Rule 34by Charles Stross
Three ex-cons have been murdered in Germany,
Meet Edinburgh Detective Inspector Liz Kavanaugh, head of the Innovative Crimes Investigation Unit, otherwise known as the Rule 34 Squad. They monitor the Internet for potential criminal activity, analyzing trends in the extreme fringes of explicit content. And occasionally, even more disturbing patterns arise…
Three ex-cons have been murdered in Germany, Italy, and Scotland. The only things they had in common were arrests for spamming—and a taste for unorthodox entertainment. As the first officer on the scene of the most recent death, Liz finds herself sucked into an international investigation that isn’t so much asking who the killer is, but what—and if she doesn't find the answer soon, the homicides could go viral.
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
Another detective joins the celebrated ranks of Edinburgh's finest, this one with Stross' distinctive science-fictional twist.
Set in the same universe asHalting State(2007) ten years on, the narrative advances several points of view, each written in the same eye-watering second-person present tense; it's supposed to feel like you're inhabiting several avatars in an online computer game—fine, but what if you just want to read a book? Murder is rare in Edinburgh, and the case of an ex-con spammer murdered apparently by bad drugs and a defective machine seems bizarre in the extreme, but DI Liz Kavanaugh soon notices similarities with other equally weird cases in Germany and Italy. And soon Euro-cop Kemal Aslan arrives with other examples. A second Edinburgh victim turns up, a shady accountant shrink-wrapped to a bed of obsolete currency. Meanwhile, the Toymaker, a (literally) psychotic enforcer and facilitator for a criminal network, the Organization, arrives to houseclean the current incompetent staff and recruit some fresh talent. First on his list of potential new hires is Liz's first victim, and the second—you guessed it. In a nearby pub, informatics professor Adam MacDonald, aka the Gnome, inventor of a spam-killer app called ATHENA, talks desperate ex-con hacker Anwar Hussein into becoming consular representative for a bankrupt ex-Soviet splinter republic—the sort of business the newly independent Scottish Euro-state is happy to encourage. Anwar's duties involve distributing free bread mix kits—and providing assistance to a certain John Christie, the Toymaker's current identity. Somehow, Stross ties it all together inside one of the most intelligently and philosophically detailed near-futures ever conceived, although at times the eyes of all but the most well-informed reader will glaze over.
Dazzling, chilling and brilliant.
- Penguin Publishing Group
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Penguin Group
- NOOK Book
- Sales rank:
- File size:
- 585 KB
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
Meet 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.
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