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Rule 34 (Halting State Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

Charles Stross
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $2.00 (25%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

Meet Edinburgh Detective Inspector Liz Kavanaugh, head of the Innovative Crimes Investigation Unit, otherwise known as the Rule 34 Squad. They monitor the Internet for potential criminal activity, analyzing trends in the extreme fringes of explicit content. And occasionally, even more disturbing patterns arise…
Three ex-cons have been murdered in Germany, Italy, and Scotland. The only things they had in common were arrests for spamming—and a taste for unorthodox entertainment. As the first officer on the scene of the most recent death, Liz finds herself sucked into an international investigation that isn’t so much asking who the killer is, but what—and if she doesn't find the answer soon, the homicides could go viral.


Editorial Reviews

Review

“The act of creation seems to come easily to Charles Stross…[He] is peerless at dreaming up devices that could conceivably exist in 6, 60 or 600 years’ time.”
The New York Times

“One of the most intelligently and philosophically detailed near futures ever conceived. Dazzling, chilling, and brilliant.”
Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“A savvy, funny, viciously inventive science fiction novel.” Cory Doctorow, author of For The Win

"Entertaining and propulsive storytelling." Locus

Review

“The act of creation seems to come easily to Charles Stross…[He] is peerless at dreaming up devices that could conceivably exist in 6, 60 or 600 years’ time.”
The New York Times

“One of the most intelligently and philosophically detailed near futures ever conceived. Dazzling, chilling, and brilliant.”
Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

“A savvy, funny, viciously inventive science fiction novel.” Cory Doctorow, author of For The Win

"Entertaining and propulsive storytelling." Locus
(x )

Product Details

  • File Size: 540 KB
  • Print Length: 369 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1841497738
  • Publisher: Ace (July 5, 2011)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004Y3I6XW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #134,055 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
98 of 106 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Follow-on from Halting State July 7, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Charlie Stross is one of the new SF shining stars with an amazingly refreshing approach to his work. This sparkling novel takes place in the near future (15-30 years out)and is a follow-on to Halting State (Ace Books, 2008) but is not a sequel by any means and you don't have to read HS first. Only one character, Detective Inspector Liz Cavanaugh, returns from that story.

The plot is very difficult to summarize without spoiling it completely. So here are the skeletal details:
It is a detective novel, writen entirely from the characters' perspectives as it moves from character to character. It extrapolates everything excessive in our current culture and creates an almost dystopian Scotland of 2035. It is very sexually explicit. There is coincidence after coincidence. There is a secret behind the scenes that you only glimpse at first before it makes itself known. This revelation almost makes you want to reread the book because the story takes on an entirely new interpretation. Though very grisly, there are many humerous moments and you will find yourself laughing out loud through long portions of this book. Highly recommended, one of the year's best so far.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars pretty good near future non-dystopic SF book July 13, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Ok, I read this pretty much as soon as I got it - and I'm re-reading it now so it's probably to early to really write this review since this is a book that really takes multiple readings to wrap your head around. It's sort of like The Sixth Sense [Blu-ray] - you watch it and you know there's stuff going on that you don't quite see, but it's really cool and it drags you along, and when you're done and you go "Oh!" and it's so much cooler now because you understand and you go back and read it again and go "OH!!" at all those points where you knew there was something else going on but you weren't in the right place to see it. This is that kind of book.

This is a sequel to Halting State, but pretty much there's only one character from that book in this book, and she was just on the edges of Halting State, so really it's a standalone book in the same universe. It also feels like sort of a prequel to Accelerando but maybe that's just me, and that might even be giving too much away.

The basic story is sort of a police procedural (but not really?) combined with a "Life 2.0" or even maybe "Life 3.0" primer about how the world will be after all the bubbles burst and cheap auto-fabbing technology is available on the "village blacksmith" level.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great SF, mediocre Stross August 12, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm giving this three stars because I'm grading on a curve -- this is mediocre in comparison to Stross's earlier work, although probably a 4-star when compared to other sci-fi. Since most people, at this point in his career, probably read Stross because he's Stross, that seems fair to me.

