adams. Big talk, but Robin Sloan has delivered with Mr Penumbra’s 24-hour bookstore, so maybe the comparison is earned. Completely independent of that other work (as excellent as it was) this book stands on its own and stand
...more
EKS
Sloan's first novella is a fun roller coaster ride through a bizarro San Francisco with quantum instabilities, sentient servers, ghosts, and demons. It's partly an SF/cyberpunk story, partly a mystery with a quirky techie female Sherlock and a humorous computer as Watson, and partly a mirror world exploration of technology and Bay Area culture. The story is narrated by a sentient computer server named Hu and, while this may seem gimmicky, Hu's narration is consistently the best part of this nove ...more
Ashley Treadway
I read this so fast because its super short--around 130 pages. I got it because I loved the author's book, Mr. Penumbra's 24 hour Bookstore. This one is also set in San Francisco, but in an alternate universe of San Fran, and is a mystery of a different type.

To be honest, it was just too weird for me. Very smart! But very weird. There were demons and people coming back from the dead and they go into a video game at one point, and I'm usually cool with demons and ghosts but I just wasn't expectin
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Celiavg
Sloan's brilliant depictions of San Francisco as it is and as it easy could be provide a foundation in reality that make the fanciful story almost believable. Anyone who has lived in the City in recent years will recognize the incubator disguised as an espresso bar. I only wish Sloan had published more works set in the fair city for me to enjoy. Characters and fanciful story are strong, too, by the way.
Jennifer Taw
A little confection of a book, made out of wires, wifi, and all things internet. Mixing IT with demons, detectives, and quantum physics, this book zips along, mocking Google and us while offering lots of great images as well as broadly drawn but interesting characters. Annabel Scheme reads like a long short story. I'm looking forward to the next installment.
Gordon
I am part of the campaign to find and rescue Annabel Scheme! This is a really interesting well crafted story set in the near future but also featuring demons so yeah that's good theres a demon internet now that's an idea I like. 2 good central characters even if one of them is a server :-)

I would highly recommend you pick this up as a nice easy read with some interesting concepts, hope that there are a few more tales of Annabel to come along.

For the Douglas Adams fans this has a touch of Dirk Ge
...more
John
Nov 10, 2014 John rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: scifi
This story was pretty fun, although the awkwardness of the introduction of Jack Zapp in 'Jesus World' was not enjoyable.

Read like it should be a good Techie-Eldritch Halloween movie.

I like the lead character of Annabel Scheme and the AI character Hu, and wouldn't mind seeing more stories about them... and since the author put the story into the Creative Commons, fans could write stories about them too, if they would like!
Jack
Not my usual fare, but I did enjoy it. A futuristic, fantasy, detective story. The lead characters are described as Holmes/Watson type detectives... where Watson is a discarded server and Holmes is female. Humm?? This was also interesting in that the author funded this story on Kickstarter. I need to pass this on to my cousin Terry, definitely up his alley!
Lisa Taylor
A strange detective story

I just finished the 24 Hour Penumbra novel and was hoping for more similar style.
This was nothing like Penumbra. it was fun. Google is called Grail, and it's like a blender mixed occult with sci-find today's technology.
Fun but I want something meatier.
Brenda Wells
3? 4? 3.5? That was like getting on a ride at a theme park you think will be cute and fun (kinda like a 24 hour bookstore), but at the end, after the eyeless hackers and demons and angry ghosts you're like "Maybe that was fun? But I don't think I want to ride that one again".

I loved Annabel and Hu, and the alt-world, really I did. I was really really getting into them during the first part of the book. I'd love to read about them again, even. But after that first very-enjoyable bit, there was a
...more
Eva Kaplan
I was truly drawn in by the quirky characters and the unique story line. I thought it was fabulously entertaining. One of those books that I was sorry it ended because I wanted more!
Leigh Westberg
An odd and interesting story and I enjoyed it. Another cautionary tale about not understanding the power of technology and how to live in a world changed by that lack of caution.
Donna
I wanted a short book to read and came across this on my Kindle with no memory of buying it. It turns out that I did because I had read the author's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore and loved it. This novella was completely different. It's an odd mish-mash--mystery, futuristic noir, quantum computers, characters inside video games--just rather odd, all in all, and I was totally on board. It's my kind of quirky. The story feels complete at the end but with another mystery setting up future instal ...more
Amy Bates
Whimsical

Fun and whimsical journey into the bowels of technology. Really, what's technology without a demon or two to make it all real?
Sul Silva
I don't know, this books seems like a very nice ride, but then it fails at being short and with a very uneven pace and poor description of the situations.
Some of the ideas it brought are fantastic though.
Casey
I generally avoid self-published books, but the fact that this is an established author that I've heard good things about changed my mind - as did the premise of a Sherlock Holmes type character with an AI as a Watson. Brilliant!

The book was already very short, but to me it would actually read better as a series of short stories (maybe something like Sarah Monette's The Bone Key collection). There's clearly more story to be told here, so I wonder if the author is planning to revisit this univers
...more
Richard
I picked up Annabel Scheme after reading Mr. Penumbra's 24 Hour Book Store. I wanted to see what his other writing was like beyond the shorts posted on his site, so this seemed a good way to go.

Overall, I loved the concept and the world Scheme and Hu inhabited. The Grail/Fog City situation was interesting and I liked the idea of blending the occult with the internet in such an amusing way.

Beyond that, it felt shortish and underdeveloped at times, as if it were a frame for a larger project. Still
...more
BE
Loved this little cyber-punkish story - hope there is more to come!
Michael Batz
A nifty blend of Sherlock Holmes and Neuromancer, this was just what I needed. It far exceeded my expectations, though I must admit they weren't all that high, since I grabbed it as part of an ebook bundle and later found out it was funded through Kickstarter (not that there's anything wrong with that). My only complaint is that it's too short, as it barely scratches the surface of ideas that beg for more detail. As a result it feels slightly undercooked. I'd probably give it 3.5 stars but kicke ...more
Mousy Brown
This book appealed to my geeky side...puzzles, gaming, demons, detectives and computer programming...what is there not to like?
Rrrrrron
Enjoyable novella of a detective in the google and MMORG age.
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Robin Sloan grew up near Detroit and now splits his time between San Francisco and the internet. He graduated from Michigan State with a degree in economics and, from 2002 to 2012, worked at Poynter, Current TV, and Twitter. Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore is his first novel. You can learn more at robinsloan.com and follow along at @robinsloan.
More about Robin Sloan...
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