Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: What I'm Currently Reading

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51q6jiLzxbL__SS500_.jpgAt the moment, I'm almost done with Halting State by Charles Stross, a police procedural novel set in Scotland a few years in the future.  In a nutshell, virtual reality "Orcs" manage to rob an actual bank online, not only cleaning out the bank's accounts but also possibly threatening both Scotland's (and Europe's) ecomony and Europe's entire online network. 

Stross expertly juggles the initially separate plights of a female police detective, an insurance investigator (also female) and a unemployed (male) computer programmer, as all three close in on the true mastermind behind the robbery.  Related in an unusual (and slightly off-putting) second person narrative, with lots of technical jargon, Halting State is a compelling novel that you'll want to pick up and read a second time just to see if you've missed anything! 

51o9mwqIdXL__SL500_AA240_.jpgAlso on my current reading list:  Other Earths, an anthology of short stories edited by Nick Gevers and Jay Lake, that focuses on alternative histories.  Featuring tales by Stephen Baxter, Theodora Goss and Gene Wolfe (among others), this collection spotlights stories showing various "what-if" alternative timelines and situations such as Columbus never discovering America (which turns out great for the Inca Empire), the American Civil War never having been fought and (sigh) that old chestnut of the Nazis winning World War II (though the results here aren't bad).   Other Earths, besides offering interesting and provocative takes on its subject matter, is a great way for new readers to be introduced to some of the best science fiction writers currently working in the genre.   

Both books can be reserved online from the library here for Halting State  and here for Other Earths.

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Ed published on April 23, 2009 12:48 PM.

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