Mjhancock's Reviews > Halting State

Halting State by Charles Stross
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U_50x66
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Aug 10, 11

bookshelves: sci-fi
Read in August, 2011

A team of orcs breaking into a virtual bank and run off with... well, everything. And it's up to a Scottish police officer, a forensic accountant, and a computer programmer to get to the bottom of it. As a book taking place in the "near" future (2018, when the book was originally published in 2007), Halting State is amazingly prescient, and has the advantage of appearing to be one of the more plausible futures I've read in sci-fi in a long time. The big changes are those that seem inevitable from our current place: technology will become even more ubiquitous and involving, the line between virtual game and reality will blur a bit more, and the political boundaries will keep shifting. It's one of the few fiction books I can think of that wouldn't be out of place as a source for a digital humanities paper. It's not all good--the technobabble gets to high levels sometimes, and the second person narration still doesn't seem entirely necessary, whether it's a tribute to the early text-based days or not. But generally, it's good stuff.
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