The theft of millions of pounds from an online game's bank means real world bloodshed in this compelling and timely thriller.
It was called in as a robbery at Hayek Associates, an online game company. So you can imagine Sergeant Sue Smith s mood as she watches the video footage of the heist being carried out by a band of orcs and a dragon, and realises that the robbery from an online game company is actually a robbery from an online game.
Just wonderful. Like she has nothing better to do. But online entertainment is big business, and when the bodies of real people start to show up, it s clear that this is anything but a game. For Sue, computer coding expert Jack Reed, and forensic accountant Elaine Barnaby, the walls between the actual and the virtual are about to come crashing down. There is something very dangerous and very real going on at Hayek Associates, and those involved are playing for keeps.
No cheats, no back doors, no extra lives - make a wrong call on this one and it s game over.
As keenly observant of our emergent society as it is our emergent technologies, Halting State is one extremely smart species of fun. - William Gibson
'A great read, and a fascinating look at the future of security in a massively networked world.' - Bruce Schneier, CTO, BT Counterpane
The first couple of pages had me hooked, and I didn't touch another book until I finished it. - John Carmack, Technical Director, iD Software and creator of Doom and Quake
Charles Stross is a full-time science fiction writer and resident of Edinburgh, Scotland. The author of seven Hugo-nominated novels and winner of three Hugo awards for best novella, two of which are part of the Laundry Files series, Stross's works have been translated into over twelve languages. As the owner of degrees in pharmacy and computer science, he graduated as the world's only academically qualified cyberpunk writer just as cyberpunk died. Today he describes his job as telling lies for money and tormenting his imaginary friends. Follow his blog at http://www.accelerando.org/ and his Twitter feed at @cstross.