Sunday, July 31, 2011

Books: Rule 34 by Charles Stross

Rule 34Rule 34 by Charles Stross

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It's near future Edinburgh, Scotland and DI Liz Cavanaugh is in charge of a special computer-crimes unit that tries to sniff out illegal Internet crime before it can get a foothold. Meanwhile, Anwar Hussein, recently out of prison for computer related crime, is recruited to run the Scottish embassy of a previously unknown central Asian republic. Charles Stross, one of the premier science fiction authors in the genre ties all of these threads and many more involving rouge artificial intelligence, international criminal syndicates, smuggling, human greed, culpability, and the unceasing march of technological progress. Switching back and forth between characters is a Stross trademark and it can can give whiplash at times, as does his use of Scottish dialect and bleeding edge computer terminology, but it all comes together in the end, wrapped up neatly in a bow of extraordinary imagination. It can be a bit tough at times, Stross demands a lot from his readers, but the payoff is well worth the effort. Rule 34 -

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