Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
Rule 34 Hardcover – July 5, 2011
|New from||Used from|
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently bought together
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
“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
About the Author
Charles Stross was born in Leeds, England in 1964. He holds degrees in pharmacy and computer science, and has worked in a variety of jobs including pharmacist, technical author, software engineer, and freelance journalist. He is now a full-time writer.
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
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. With pervasive computing made simple with virtual technology and pervasive observation by the government, and work assignments by smart engines (think amazon's mechanical turk, or crowd sourcing) because everything's so complex a person can't really manage the chaos, mix police, manic killers, auditors (a carry-over theme from Halting State), and a legal system to complex for a person to do the actual charging, into some frothy satisfying deep stoutish beer of wonder. And yes, there is a small subtheme of brewing beer in this.
To me this felt more utopian than distopian - the characters in the book might not have had great lives but there weren't killer androids lurking in the streets or police dragging people away on the flimsiest of excuses, people worked, they had what they needed, they had magic gadgets that could make most anything with the right magic spells you culd download from the internet (but keep your virus checker up to date!), so I'd think it's more better than worse ;).
There is some talk of kinky sex in this (ok, I know, I'm an adult, I should be able to just ride over this, but I wouldn't let my son read this yet, which is sad cuz he'd like alot of it I think) but no kinky sex scenes, as such, it was more like a horror movie - have kinky sex and get what's coming to you.
All in all - while it wasn't a total surprise the ending was pretty satisfying and pretty much promised at least one more sequel (I don't think he's killed this series yet!) which I'm looking forward too, especially if he folds this book's events in with some of the characters from Halting State.
Although this is not my favorite book by this author, it's still a good read. Once you get past the rather off-putting second person narrative that both this and its precursor, Halting State, are written in (which can make the reading experience vaguely like a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book, except with a Scots accent) the diverse strands of this initially scattered story start to weave together into a technologically-enhanced thriller version of a police procedural plot. Once you get into the rhythm of it, it's a fun ride.
It didn't help the first two thirds that of the multiple points of view used, one of them was someone who was not really all that smart. He kept getting made a part of others' scams, and clearly would eventually take the fall for them. I cringed whenever a chapter came up that he was narrating. He was pathetic. In the last third, even what happens to him gets interesting.
I found the contrast between pervasive high-tech and the ancient Edinburgh architecture to be very interesting (as I did with "Halting State," overall the better book in my opinion). Other reviewers have called the backdrop dystopian. I wouldn't go that far. It's far from Pollyanna-ish, but not a "1984" or other terrible view.
A caution: others also said there was some secret thing that came out in the middle that made sense of everything which came before, and even forced them to re-read it. I kept waiting, and waiting, and... wellp, didn't happen for me.
Oh, by the way: Rule 34 of the Internet (from 4chan) reads "If it exists, there is porn of it." It's meant to point out that yes, there is My Little Pony porn, and anything else you can think of out in the wilds of the Internet. No, this book is not a deep dive into that. Stross does explain the phrase (I bet his publisher demanded that), and there are negative psychosexual elements here, but they're not dwelt on and are intrinsic to the plot. There's nothing worse than, say, a gruesome episode of "Criminal Minds" (the TV show).
Also, as usual for Stross there are some references to things non-internet culturists won't understand. Believe me when I say that for the most part, in this particular book, you will probably *not* want to look them up. Because Rule 34.