This morning I finished reading Halting State. It took me ages to finish it, and it wasn’t even a bad book. It was well written, funny, quirky, smart and very much a cyberpunk novel. It lacked the big threat. In the end things just happened and rushed by. The two characters who were meant to be together from the very beginning got together. The big sword that was bought in the beginning got to be used and it wasn’t even that epic. The baddie was revealed and until his position was explained again I didn’t know who he was, I had forgotten about him.
Should you still read this if you see it in a used bookstore or somewhere else? Yes, definitely. The ideas presented are pretty amazing. It is always interesting how every cyberpunk novel seems to be entirely possible if you look at todays usage of information and games and the ones depicted in the stories. This time Alternative Reality Games (ARG) are used to train future spies. With the rise of free to play games this doesn’t seem too far off. The book is a few years old, but you gotta tip your head to the insights Charles Stross seemed to have.
Google puts out the smart-glass and every character in this book wears glasses that let them look into alternative realities, CopSpace and such things. While the story is not perfect and the character reveals aren’t really shocking the look it provided into a possible future made up for most of it.
It is also worth mentioning that this is a story in which the nerds and geeks definitely win and cut everything with big swords. There also needs to be a nod to all the references to nerdy things and the internet in general. Read this book if you have played a fair share of World of Warcraft, if you know who Cthulhu is and if Neuromancer is somewhere on your bookshelf.