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The Quantum Thief (Jean le Flambeur) Mass Market Paperback – January 31, 2012
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About the Author
HANNU RAJANIEMI is from Finland and lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he is a director of a think tank providing business services based on advanced math and artificial intelligence. He holds a Ph.D. in string theory and is a member of the same writing group that produced Hal Duncan. He wrote The Quantum Thief in English.
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Top customer reviews
Personally, I am of the mind that the author has asked too much of many of his readers by not providing both context and grounding in the many fascinating concepts and quantum devices he introduces from the very beginning...kinda like throwing the baby in the water and seeing if it can swim. Other reviewers have opined that our author does not hold the hand of the reader, sort of like dumping one into the middle of an ocean without a life boat; or, that they were glad that our author does not go into some sort of "word dump" of information/explanation, though they do acknowledge the high degree of difficulty for the reader.
For me, it is a question of balance. One person's "hand holding" is another's guidance or foundation building. Personally, I do not think it wise to dump someone in the middle of an ocean without a lifeboat. Few, if any, will make it. A pond maybe, an ocean definitely not. First novel aside, I lay some of this on the editors or whoever provides guidance in such matters. Also, there may be a language issue. Nuance, subtlety etc. can be tricky. And, there is the left brain/right brain thing. I did notice that there was a bit more
in the way of information or explanation of these "quantum" concepts and "technologies" as one goes along; still, it seemed like very
little, very late...unduly burdensome and obtuse.
Also, the author seems to switch back and forth between 3rd person and narrative, without any warning or break for the reader...a little confusing. Still, though, some fantastic concepts, devices and levels keep me in there. Perhaps, if I had previously ingested what ever our brilliant author uses, if anything, it would be a smoother, more profoundly appreciated read.Having said that, I gotta say that the book sets up a brilliant, almost classical, sci-fi story which has some deeper philosophical themes. I finished it...I cannot say that it was a very satisfying experience because ( right now) I feel that I was spread too thin to come close to a deeper level of appreciation, let alone comprehension, of the author's social and philosophical commentary. On the other hand, perhaps this all qualifies as a more expansive quantum reading experience and we all know where that might lead.?
This is hands down the most interesting, entertaining and stimulating science fiction book I have ever read. Its ideas dig into game theory, systems theory and sometimes it seems like it was written by a software developer. Doing this without becoming tedious and over explaining is hard - even harder maybe to not lose ones audience completely.
He introduces concepts that the audience slowly gets a feel for, and then after a while he subtly hints at their meaning. It's done at a perfect pace so you are at once full of wonder at the marvellous universe - but not lost in the Paris metro.
He does not spare the audience of crazy ideas but they somehow seem in place, and not used to somehow magically push the plot forward. The plot itself could easily be told in many different settings, and while it might be a bit too epic for the length of the book, you get so much from each page, that it comes of more as a theatre play than a hollywood movie production.
Thankfully he spares the audience of space marines, and fancy gadgetry, but instead introduces quirky and fun things. That's to say book doesn't brag about its inventions and it feels like the author himself was having fun while writing it. Rather than living out some boyhood dream of being in the Aliens movie.
I can imagine that some would find it a hard read, because it often challenges the reader to make up his own explanations for some things.
It's fun, intelligent and very very colourful. I am moving on to read the second book which I'm fearing will need even more praise. I don't know what adjectives I will need to come up with then.
Since the Magus by John Fowles, I haven't actually read up on who an author was - only to find his gevolut fairly closed off to the public.
For full review: http://wp.me/p2XCwQ-16A