HALTING STATE and RULE 34 By Charles Stross

I’ve enjoyed Charles Stross’s “Laundry” series so I thought I would like this projected trilogy: Halting State (2007) and Rule 34 (2011) and a cancelled third volume. Halting State is a police procedural about the hacking of a video game company. Rule 34 revolves around a series of mysterious–but connected–murders. Edinburgh Decretive Inspector Liz Kavanaugh investigates these crimes set in the “near Future.” My biggest complaint about both books is they are told in the Second Person. “You” this and “You” that grates on me. I was able to figure out the culprit in Halting State fairly early in the novel. Rule 34 held more surprises. All in all, I’d advise you to stick with the “Laundry” novels and skip these SF crime novels. HALTING STATE: GRADE: C

10 thoughts on “HALTING STATE and RULE 34 By Charles Stross

  1. wolf

    Totally OT:
    Even the German newspapers report that the Nort East Coast has severe weather conditions again, tornadoes and hailstorms and falling trees killing people.
    Hope everybody’s doinhg ok!

    1. george Post author

      Steve, same here. I really liked the early Laundry books (the last couple…not so much). Stross’s other SF novels vary in quality. These two were duds.

  2. Jeff Meyerson


    Wolf, New York City is OK, but not that far north of us there were FIVE confirmed tornadoes that touched down on Tuesday, and at least five people were killed, mostly by falling trees.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, most of the rough weather missed Western NY, but we don’t need more rain. The new grass in the spot where the Landscape Guy and his crew took down that downed tree is growing fast!

  3. Rick Robinson

    I’m not a fan of Stoss’s writing, neither plotting nor choice of POV. Also, I find his SF not very SFnal at all. It’s just so-so crime set in “the future”. So, like Jeff, I’ll pass. I’m thinking of trying some C.J. Cherryh, though I didn’t love her Downbelow Station when I read it many years ago, some of her other books sound interesting. I also have some things I’ve picked up from FFB posts I want to read, and am waiting for some things to pop at the library. Plenty to read!

    Tomorrow on my blog (posting this evening) is What I Read Part 5.


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