For a bit of lighter relief:
"The Hanged Man's Song", John Sandford (John Camp), 2003,
%A John Sandford (John Camp) js@...
%C 375 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10014
%O U$25.95/C$39.00 http://www.berkley.com/berkley online@...
%P 321 p.
%T "The Hanged Man's Song"
It is always a delight to find a new John Sandford/John Camp novel, a
pleasure that is unalloyed by any regrets and annoyances in regard to
technical goofs. As was the quality of the technical material in "The
Fool's Run" (cf BKFLSRUN.RVW) and "The Devil's Code" (cf.
BKDVLSCD.RVW), so it is with "The Hanged Man's Song."
The technology is firmly grounded in reality. The communities, both
blackhat and law enforcement, do not have the jarring quality found in
all too many works where the author becomes fascinated with "hackers."
(Having lugged around a number of "development" laptops in order to
demonstrate company products, I was wryly glad to find that someone
else knows that not *all* such machines are featherweights :-) There
is an intriguing idea for distributed backup of secure-but-secret
data, although I suspect that even very young computer wizards would
very quickly act to close loopholes and find anomalies.
I'm a bit surprised that a careful and paranoid group, such as is
described in the novel, did not take more care with authentication,
perhaps through a "web of trust" model, but I suppose that would have
gotten in the way of the plot. Onion routing would also have been
handy for these people, but, again, would not be as exciting. (I also
want to get my hands on that quad track DVD-R: the best I can find for
my own systems is the basic single track that only lays down 5-6
The main complaint I would have with this particular work is that the
technology seemed somehow divorced from the primary thread of the
plot. This seems an odd statement to make, given the three-cornered
race by technically savvy people, turning primarily on computer
forensics and data recovery, but I was left feeling that this was more
akin to an old-fashioned chase thriller. Albeit an interesting one.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2003 BKHGMNSG.RVW 20031112
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A fanatic is one who can't change his mind and won't change the
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