Halting State

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Now imagine being stuck in that point of view for an entire book. You cannot zoom, or pan, or examine a scene or character from another angle. It's as though a movie like Inception were shot entirely from Leonardo DiCaprio's perspective, a camera literally strapped to his forehead for every scene without so much as a fancy lens. Now you're getting the limiting factor of second person. Inception would still have been a good movie, don't get me wrong; but it would have been nothing compared to the effect of panning the view at just the right moment, the right angle to to let you see something that perhaps the main character cannot, or to show you someone else, etc.

Scenes like this would be impossible: Only first person perspective would be allowed. You'd never know what the main character looked like, or what other people were seeing or feeling or smelling. You wouldn't even know what's going on outside your immediate POV.

Charles Stross: "Halting State" - Talks at Google

It makes for a very dull story. View all 9 comments. Just get over that second-person narrative hump. If that writing is like nails on a chalk board for you—both the second-person POV and the Scottish dialect—then you definitely want to stay away from this work. Myself, I stopped noticing it after 30 pages or so.

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The narrative—always in the second-person—cycles between the perspectives of three different characters Sue, Elaine, and Jack in a rigid unvarying sequence. For me, the second-person narrative achieved an interesting mid-point between the intimacy of the first-person and the objective, authorial omnipotence of the third-person.

The shark bares his teeth at you in a not-too-cannibalistic manner. The sentence becomes as much about Sue as it is about Marcus Hackman. The second-person POV situates the reader nicely and, in my view, elegantly in between the personal subjectivity of the intimate and the arms-length distancing of the objective. The Near Future Just Five Minutes Away This mid-distance achieved by the second-person POV is a neat reflection of the near-future oddness of the novel: just close enough to the present to be familiar, and just far away enough to be alien.

Take the very first quotation that opened this review and the oh-so-casual reference to a lesbian couple with a child. While it might be less unusual now in , when written in , it would have been just unusual enough as an idea to be exotic. By beaming visuals directly onto her retina, she gets an overlay on the scene in front of her with information from the police database: CopSpace sheds some light on matters, of course. Blink and it descends in its full glory.

Halting State

Get your dispatcher to drop you a ticket, and the signs open up to give you their full police and social services case files, where applicable…This is the twenty-first century, and all the tetrabytes of CopSpace have exploded out of the dusty manila files and into the real world, sprayed across it in a Technicolour mass of officious labelling and crime notices.

The connectedness and ubiquity of access to the internet was just about beginning in when Charles Stross wrote this. Internet glasses are currently being developed by Google. But the interesting, and just about too scarily plausible next step, is the labelling and retrieval of information on people based on face-recognition technology and cross-referencing a range of databases in real time for instant reference. This, by the way, has already started , but imagine what happens when the in-game economy gets much larger than it is now.

How would real world economics then play into in-game economics, and how might in-game theft then translate into real world cash? So, the story starts with a crime that our three hapless heros get involved in investigating, but it rapidly spins into something bigger. In this near future, everything is hooked up to the internet, everything is connected. That kind of service requires high level encryption, and the entire economic backbone of the hundreds of in-game systems are run off the encryption keys that are used across the European Union for its internet systems.

So imagine what happens if that key is sold or stolen. The book has the fun crazy energy of sitting around shooting the breeze with a bunch of friends, getting drunk and uproarious, and just speculating about what tomorrow might be like. It also just sober enough a look at a tomorrow that looks just enough like today to be interesting and very worrying. Jun 04, Kristin rated it really liked it Shelves: hugo-nominee , science-fiction , scifi-bkgrp-selection. This was a delight to read.

SF kissworlbrochovop.tk: Halting State / Charles Stross ☆☆☆½

The story is set in independent Scotland in Everyone has direct and constant access to the web through their glasses and walk around in a constant twitch as they hammer away on virtual keyboards. Hayek Associates, a small start-up gaming company, has discovered their software has been infiltrated and the virtual bank they oversee has been robbed by a band of orcs and a dragon.

Next to come along is E This was a delight to read. Next to come along is Elaine, a sword wielding forensic accountant. She realizes she needs some additional help and has her current employer hire Jack, an unemployed gaming programer, to train her in the nuances of game space. The chapters alternate between the three characters POV in second person.

This worked The police force had a overlay feature that could be dropped down on reality and allow them to see crime as it is happening, assess how honest people are answering questions, and access all sorts of files while out on the beat.


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Super cool. The story is fast paced and does throw a lot at the reader, and for once, I did not guess the ending ahead of time. This was as good as or better than Glasshouse. Check it out! View 1 comment.


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I was pleasantly surprised by "Halting State". I read "Accelerando" by the same author last year and absolutely loathed it. I was amazed at how Stoss managed to maintain a second person present tense narration throughout the book. It was a bit jarring at first because it is so unusual, but it didn't take long to get used to it. Once characters started interacting and there was some dialogue going on, the unusual syntax was barely noticeable.

However, it never once stopped being fascinating. It was an action thriller set ten years in the future in a world that is very, very different from what it is today. As different as it is, it's plausible based on today's technology. I'm still not sure if I really know what happened in this story, but that's okay. It was an exciting ride. View all 4 comments. My technology was working for me, serving me, protecting me.

This is why I loved technology; if you used it right it could give you power and privacy. It asks you to do favors, it does you favors. Like, be in front of a building with a running motor at such a time with the back doors open, and drive to an address where someone'll be waiting for you with a wallet full of cash and another stolen car.

None of the perps know each other, because it's all done with zero-knowledge proofs and anonymous remixers running out of zombie servers on some poor victim's home entertainment system that's downloaded one piece of X-rated malware too many. Stross sees it as a network for criminals. Doctorow's assumption is that hackers and kids will always be smarter and more agile than Governments, and therefore will always be one step ahead with regard to using technology.

Stross assumes that Governments are all-seeing, all powerful and always on top of the tech. Other reasons I didn't love this book..

senjouin-renkai.com/wp-content/parental/whatsapp-blaue-haken-statusleiste.php They've being bugged, spied on, stabbed and narrowly avoided being kidnapped. A small girl has apparently been abducted, and an army of unsuspecting gamers are being used as international operatives against the entire western world. Here's what SHE's thinking: "What?

No cuddling? At that point, I decided the writer probably had a lot more experience with coding than coitus. I hate being told what I just did and what I was thinking at the time by somebody I've never met. But I don't yet. Shelves: science-fiction , sf-f-h. This book has several interesting and unusual attributes. Overall it's a fun read in the vein of Pat Cadigan 's Synners , about hackers and suits working together to handle a threat to technology society has evolved to assume.

Like Synners it throws you into the world head-first without explaining names, acronyms, slang, or the numerous in-jokes; unlike Synners it focuses on the espionage story and leaves the sociological theorizing out.