The Quantum Thief [NOOK Book]

Overview

The Quantum Thief is a dazzling hard SF novel set in the solar system of the far future - a heist novel peopled by bizarre post-humans but powered by very human motives of betrayal, revenge and jealousy. It is a stunning debut. Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy - from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth ...
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The Quantum Thief

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Overview

The Quantum Thief is a dazzling hard SF novel set in the solar system of the far future - a heist novel peopled by bizarre post-humans but powered by very human motives of betrayal, revenge and jealousy. It is a stunning debut. Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy - from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars. Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons - the Dilemma Prison - against countless copies of himself. Jean's routine of death, defection and cooperation is upset by the arrival of Mieli and her spidership, Perhonen. She offers him a chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self - in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed . . .
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

Finnish novelist Hannu Rejaaniemi's debut novel staggers the imagination and defies attempts to describe it adequately. (Publisher's Weekly tried, mentioning its "mix of multiple narrative styles and viewpoints, elegant world building, and gonzo futurism," while also noting its elements of "cape novel, New Wave aesthetics, and theoretical physics.") The title character of Quantum Thief is a felon so talented that he is rescued from prison to match super-wits with creatures and battle conundrums that move too quickly for conventional pigeon-holing. A brilliant novel with "future cult favorite" embossed all over it. Editor's recommendation.

Sara Sklaroff
There are scores of complex ideas in this impressive first novel…
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Rajaniemi melds a caper novel, New Wave aesthetics, and theoretical physics into a stellar debut. Broken out of a quantum prison in which he'd been forced to play endless games of prisoner's dilemma, often against himself, master thief Jean le Flambeur is forced to take a job working for the mysterious and beautiful Mieli. They travel to Oubliette, a moving city on Mars where time and memory are quantifiable and transferrable goods, and privacy is paramount. Their nemesis, the detective Isidore, reports to the enigmatic tzaddiks, a group of self-appointed law enforcers. Rajaniemi deftly introduces nifty concepts: a society of quantum MMO players, public servants who have used their allotment of Time and must labor to earn more. The plot itself is straightforward, allowing the mix of multiple narrative styles and viewpoints, elegant world building, and gonzo futurism to astonish without overwhelming. The ending sets up a sequel, but the story still stands nicely on its own. (May)
From the Publisher

“Spectacularly and convincingly inventive, assured and wholly spellbinding: one of the most impressive debuts in years.”  —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“A stellar debut."  —Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Outstanding… A storytelling skill rarely found from even the most experienced authors.”
—Library Journal, starred review

"The best first SF novel I’ve read in years. Hard to admit, but I think he’s better at this stuff than I am.”  —Charles Stross

“Rajaniemi has spectacularly delivered on the promise that this is likely to be the most important SF novel we’ll see this year.”  —Locus

“Absolutely incredible… Endlessly inventive and compulsively readable. It’s one of the best books of the year.”  —RT Book Reviews, Top Pick

VOYA - Dotsy Harland
Notorious interstellar thief Jean le Flambeur is whisked out of an Archon prison in a dramatic rescue by a strange, winged space adventurer, Mieli, and her talking ship, Perhonen. Mieli has been instructed by the powerful Sobornost to use Jean's expertise in accomplishing a mission in the Oubliette, a bustling mobile city on Mars. Life is especially frenetic in the Oubliette, where time is literally a form of currency, and memories, thoughts, and feelings are transferred between citizens through a complex etiquette system known as gevulot. Jean, having lived in the Oubliette long ago in a different body and persona of which he has only faint memories, is trying to discover the secrets of his past. In the meantime, brilliant Oubliette investigator Isidore Beautrelet is feverishly working on a case that causes him to cross paths with Jean le Flambeur, exposing unexpected connections between the two of them. Rajaniemi presents an astoundingly detailed post-human existence in which people live for hundreds of years in many different worlds, inhabiting manufactured bodies of various species. The greatest strengths of this novel lie in the author's remarkable imagination and visionary understanding of physics. Unfortunately, the plot is choppy and disjointed, and plowing through the constant barrage of unfamiliar terms and concepts will be a chore for most readers, leaving little energy or motivation to connect with the characters in a meaningful way. Though Rajaniemi's novel is impressive on many levels, only the most dogged science fiction fans will find it enjoyable. Reviewer: Dotsy Harland
Library Journal
Liberated from the infamous Dilemma Prison run by the Archons of the Sobernost collective of the Inner Solar System, master thief Jean le Flambeur agrees to accompany his rescuer, a mysterious woman named Mieli who owns a sentient spaceship with a taste for flirtation, to the Oubliette, a moving city of Mars that traffics in time as currency. Flambeur's tale intersects with that of detective Isidore Beautrelet in an intricately woven, highly charged pas de deux that brings both men to a startling discovery that reinvents the story of their experiences. VERDICT Finnish author Rajaniemi's outstanding debut demonstrates a level of complexity and storytelling skill rarely found from even the most experienced authors. Rajaniemi belongs in a class with Gene Wolfe and Samuel Delany and deserves a wide readership.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781429957144
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 5/10/2011
  • Series: Jean le Flambeur , #1
  • Sold by: Macmillan
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 41,588
  • File size: 644 KB

