Reading history and reviews
Finished on 20th February 2009A friend lent this to me and it was a pretty good read. It's a near-future science fiction whodunnit where the story is principally just a showcase for some very neat extrapolations of today's virtual reality games, web technologies and portable electronic devices. In a way it felt like a software developer's book (a feeling compounded by references to programming languages and network protocols, and the abundance of acronyms) - the writing and characterisation is pretty functional and the plot is frequently overwhelmed by all the lovingly-described details of the new technologies and their impact on people and their society.
One of the cover quotes compares "Halting State" to the work of William Gibson. For me the difference is that Gibson's writing feels more developed - there isn't the same omnipotent narrative voice, the characters feel a bit more well-drawn, and the elements of Gibson's near future world seem to have more space to breathe. Even so, "Halting State" was an engaging read and it's vision of how today's technology might develop in the future is both thought-provoking and alarmingly plausible.