Halting State

Halting State

author: Charles Stross

name: Steev

average rating: 3.76

book published: 2007

rating: 4

read at: 2010/07/08

date added: 2010/07/12

shelves: fun, novels

This is geeky cyberpunkish science fiction, not terribly serious or edge-pushing, but a decent, savvy vision of the near future in which mobile communication and surveillance technology and online gaming has progressed even further in a logical fashion from where we are now. It's gone to the point where national intelligence agencies are using games in various ways to conduct espionage and information warfare while businesses are earning and staking considerable funds in and from virtual worlds.

The action is pretty quick-paced and interest is held competently without being unrealistic narrative. One form-related complain is that the book is written in 2nd person viewpoint, which I always hate. I just find it hard to suspend disbelief, when someone is telling me "you did this, you saw this" - who is it telling me this and why would they know without ME already knowing it? it's almost too much to stand. it also just feels cheesy, like it's one of those old "Choose Your Own Adventure" books. However, maybe the author chose this feel on purpose, to further evoke the gaming sort of experience. however, i still would have preferred a traditional roving 3rd person or first person format, always this wasn't enough to make me give up reading and i got used to it eventually.

At any rate, if you're interested in reading a sort of cyber potboiler set against some very smart projections of future online gaming, geeking, and geopolitical trends, read this book.