Rainey’s Tidbits

Random pieces of nonsense

Halting State

Halting State cover art

Halting State cover art

I’m currently reading a science fiction novel for a book club and although I haven’t finished it, I would like to recommend it. Charles Stross’s Halting State is a near-future story centered around a bank robbery in a virtual shared-world (à la World of Warcraft or SecondLife). I’m enjoying the story (which reminds me favorably of Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash but without the linguistic theory or Sumerian mythology), but it’s Stross’s turn of phrase that really grabs me. He writes of one character,

“he turns the charm on you with a nod and a great white smile that reveals about two hundred dollars’ worth of American dental prostheses that he probably wears because it’s the only way to stop the bairns from screaming and running away before he can eat them.”

(It also says a lot about how immersive Stross’s style is that my best friend got half way through the book without noticing that it was voiced entirely in the second-person.)

Anyway, go read it: you’ll enjoy it!


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