The Quantum Thief

The Quantum Thief

Book - 2011
Average Rating:
6
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Broken free from a nightmarish distant-future prison by a mysterious woman who offers him his life back if he will complete the ultimate heist he left unfinished, con man Jean le Flambeur is pursued in worlds where people communicate through shared memories.
Publisher: New York : Tor, 2011, c2010.
Edition: 1st U.S. ed.
ISBN: 9780765329493
0765329492
Branch Call Number: [SCI-FI] FIC/RAJANIEMI
Characteristics: 330 p. ; 25 cm.

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h
humbleworm
Jun 06, 2017

This is what William Gibson has been trying to write like for decades. Unfortunately, a lot of this book may be confusing until it starts to gel near the end because very little time is spent filling in the back story. I liked the way it comes full circle but wasn't looking for a sequel and "quantum" is really over-hyped. This is really more about computers than physics.

t
theonlymonka
May 14, 2016

This book has some interesting ideas and is fairly captivating (even though it's not exactly un-put-downable). However, there are a lot of concepts that are explained too late or not enough, and that is its main drawback. I'm oscillating between 3.5 and 4 stars for that reason - while I was reading it it seemed more like 4, but the more I think of it now, the more of a 3.5 it becomes. Which is a pity, because with a bit of revising, this could become a much better book.

dihull1 Oct 07, 2015

I was drawn to this book because it has a quote of high praise by Charles Stross on the front cover, but it's harder to read than a Stross book. It's similar in many ways to much of Stross's work but not as addictive, and its similar abundance of ideas aren't explained half as well. I hate to say it, but this book needs a little more exposition. Many of its concepts, like the Zoku and the gevulots, remain hazy and vague for too long.

s
StarGladiator
Jan 10, 2014

Jeepers! What a formulaic bit of unfortunate fluff, almost not worthy of being called SF. Really, could the author have injected any originality into the story? Another hyped up piece of boredom (extremely hyped at the highly censored, vanilla-only-allowed comment site of Cory Doctorow [you know, boingboing.net by the fellow who claims to be for freedom of speech/free press?]). The two best SF novels in the past several decades: Iain Banks, "The Player of Games" (all his culture books are intellectually engaging, but this is the best future fiction of all time), and S.M. Stirling's "Drakon" absolute SF opera extraordinaire!

r
rslade
Jul 25, 2012

This is the type of space opera that creates whole worlds,
technologies, and languages behind it. The language or jargon makes
it hard to read. The worlds are confusing, especially since some are
real, and some aren't. The technologies make it way too easy to pull
huge numbers of deuses ex way too many machinas, which strain the
ability to follow, or even care about, the plot. In this situation,
the plot can be random, so the impetus for continued reading tends to
rely on the reader's sympathy for the characters. Unfortunately, in
this work, the characters can also have real or imagined aspects, and
can change radically after an event. It was hard to keep going.
I was prompted to review this book since it was recommended as a piece
of fiction that accurately represented some interesting aspects of
information security. Having read it, I can agree that there are some
cute descriptions of significant points. There is mention of a
massive public/asymmetric key infrastructure (PKI) system. There is
reference to the importance of social engineering in breaking
technical protection. There is allusion to the increased fragility of
overly complex systems. But these are mentions only. The asymmetric
crypto system has no mention of a base algorithm, of course, but
doesn't even begin to describe the factors in the PKI itself.

If you know infosec you will recognize some of the mentions. If you
don't, you won't learn them. (A specific reference to social
engineering actually relates to an implementation fault.) Otherwise,
you may or may not enjoy being baffled by the pseudo-creativity of the
story.

Swh5386 Nov 20, 2011

This is the best science-fiction book I've read this year.

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