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REVIEW: "The Quantum Thief", Hannu Rajaniemi

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Han
    BKQNTTHF.RVW 20120724 The Quantum Thief , Hannu Rajaniemi, 2010, 978-1-4104-3970-3 %A Hannu Rajaniemi %C 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010 %D 2010
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 20, 2012
      BKQNTTHF.RVW 20120724

      "The Quantum Thief", Hannu Rajaniemi, 2010, 978-1-4104-3970-3
      %A Hannu Rajaniemi
      %C 175 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010
      %D 2010
      %G 978-1-4104-3970-3 0765367661
      %I Tor Books/Tom Doherty Assoc.
      %O pnh@... www.tor.com
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0765367661/robsladesinterne
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0765367661/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience n Tech 1 Writing 2 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 466 p.
      %T "The Quantum Thief"

      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.

      Some of the jargon terms can be figured out fairly easily. An agora,
      like it was in Greece, is a public meeting place. Gogol wrote a book
      called "Dead Peasants," so gogols are slaves. Gevulot is the Hebrew
      word for borders, and has to deal with agreed-upon privacy deals. But
      all of them have quirks, and a number of other terms come out of

      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

      copyright, Robert M. Slade 2012 BKQNTTHF.RVW 20120724

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
      `So...do you believe me?' I say. `Do you believe we're sisters?'
      For a moment Jess just focuses on her feet, which are encased in
      thick socks and brown hiking boots. She raises her head and
      surveys my turquoise diamante kitten heels, all scraped and
      covered in mud. My Marc Jacobs skirt. My ruined glittery
      T-shirt. Then she lifts her eyes to my bruised, battered face,
      and we just look at each other.
      `Yes,' she says at last. `I believe you.'
      - `Shopaholic and Sister,' Sophie Kinsella
      victoria.tc.ca/techrev/rms.htm http://www.infosecbc.org/links
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