Denver Science Fiction & Fantasy Book Club

Halting State US cover

Halting State (2007)

USA Ace paperback
cover art by Sophie Toulouse
324 pages (left)

UK Orbit paperback
352 pages (right)

Halting State UK cover

From the back cover of the USA paperback:
       In the year 2018, Sergeant Sue Smith of the Edinburgh constabulary is called in on a special case.  A daring bank robbery has taken place at Hayek Associates -- a dot-com start-up company that's just floated onto the London stock exchange.  But this crime may be a bit beyond Smith's expertise.
       The prime suspects are a band of marauding orcs with a dragon in tow for fire support.  The bank is located within the virtual reality land of Avalon Four, and the robbery was supposed to be impossible.  When word gets out, Hayek Associates and all its virtual "economies" are going to crash hard.
       For Smith, the investigation seems pointless.  But the deeper she digs, the bigger the case gets.  There are powerful players -- both real and pixilated -- who are watching her every move.  Because there is far more at stake than just some game-head's fantasy financial security....

Read for group discussion on September 24, 2008

How we each rated this book
Dan - Amy 8 stack of books 10   Wow! Don't miss it
8-9  Highly recommended
7    Recommended
5-6  Mild recommendation
3-4  Take your chances
1-2  Below average; skip it
0    Get out the flamethrower!
U    Unfinishable or unreadable
-    Skipped or no rating given
Cheri 9 Barb -
Aaron 7 Cynthia -
Jackie - Ron 6
Jennifer 9    

Our book group has also read the following books by Charles Stross:
-- Singularity Sky  in August 2004
-- The Atrocity Archives  in May 2007

Charles Stross (1964-    ) is a UK (Scottish) writer of science fiction and fantasy short fiction and novels.

2005 Hugo Award for novella "The Concrete Jungle"
2007 Prometheus Best Novel Award for Glasshouse

Eschaton series, post-singularity space opera:
--Singularity Sky (2003), 2004 Hugo Award nominee
--Iron Sunrise (2004), 2005 Hugo Award nominee
--Timelike Diplomacy (omnibus, 2004), SFBC omnibus of Singularity Sky and Iron Sunrise

More science fiction novels:
--Accelerando (2005), based on works published in Asimov's SF magazine, 2006 Hugo Award nominee
--Glasshouse (2006), same universe as Accelerando, 2007 Hugo Award nominee
--Halting State (2007)
--Saturn's Children (2008), a future with robots, inspired by late-period Heinlein

Merchant Princes science fantasy series:
--The Family Trade (2004)
--The Hidden Family (2005)
--The Clan Corporate (2006)
--The Merchants' War (2007)
--The Revolution Business (forthcoming in 2009)

Bob Howard or Laundry science fantasy/spy thriller/Lovecraftian horror series:
--The Atrocity Archives (2004), contains novella "The Concrete Jungle"
--The Jennifer Morgue (2006), contains the extra story "Pimpf"
--On Her Majesty's Occult Service (omnibus, 2007), SFBC omnibus of The Atrocity Archives and The Jennifer Morgue

Stand-alone story and story collections:
--Toast (2002), contains 10 stories
--Missile Gap (2006), novella in anthology One Million AD and hardcover stand-alone from Subterranean Press

Other stuff:
--The Web Architect's Handbook (1996), according to Stross, "now a historical document"

Our book club's page for Singularity Sky by Charles Stross
Our book club's page for The Atrocity Archives by Charles Stross
Charlie's Place - Charles Stross' official website
Charles Stross - Wikipedia
BBC NEWS | Technology | The Tech Lab: Charles Stross
Halting State - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
SF REVIEWS.NET: Halting State / Charles Stross
Strange Horizons Reviews: Halting State by Charles Stross
SF Signal: REVIEW: Halting State by Charles Stross
Charles Stross interviewed - infinity plus non-fiction
infinity plus: "A Colder War" - a novelette by Charles Stross
Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine: "Nightfall" by Charles Stross (novelette)
Science Fiction Weekly Interview - Charles Stross (2003)
Locus Online: Charles Stross interview excerpts (2003)
Locus Online: Charles Stross interview excerpts (2005)
Locus Online Features: Russell Letson reviews Charles Stross (2008)

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This page was last updated December 12, 2008