REVIEW: "Halting State", Charles Stross
- BKHLTSTT.RVW 20090419
"Halting State", Charles Stross, 2007, 978-0-441-01498-9,
%A Charles Stross www.antipope.org/charlie/index.html
%C 10 Alcorn Ave, Suite 300, Toronto, Ontario, M4V 3B2
%G 978-0-441-01498-9 0-441-01498-4
%O U$25.95/C$30.00 416-925-2249 Fax: 416-925-0068 service@...
%O Audience n+ Tech 2 Writing 3 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
%P 351 p.
%T "Halting State"
If you like William Gibson's writing, then you will probably like this
book. Charles Stross isn't quite up to that level yet, but, with a
little more work, he could be.
Stross does seem to know his technology. Which makes the few errors
all the more annoying, when they pop up. He seems to understand (as
very few computer or security industry trade journalists do) the
difference between quantum cryptography and decryption of RSA keys by
quantum computer: he still manages to link them together in a
confusing fashion in the story. (And, no, even with a quantum
computer you probably don't have a universal decryptor.) Also, top
level domain country codes are two letters, not three.
However, Stross does understand societal dependence on computers, the
activities and misunderstandings of various communities, and that
disaster is more likely to arise due to ignorance than direct attack.
The work is very realistic, in those terms, and worth reading as a
warning of a substantial threat in that regard.
copyright Robert M. Slade, 2009 BKHLTSTT.RVW 20090419
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