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Trouble and Her Friends

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  1,212 ratings  ·  100 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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3.81  · 
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 ·  1,212 ratings  ·  100 reviews

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Jul 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi, kindle, cyberpunk
A pretty good cyberpunk story, read as part of my patented Cyberpunk Appreciation Program - or as some people call it...research.

I will warn that it starts really slow. I feel that the first couple chapters could probably be removed and sprinkled into the rest of the book as backstory and the whole thing would be stronger for it.
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
Oct 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Trouble and Her Friends is old school queer cyberpunk — enough said? It is a little on the slow side, but I found that the pacing worked for me: I needed to get to know Trouble (and, well, her friends), and get settled in the world and the old school view of the internet and how it works. I enjoyed the sheer number of queer characters a lot, although it was a little jarring to have a world where they’re clearly somewhat looked down on. From my comfortable position here, it feels like most things ...more
Jan 15, 2011 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
Timothy Boyd
Sep 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Well I waited to long to read this book, by about 23 years. This book would have be an amazing read when it was written back in 1994. With the internet as the main background of the story it is somewhat dated today and doesn't read as well as it would have I think. I can see where it was an amazing early book in the cyberpunk movement. Not recommended by me but if you enjoy the cyberpunk SiFi set it is worth a try.
I enjoyed this early 90s cyberpunk story despite a couple of flaws. Well, no, not flaws necessarily, but three things I didn't enjoy.
First, and this is entirely subjective: I found the story very _dense_. There was a lot of words, words with meaning/content/weight, for everything that happened. I started another work by Ms. Scott, Shadow Man around the time I first started this book, and that story has much the same density effect. It is, still, a good story, so this subjective, Mike-slowing den
Aug 28, 2017 rated it liked it
Main plot advances too slowly and I found the ending not satisfying. Pity because the book is well written and characters are fleshed out nicely.
Dec 01, 2015 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
Jun 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
Well-done and highly memorable queer cyberpunk novel. This was was a hugely important novel
For me - first time I saw myself represented to any degree in cyberpunk. A must read.
Shellie (Layers of Thought)
Feb 17, 2011 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
Anna Anthropy
Jan 15, 2015 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
Althea Ann
Jun 09, 2010 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....
Sep 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
3 stars for technical quality, bumped up to 4 for enjoyment - the descriptions of the tech and the VR world of the nets was gorgeous, but the plot and the overuse of certain constructions like "the other"/"the other woman" and "all [adjective] and [adjective]" got a little grating after a while, and after the meandering, exploratory pace of most of the novel, the conclusion seemed disappointingly abrupt and clean. On the other had, it was fun to read and I liked it the whole way through, I liked ...more
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
Oct 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Linh Nguyen
Sep 03, 2015 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
Feb 09, 2016 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
Aug 07, 2014 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
This was enjoyable, I really liked the nostalgia of 90s cyberpunk, and despite a period of confusion I also liked the descriptions of the nets, I've never really read anything like that before. But the character development was ... not, the same words and phrases kept getting repeated, and honestly I think it could've been edited to half the length. The whole Silk storyline went pretty grim, it's pretty alarming that nobody seems to address the fact that Cerise has cyber sex with a 15 year old. ...more
Dec 06, 2014 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.
Dec 06, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2014, cyberpunk
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.
May 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: o, fa, q
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.
Florin Pitea
Oct 25, 2015 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:
Apr 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
The prose was excellent, but many questions were left not only unanswered, but completely unaddressed. I loved the setting and the characters, but the lack of payoff for many plot points was frustrating.
Jul 24, 2015 marked it as did-not-finish
This is not going to happen. I have no idea what's going on and don't really care. Cyberpunk = apparently not my thing.
Jan 20, 2011 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
Fraser Simons
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cyberpunk
In the not so distant future, Trouble calls herself a "crackers", and a damn good one (hackers that go into systems and crack ICE, the usual conceptual idea of "the grid" in cyberpunk). But when a law is passed making it so the government can convict and enforce harsh penalties on such activities, she bails -- On everyone. Her girlfriend Cerise comes home to find her and all her possessions gone, having told her that if this law passed she was out.

“You had to draw lines, and that choice was in
Frederic Bush
Jun 15, 2018 rated it liked it
I'm a big fan of cyberpunk, and on its face this is a book I would love -- queer hackers trying to make it in a world of US repression -- but the book gets muddled at times. Scott enthusiastically adopts the mechanics of Gibson's cyberspace -- ICE, hackers vs corporations -- but the world she comes up with is oddly vacant. Apparently most of the world-class hackers are in an unnamed city in Canada -- Toronto? -- and another key location is a minor resort town in Maine, for some reason. There's b ...more
Three years after their work is officially criminalized, two semi-retired hackers re-enter the field in pursuit of a copycat. Scott works hard to invert established cyberpunk standards, decentralizing and localizing the setting, shifting the focus to queer women, and looking at the intersection of stigmatized bodies and transhumanism; the intent is admirable and occasionally provoking--most successfully, when considering which technologies are standardized on the basis of which groups use them. ...more
Dora Raymaker
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A friend pointed me to this book because it’s feminist cyberpunk with queer characters, which is pretty much my Thing. As a gen-Xer who grew up in the counter-cultures and technologies Scott riffs off of in her book, I had enormous fun reading this–and had I picked it up back in 1994 (HOW DID I MISS IT?), it have been an instant favorite. As a 21st century reader, however, old and literarily-jaded, it didn’t age well with how technology, LGBTQ+ rights, or writing styles have developed into what ...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 37 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
“Maybe that was why it was almost always the underclasses, the women, the people of color, the gay people, the ones who were already stigmatized as being vulnerable, availble, trapped by the body, who took the risk of the wire.” 1 likes
“You had to draw lines, and that choice was in itself dangerous; all boundaries had a double edge, were like swords that could always be turned against you in the end.
But you still had to choose.”
More quotes…