Review: Halting State by Charles Stross

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: thirty orcs and a dragon rob a bank…

No? That’s the premise of Charles Stross’s hard-science Halting State, where virtual characters rob a virtual bank for millions of not-virtual dollars, and no one has any idea how to solve the crime. It’s fast-paced, seriously smart, and filled with more Scottish that you usually get in science fiction.

Charles Stross is endlessly inventive and smarter than I am, so I had a little trouble following some of the complex near-future technology and financial discussions about the finer points of the orc robbery. The characters were fun to follow, if not fully three-dimensional.

Recommendation: Read it, but maybe not when you’re tired, or some of the explanations might require several rereadings.

4 thoughts on “Review: Halting State by Charles Stross

  1. Thanks for this Dan. I’m a big fan of Stross’s Laundry Files series…about 7 books down and a few more to go. After that, I intend to move on to his more SF oriented titles. Highly recommend the LF series for its novel and ingenious mix of Lovecraft, James Bond and satirical take on the public service-dom everywhere!

  2. Brilliant sums this book up from start to finish. This man is so-o-o-o clever. I wish I had his imagination.

  3. I loved this book (was less of a fan of some of his others but this one and the sequel were both really fun). You’ve made me want to reread it. Off to Waterstones on my lunchbreak.

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