Image of Halting State


Image of Halting State

A clever, compelling and masterful piece of near-future science fiction from one
of the genre's hottest writers, Stross' extrapolation of current trends into future realities is fascinating, and astute readers will delight in figuring out how he jumps from point A to point B.

Scottish constable Sue Smith has been called in on a most unusual case: A bank robbery has taken place in the virtual world of Avalon Four, perpetrated by a gang of orcs and a dragon. Owned by Hayek Associates, a dot-com just gone public that's looking to make a secondary offering of stock, they stand to go under if the perpetrators of the robbery aren't apprehended.

Initially unsure that a crime has been committed, Smith eventually realizes that the digital property has value in the real world and that repercussions will ripple throughout the economy. she has no choice but to follow the trail of evidence. (Ace, Oct., 352 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs