Author(s): Charles Stross
It was called in as a robbery at Hayek Associates, an online game company. So you can imagine Sergeant Sue Smith's mood as she watches the video footage of the heist being carried out by a band of orcs and a dragon, and realises that the robbery from an online game company is actually a robbery from an online game. Just wonderful. Like she has nothing better to do. But online entertainment is big business, and when the bodies of real people start to show up, it's clear that this is anything but a game. For Sue, programmer Jack Reed, and forensic accountant Elaine Barnaby, the walls between the actual and the virtual are about to come crashing down. There is something very dangerous and very real going on at Hayek Associates, and those involved are playing for more than experience points. No cheats, no extra lives, no saving throw - make a wrong call on this one and it'll be more than game over.
'A great read, and a fascinating look at the future of security in a massively networked world.' Bruce Schneier, CTO, BT Counterpane 'The first couple of pages had me hooked, and I didn't touch another book until I finished it.' John Carmack, Technical Director, iD Software and creator of Doom and Quake 'As keenly observant of our emergent society as it is our emergent technologies, Halting State is one extremely smart species of fun.' William Gibson 'A great read, and a fascinating look at the future of security in a massively networked world.' Bruce Schneier, CTO, BT Counterpane 'The first couple of pages had me hooked, and I didn't touch another book until I finished it.' John Carmack, Technical Director, iD Software and creator of Doom and Quake 'Charles Stross is the most spectacular science-fiction writer of recent years. In Halting State, he has written a near-future story that is at once over-the-top and compellingly believable.' Vernor Vinge '[A] brilliantly conceived technocrime thriller' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY (Starred Review) 'The Hugo Award-winning author's latest sci-fi technothriller whipsaws through a futuristic Scotland, where thievery inside a Second Life-esque online game can topple nations. Brimming with suspense and awash in contemporary references - evidently, iPods and Starbucks will still be popular in 2018 - Stross' storytelling is not only edgy and smart but grounded in human concerns, making HALTING STATE perfect fodder or n00bs and old-timers alike.' WIRED
Charles Stross was born in Leeds, England, in 1964. He has worked as a pharmacist, software engineer and freelance journalist, but now writes full time.