Charles Stross's near-future Scottish police procedurals, [sadly curtailed by the present catching up with them](

Charles Stross, "Halting State"

2014-02-02 · in Books, Halting State · 175 words

I'm wondering now if I can get away with putting this on the reading list for my first-year students...

The Edinburgh police investigate the robbery of an MMORPG's central bank — and this being Stross, there's a bigger story to tell about the lasting impact of the virtual world upon society. I found the British urban perspective here rather more convincing than Stephenson's take on the same thing in REAMDE.

As the author's recently pointed out, this wasn't meant to be predictive when it was released in 2007, but we're now only one technological step away from it — and the Snowden leaks and independence referendum have made it feel dangerously topical at the start of 2014. And I don't see much to complain about in Stross's vision of an independent, EU-affiliated Scotland; the Yes campaign should be reading this for tips. (Perhaps Scotland's Future just needs more robo-taxis and quantum cryptography?)

Excellent stuff. Well worth a read — or reread, if you last read it in 2007.

Charles Stross, "Rule 34"

2011-11-01 · in Books, Halting State · 10 words