Meet the Author


Thirty-year-old 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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 62 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(25)

3 Star

(5)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(7)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2012

    Extremely Interesting

    This was a pretty great book with a lot of interesting concepts. It was so full of new ideas that often there wasnt enough time to explore all the implications of the ideas fully

    New and interesting author who takes science fiction to the limit. Often the new vocabulary takes some time to internalize, but once done was a pretty great read. Definitely worth trying

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 12, 2013

    Space Opera with LOTS of bling

    I'm in neither in the "My god; it's brilliant!" or the "It's too complicated to read/too brilliant for me to comprehend." camp. Briefly, and under the bling, which is considerable, it's a fairly straightforward story of a man who is valuable to someone very powerful, who therefore springs him from prison, using an unwilling cat's paw to do the job and also ride herd on him. However, before the project for which he was freed can go forth, the prisoner must return to his old stomping grounds and recover his memory. Shenanigans ensue; a mystery is solved; and the set-up for the next book is put into place. The characters are understated, but perfectly comprehensible and sympathetic. I found the thief to be annoying, but not unbearably so. Yes, the author uses made-up words and doesn't explain them; it's not really a problem, doesn't impede the story, and I can't imagine that an adult reader of science fiction would be put off by the vocabulary. So, not a bad read; I'm not sorry I read it, and I would recommend it to readers of science fiction.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 8, 2012

    Pure Science Fiction

    Space is to places in paces here. The characters may have some past, present and future issues to work out in some variations of that order but the book itself is linear.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 9, 2012

    Stay with it

    This book is good, but can be frustrating for a while. You are not really given any explanation for the first 100 pgs or so, just thrown in and have to learn...however i think, after finishing, that this helps the reader identify with the main character more (he is just as confused for a while and cant remember some important stuff) I did not give it a full five stars because for me, i wanted to keep reading, but also wanted to be done because i could be frustrating. Im sure i missed a ton. Great book though...def worth a read...good start to a trillogy.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2011

    A Fantastic, Complex Story

    It took some time, but in the end I thoroughly enjoyed this book. The first third can be difficult because of the amount of unexplained vocabulary, but once you get the terms down (or at least the gist of it) it's pretty much straight forward from there. There are also some online dictionaries to help as well, which I highly recommend.

    Since this is going to be a trilogy, I'll forgive the author for the complex foundation, but would have likes a few explanations here and there; which is what kept me from giving it five stars.

    I loved the concepts, the technology, the structure and the story line. Also, I appreciated how the author didn't give too much depth to the characters. Some hard sci-fi novels work better this way.

    If you have an open mind and some patience, this is well worth the read.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2013

    RogerZelazny would be proud....

    Wonderfully mystery novel set in a hyper technological future. Like Zelazny in Lord of Light, the reader is dragged into the byzantine milieu of the solar system some centuries hence. We are anchored by the familiar humanity of relationships, murder, and greed as the protagonist literally discovers himself as the plot is unwound.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2013

    Good read, be ready for dense terminology

    Quantum Thief is a fun if at times dense read with a good mix of action, sci-fi and intrigue. LOTS of complex terminolgy and physis references, so be prepared to do some lookups or daze out through descriptions of technology. Far enough in the future to feel more science fantasy than hard science fiction, but fun nonetheless. Will probably be reading the sequel.

