The Quantum Thief

The Quantum Thief

eBook - 2013
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Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist, and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy' from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of Mars. Now he's confined inside the Dilemma Prison, where every day he has to get up and kill himself before his other self can kill him. Rescued by the mysterious Mieli and her flirtatious spacecraft, Jean is taken to the Oubliette, the Moving City of Mars, where time is currency, memories are treasures, and a moon-turnedsingularity lights the night. What Mieli offers is the chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self'in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed. As Jean undertakes a series of capers on behalf of Mieli and her mysterious masters, elsewhere in the Oubliette investigator Isidore Beautrelet is called in to investigate the murder of a chocolatier, and finds himself on the trail of an arch-criminal, a man named le Flambeur'. The Quantum Thief is a crazy joyride through the solar system several centuries hence, a world of marching cities, ubiquitous public-key encryption, people communicating by sharing memories, and a race of hyper-advanced humans who originated as MMORPG guild members. But for all its wonders, it is also a story powered by very human motives of betrayal, revenge, and jealousy. It is a stunning debut. The Quantum Thief is a Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011 Science Fiction & Fantasy title. One of Library Journal's Best SF/Fantasy Books of 2011 At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
Publisher: New York : Tor, 2013
ISBN: 9781429957144
142995714X
Characteristics: 1 online resource
text file,rda

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Gr33nbird Mar 08, 2019

Sherlock Holmesian with a twist. By the end chapter three, I found myself (quantum) entangled in Rajaniemi's high-tech action sequences, uniquely evolved races from the outer solar system, and exquisitely complex Martian society. A word of warning though: this book does not spoon feed. I found it challenging and enjoyable.

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tjdickey
Feb 11, 2019

What an exhilarating ride!
We fly through a symphony of technologies including quantum mechanics, virtual reality, 3D printing, ID theft (of entire minds!), privacy screens that work on us in real life, and toggle between hints of classic noir mystery and arching space opera, punctuated by scenes of blistering action, all the while contemplating the very nature of memory and history...

The world in this book is brimming with fantastic ideas that may seem too alien at first. It doesn’t take long before the pieces begin to fall into place, and those who stick with the book will be rewarded with a wonderful piece of contemporary science fiction. This is immersive sci-fi at its finest! (submitted by EO)

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humbleworm
Jun 06, 2017

This is what William Gibson has been trying to write like for decades. Unfortunately, a lot of this book may be confusing until it starts to gel near the end because very little time is spent filling in the back story. I liked the way it comes full circle but wasn't looking for a sequel and "quantum" is really over-hyped. This is really more about computers than physics.

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theonlymonka
May 14, 2016

This book has some interesting ideas and is fairly captivating (even though it's not exactly un-put-downable). However, there are a lot of concepts that are explained too late or not enough, and that is its main drawback. I'm oscillating between 3.5 and 4 stars for that reason - while I was reading it it seemed more like 4, but the more I think of it now, the more of a 3.5 it becomes. Which is a pity, because with a bit of revising, this could become a much better book.

dihull1 Oct 07, 2015

I was drawn to this book because it has a quote of high praise by Charles Stross on the front cover, but it's harder to read than a Stross book. It's similar in many ways to much of Stross's work but not as addictive, and its similar abundance of ideas aren't explained half as well. I hate to say it, but this book needs a little more exposition. Many of its concepts, like the Zoku and the gevulots, remain hazy and vague for too long.

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StarGladiator
Jan 10, 2014

Jeepers! What a formulaic bit of unfortunate fluff, almost not worthy of being called SF. Really, could the author have injected any originality into the story? Another hyped up piece of boredom (extremely hyped at the highly censored, vanilla-only-allowed comment site of Cory Doctorow [you know, boingboing.net by the fellow who claims to be for freedom of speech/free press?]). The two best SF novels in the past several decades: Iain Banks, "The Player of Games" (all his culture books are intellectually engaging, but this is the best future fiction of all time), and S.M. Stirling's "Drakon" absolute SF opera extraordinaire!

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rslade
Jul 25, 2012

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.
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
story.

Swh5386 Nov 20, 2011

This is the best science-fiction book I've read this year.

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