The Quantum Thief
By Hannu Rajaniemi
Why this book?
It is a truism that Science Fiction dates itself. SF stories that were written only a few years previous often fail to foresee technological innovations ̶ cell phones, GPS, gene-splicing ̶ that seem obvious and inevitable to hindsight-blessed present-day readers. Those disconcerted by such, let us call them “backwards anachronisms,” should find Quantum Thief a welcome relief for decades to come, because the novel is set so far in the future that hi-tech things like, say, cell phones seem quaint curios out of far-distant days of yore. Long-distance communications in Quantum Thief are effected by something more like telepathy (although the word is never used).
“Quantum” is the operative term in this novel, make no mistake.
Be forewarned: Quantum Thief is chock-full of coined terminology. But have no fear. You have a choice. Either use the online glossary - or you can just read for the story and absorb the terms by osmosis (as my mother used to say). Plan B worked well for me.
I found it interesting that the plot did not boil down into good guys vs. bad guys. No, many different entities and groups and factions and individuals jockey for control and/or freedom from control in this novel. Who is the good guy and who is the bad guy becomes very hard to tell.
Over and above all the conceptual grist to chew on, Quantum Thief tells a compelling story, full of love affairs, machinations, surprises, double- and triple- and quadruple-crosses, action. And there are sequels!
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