Rule 34

Rule 34

by Charles Stross

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781937007669
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/26/2012
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 615,658
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

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.

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Rule 34 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 56 reviews.
SteveTheDM More than 1 year ago
Rule 34 is the second of Stross's near-future police procedurals, taking today's information infrastructure into the next logical (significant) step, seeing where that leaves the police and the criminal world, and them pitting them against each other. This was fun. The thinking is twisted here, as our protagonist runs the "rule 34" squad in her police headquarters --- the guys who try to stamp out the most vile of online pornography. That's not really the focus of the book, but it sets a tone and lets you know that twisted stuff is not off the table. And it makes the first half of the book really (oddly) enjoyable. The narrative follows a few primary characters, and a handful of minor characters in Stross's now-familiar second-person form. The first time I read this style it really threw me off, but I'm getting the hang of it now and don't even really notice. As seems to be true of most books I read, the ending felt rushed; I think many authors see their deadlines approach and really speed through the back halves of their books. But the confusion I had at the end of Stross's prior "Halting State" didn't happen (he's either writing better, or I was warned and paid closer attention). But despite that all, this is a great picture of what-might-be sometime in the next thirty years or so. I like these glimpses of the future, when it's a future I might actually live to see, and Rule 34 really shines in that light. 4 of 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Charles Stross is the 21st Century version of Bruce Sterling and William Gibson without the latters' technophobia or the formers' techno-anarchic fetishism.
gbsallery on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An entertaining near-future police procedural; quite inventive, though I kept noticing that Stross is the same author that gave us Singularity Sky - the implicit comparison is not favourable. Nevertheless, Stross when not quite at his best is still better than many SF writers at their peak, so don't be put off on that count. The second-person narrative didn't grate too much after the first couple of chapters, which it could have done, so again there is some writing skill involved - but it still comes across as a gimmick. Luckily, there's plenty of humour and zeitgeisty internet memes to leaven the mix, even if I ended up accidentally Googling "de-gloving" as a direct result of this book. If you haven't, don't.
dwarfplanet9 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting. The book is written in the 2nd person:You pick up the book, and start to read.You turn the pages, confused because you are reading about you,But its not really you, is it?You might miss where the story momentarily shifts from you to I,but you pay attention and notice it, because its relevant.
ztutz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rule 34 is a sequel to Halting State, and is funnier and more successful in my eyes.Definitely captures the essence of the 2010 Interwebs.
vloxy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An interesting take on how 4chan has affected the world. However, the end is lacking and predictable. When will authors learn to stay the course and break out of the expected?
mmtz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Given the way our world seem to be spiraling out of control, Rule 34 seems to be a look at a plausible and very scary future.
Shrike58 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rule 34 is essentially a joke which suggests that if someone has a sexual kink there is porn to appeal to their deviation. In this novel our protagonist, Liz Kavanaugh, is a burned-out police supervisor whose unit trawls the internet looking at emerging memes inspiring real-life crime; this is not as much fun as it sounds.Matters go into overdrive though when a very baroque murder draws her out of professional exile, particularly when there is a whole series of comparable murders taking place in what looks like a synchronized fashion. The linking factor is that these people were all involved in illegal online activities. So who is culling the world spamming community, and why? While there is much more going on then that, those are the questions that drive this book; besides the small matter of using whole, if basket-case, countries to front a financial scam.If you've read Stross before you'll enjoy this work. If you enjoy near-future thrillers you'll enjoy this work. About my only caveat is that the nature of the professional criminal "John Christie" seems a little too vague in the end, but too say more would be to offer up a spoiler that I don't care to give.
steve.clason on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Stross treats us to another tour de force of just-over-the-horizon speculative thinking, with interesting, rich characters doing familiar things with recognizable tech in a slightly skewed, bizarre world. I think that's what he does best and he does it well. So there's that.The story is a police procedural with a nicely involuted plot, great pacing, plenty of tension, and convincing dialog s altogether a good read. But the basic plot premise, well hidden until the end, though interesting, didn't seem up to the task of carrying all the narrative weight, and so the resolution left me feeling -- well, unresolved.
htdrake on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A blurb on the cover from The Denver Post says, "Stross sizzles with ideas." They're exactly right. This book, like all of his others, left me feeling breathless. And maybe a little, um, dim. Like Halting State, Rule 34 begs for a re-read. I'm still not sold on the second-person narration, although I do grant that it makes a sinister kind of sense in the end. The characters were surprisingly relatable and the plot zipped along despite the occasional info dump. Not for the casual SF reader.
8bitmore on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Bit fragmented and thin on ground-breaking ideas (compared to older Stross material) but basically entertaining read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its also porn
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You werent one of the creators of rpg. They aare all the creators. So they made these rules and since you didnt make the rpg you cant add to the rules so yours dont apply!
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