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  • Posted January 5, 2013

    This book is a lot like a classic video game. The learning curve

    This book is a lot like a classic video game. The learning curve when you start reading it is high, but once you start to figure out the terminology and the concept it becomes addictive.
    The book almost forces you to keep reading it. It hints at happenings and has as many twists as a well made roller coaster. 
    Anybody who like books like Snow Crash, Necromancer, or Ready Player One I'm pretty sure will like this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2012

    Most unique book I have ever read

    I thoroughly enjoyed it. And the sequel comes out in 3 days :)

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    Unreadable

    Seemed like an interesting concept but simply could not plod though it with no reward in sight.

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  • Posted September 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Astonishing!

    This book rocked my world! I'm already waiting for THE FRACTAL PRINCE, Rajaniemi's sequel to this.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2012

    Wrap your mind around this

    A different view of the future that is difficult to understand until you get the concepts involved due to its concepts are discribed by terms the author has made. Once you get the gist of things it develops a life of its own on and is compelling to read. The characters are compelled to act as they do from the events they lived in the past but need to complete the things they must in the future. The use of the quantum universe is as enlightining and other worldly as Gibson and the concepts as fresh as Dick. The quantim concepts used are an entirely new idea and the way they are presentd in a novel of this scope are refreshing. Truely a new force in Sci Fi has arrived and I welcome him.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2012

    WTF ?

    This book reminds me of something written while at the peak of a really intense acid trip where thoughts and meanings get so blown out of proportion that they loose their ability to form a cohessive picture of what you are trying to communicate. Yeah. That's exactly the way this author's thoughts come across. And, aside from that distraction, the story line and chatacters were really cheesy and overblown. Hated just about every minute of it. I don't think I've read a crappier book in a very long time. Sorry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2012

    Don't read this book...

    Quantum Thief. Bahh. He tosses out buzzwords for no particular reason.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 13, 2011

    Highly Addictive, Edge-of-your-seat thrill ride!

    Great book that keeps you captivated from page one! In-depth characters, fantastic story, and detailed description that puts you right there in the action. A must read for any science fiction reader!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 20, 2011

    Fantastic!

    Absolutely fantastic! It¿s always wonderful to find new Science Fiction books that introduce you to new concepts and ideas, and go beyond the ¿warp drive and ray gun¿ genre. This book requires you to stretch your brain around new concepts. Loved it. Can¿t wait for more.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2011

    Imaginative and fresh

    It can be a little hard to follow as the story is told as it happens with no stops for notes on how the tech of this world works. It unravels like a riddle as you pick up the nature of the world as it is revealed through the story. Really enjoyable, end with a too be continued open end for a series so I'll keep my eyes open for them.

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  • Posted May 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is a great intelligent science fiction thriller

    Mysterious Mieli breaks out master thief Jean le Flambeur from the infamous Dilemma Prison run by the Archons of the Sobernost collective of the Inner Solar System. Flambeur never thought he would escape from the eternal mind boggling incarceration in which he was deftly mentally tortured into participating in games against himself in which he either killed or was killed by Flambeur.

    His liberator takes a grateful Flambeur on her sentient ship to the Martian moving city Oubliette where the commodity markets include the selling and buying of time. The Tzaddiks law enforcers send Detective Isidore Beautrelet to do grunt field work on Mars. Soon the thief and the cop intersect with neither any longer sure of their past or present as memory is sold along side of time on the exchange.

    This is a great intelligent science fiction thriller that uses quantum physics theories fueled by the seven deadly sins to take a fabulous tale. The story line is convoluted and difficult initially to grasp as Flambeur competes in deadly games against himself; he even conceals his most significant secret from himself. This may be the best quantum spin which grasps the scientific theoretical complexities inside of an exhilarating thriller since Vanna Bonta's 1998 Flight or perhaps the 1980s Professor Q books of Trevor Hoyle.

    Harriet Klausner

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 62 Customer Reviews

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