Charlie Stross’ HALTING STATE

 Posted by (Visited 5675 times)  Game talk, Reading
Oct 082007

So, I just finished reading Halting State.

This is the best fictional take ever written about virtual worlds. It beats out Cory Doctorow’s “Anda’s Game” and Vernor Vinge’s Rainbows End, IMHO. If only because it just nails the actual consequences, the actual way things work, and so on. It helps that it’s wrapped in a tasty virtual bank heist, with spy story overtones.

Among the stuff that pops up, “namechecked” so to speak: PvP sploits. God mode. ORLY. Zombie flash mobs. Leveraging ARGs for real work. Impositional game design. VC bubble shenanigans. Cross-world avatar portability. Cons and cosplay. Discworld. LARPing. 4th edition D&D. Second Life. Mirror worlds.

I could go on, but it’s clear that Charlie knows his stuff. I now have this sneaking suspicion he’s been lurking among us for quite some time, quietly spying. 😉

  5 Responses to “Charlie Stross’ HALTING STATE”

  1. His blog is one of the few non-industry related blogs I subscribe to and he has been posting excerpts from the book for the past few days in case anyone wants to have a look:

  2. Good to hear! It just arrived from Amazon yesterday. I have to finish Five Fists of Science (which should be one evening, if that).

  3. I managed to grab a copy off and started reading it last night. The idea behind the plot is pretty good but the entire book seems to be written in the first person. Thus each chapter your introduced to a new character as if you were riding inside their head ala “John Malcohvich” style. I can deal with new writing styles but this just reminds me too much of those choose your own adventure books I ready in elementary school.

    Anyways the first person tense combined with the heavy use of UK slang is making the book a lot less enjoyable then it could have been. Anyone know if he always writes in first person or if its just limited to this book?

  4. This is the only book of his written in second person (1st person is “I”).

    And I think he specifically did it on purpose to make it read like a game.

  5. […] sleuthing takes place in both the real and virtual worlds.Where the book succeeds, as Raph Koster pointed out a while ago, is in how well it nails all the details and issues around virtual worlds. To quote […]

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