I'm a big-to-huge fan of a lot of Stross's other novels, especially the Eschaton (Singularity Sky/Iron Sunrise) and Laundry (Atrocity Archives/Jennifer Morgue/Fuller Memorandum) series. I have not read Halting State, and didn't realize that Rule 34 was a sequel to Halting State until after I'd read Rule 34. So, full disclosure: my tepid response to Rule 34 might be because I wasn't familiar with the Halting State world.

I don't think so, though; Rule 34 seems like a collection of nifty ideas that fail to cohere into a good book. The first problem, for me, was the choice of a second-person narrative voice. I found it to be irritating, and almost literally tiring, and never really got used to it. There's a reason fiction is almost never written in that voice: it's inherently distancing and disorienting for the reader. I found it especially off-putting here, because it was combined with a narrative structure in which the "viewpoint," such as it was, appeared to jump from character to character (so the "you" was a constantly rotating around 10 or so characters). I'm sure this was a quite deliberate choice, and I'm sure that Stross is saying something about the substance of the novel with that choice -- spoilers prevent me from saying more -- but even though I get it, it still didn't work for me.

Second, the plot did not flow terribly well.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Believable near-future sci-fi July 7, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Unlike the "Halting State" prequel which I thought too tied up in the virtual world, "Rule 34" spends more time on society and technology in a near-future sci-fi universe. Mr Stross paints a believable picture of a world where the Net permeates everything and takes current hot tech topics like DRM, 3D printing, Augmented Reality to their logical conclusions. This is the near-future, more readable "Diamond Age" showcasing a number of technologies and societal changes we're quite likely to see in the next decade.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Not my favorite Stross
Not as good as it's prequel and with an unsatisfying resolution. All the same this is still Stross who has a great point of view on technology and society and great character... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Christopher Davis
4.0 out of 5 stars I started with his Laundry series for fun reads, and have enjoyed...
Charles Stross dramatizes some of the most interesting technical trends of anyone writing just now. I started with his Laundry series for fun reads, and have enjoyed branching... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a good book.
I am a science fiction fan, but I don't think this is a good book, the style is odd.
Published 4 months ago by justin barszczowski
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, puts forth a very real possibility of ...
Great book, puts forth a very real possibility of near future. It is scary in retrospect, but while reading it was fun and easily followed. Read more
Published 5 months ago by chokolada
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
As advertised
Published 6 months ago by Richard Armstrong
4.0 out of 5 stars And I dislike distopias, especially ones as plausible as this
Not my normal cup of tea, but I read based on other recommendations. I found a few of the viewpoint characters actively unpleasant - it was difficult to read those sections. Read more
Published 7 months ago by jlmj
1.0 out of 5 stars not actually rule 34
there wasn't any porn anywhere 0/10
Published 8 months ago by D. Roark
4.0 out of 5 stars all the while moving forward with an engrossing plot and featuring...
Who picks the atrocious cover art for Charles Stross' books?!
This is solid Stross -- a well-imagined world in a possible future that raises questions about the nature of... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Ryan Essex
2.0 out of 5 stars A barrage of Never-Ending Porn! oh wait never mind....
My favorite rule of the internet! so i must confess that i skimmed the preview and it was meh... if you name your book after a meme like rule 34 I expect some truly... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Tetalia
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
Disappointed. I LOVE this author's other works, yet this one I just cant get into. The first person 'you' narrative is a little off putting and so far the story isnt making me want... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Amazon Customer
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More About the Author

Charles Stross, 50, is a full-time science fiction writer and resident of Edinburgh, Scotland. The author of six Hugo-nominated novels and winner of the 2005, 2010, and 2015 Hugo awards for best novella, Stross's works have been translated into over twelve languages.

Like many writers, Stross has had a variety of careers, occupations, and job-shaped-catastrophes in the past, from pharmacist (he quit after the second police stake-out) to first code monkey on the team of a successful dot-com startup (with brilliant timing he tried to change employer just as the bubble burst).


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More than the hardback!
It shows now as cheaper, not sure what is was before. Amazon notes:
Sold by: Penguin Publishing
This price was set by the publisher
I blame the publishers - they are trying to slow the death of paper publishing, but will drive authors to self publish digitally.
Jun 10, 2011 by Amazon Customer |  See all 6 posts
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