Stross, Charles – Halting State (2007 BCE HB)

Stross, Charles - Halting State (2007 BCE HB)

Ace Books
Cover Art by Stephanie Toulouse

From the dust jacket:
In the year 2018, Sergeant Sue Smith of the Edinburgh constabulary is called in on a special case. A daring bank robbery has taken place at Hayek Associates, a dot-com start-up company that’s just floated onto the London stock exchange. But this crime may be a bit beyond Smith’s expertise.

The prime suspects are a band of marauding orcs with a dragon in tow for fire support. The bank is located within the virtual reality land of Avalon Four, and the robbery was supposed to be impossible. When word gets out, Hayek Associates and all their virtual "economies" are going to crash hard.

For Smith, the investigation seems pointless. But the deeper she digs, the bigger the case gets. There are powerful players – both real and pixilated – who are watching her every move. Because there is far more at stake than just some game-head’s fantasy financial security…

Acquired: 2008-05-14
Started: 2008-09-29
Finished: 2008-11-10

In 2018, a bank robbery takes place in a bank in an online gaming world. The breach in security threatens the financial standing of the company running the game, so the police and the company’s insurer come to investigate. The entire book is written in second person from the viewpoints of Sue Smith, the detective; Elaine Barnaby, the insurance investigator, and Jack Reed, a game developer hired as a consultant by Elaine’s company. They soon discover that the robbery has bigger implications than just the gaming world.

Initially, the most noticeable thing about the book is the second person viewpoint which is a little strange but makes sense given the gaming emphasis of the story, and I did not find it a distraction from reading the book. The story moved at a brisk pace, with enough suspense and action to keep me interested the whole time I was reading it. There is a lot of technical jargon in the book, which I did not mind, but which could be offputting to people without a computer background. The only thing I didn’t find all that convincing or interesting was Jack’s continuous angst about his personal life, which lead to an underwhelming revelation at the end. Still, this is a very good near future thriller.

2013-10-13: 1000 views

Posted by sdobie on 2008-05-21 12:59:07

Tagged: , books , 2007 , covers , stross , halting , state , toulouse , 100views , 200views , 300views , 400views , 500views , 600views , 700views , 800views , 900views , 1000views , @export , 1250views

15 Quotes From US Secretary of State John Kerry

15 Quotes From US Secretary of State John Kerry

John Forbes Kerry is an American politician who was sworn in as the 68th Secretary of State on February 1, 2013. He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1984 and was then re-elected in 1990, 1996, 2002 and 2008. Following are 15 quotes from John Kerry. Let’s read on.

“America now stands as the world’s foremost power. We should be proud: Not since the age of the Romans have one people achieved such preeminence. But we are not Romans; we do not seek an empire. We are Americans, trustees of a vision and a heritage that commit us to the values of democracy and the universal cause of human rights.”

“Values are not just words, values are what we live by. They’re about the causes that we champion and the people we fight for.”

“We have traded a dictator for a chaos that has left America less secure.”

“Values spoken without actions taken are merely slogans.”

“You’re looking at the biggest cheesehead in America. Here I am.”

(Photo credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images Europe)

“If America can go to the moon, then in the decades to come we should not ever have to have young Americans sent to any part of the world to defend and die for America’s gluttony on fossil fuel.”

“You may not understand completely in what ways, but it is true when I say to you that you have taught me and you’ve tested me and you’ve lifted me up, and you made me stronger”

“The greater your capacity to love, the greater your capacity to feel the pain.”

“The consequences of a crime should not be out of proportion to the crime itself.”

“I love to play guitar and hack around. I was in a band when I was in high school. I never learned to play very well, but I enjoyed it.”

(Photo credit: Win McNamee/Getty Images North America)

“It’s one thing to be certain, but you can be certain and you can be wrong.”

“I believe that when you know something’s going wrong, you make it right. That’s what I learned in Vietnam. When I came back from that war I saw that it was wrong. Some people don’t like the fact that I stood up to say no, but I did.”

“The responsible choice would be to honor those who have worn our nation’s uniform, but the administration made a different choice. They’re raising veterans’ health care fees by $ 250 a year while cutting taxes for millionaires.”

“Young people have so much more power than they tend to think to be able to affect politics. And if people will organize and get involved and go out and knock on doors and hand out leaflets and make a change, then they can determine the future.”

“The hope is there. The sun is rising. Our best days are yet to come.”

(Photo credit: Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images Europe)

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Top 20 Famous Quotes From Hillary Clinton

Best Quotes From Barack Obama

I graduated from Birmingham University. Currently, I am living with my family in the West Midlands of England and working for a media company. My hobby is writing about current affairs, celebrities and fashion.

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Cold Springs Fire from MIrror Lake July 13, 2008 2:07 pm IMG_7484

Cold Springs Fire from MIrror Lake   July 13, 2008  2:07 pm IMG_7484

UPDATE 7/21/08: I am moving this one forward to let you know that the fire is getting well contained, they are doing fill burns to clean up the fuel inside the perimeter…
I guess there is still a little spot fire now up about a mile south of Bird Lake.. but I have faith that all these copters and awesome firefighters will handle it.. I hope!

There are other fires popping up all over the place… a 5-10 acre fire at the low end of the Big lava bed last night near Willard…. a huge convoy of fire trucks and crews were heading back from that last night around 11pm or so, making an eerie light brigade thru the forest throwing up dust that made moon rays coming thru the trees..

a tiny fire up near Tahklak lake they now call Sheep fire is being attacked by copters and crew very quickly… we are lucky that this huge crew is here already, able to jump on these quicker than would otherwise happen.

yikes! and the Smokey firesign still says FIRE DANGER: moderate!

I am still in TL, can’t upload photos yet…
wanted to give you an update!
~ Darlisa

Taken from Mirror Lake just north of Trout Lake, Washington on the 82 road, a few miles north of where it was later barricaded on July 13th in the morning

my night shot was on the channel 2 news!

this website was set up for this fire
There is a wonderful huge crew now working on the fire, they are amazing.

Many other photographers have posted wonderful photos on this fire as well, for example:

my niece:


Thank you all for your wonderful insightful and inspiring comments on the nighttime fire shot… I enjoyed them all so much! My computer is acting up, and I have little time now..bear with me! Come see the growing slide show of this fire at

I will be posting a whole set of this fire starting at about 11:00 am Sunday July 13, 2008…

On July 13, 2008, this fire started in the morning as a small blaze with a spindly column that may have been smoldering since the lightning strikes in the area 8 days earlier. When I started observing the fire around 11 am, it was small… within 20 minutes I saw helicopters and tankers with retardant attack the small blaze. WHile they were returning to Troutdale to restock on retardant, the fire sprang to life wiith the growing winds and trees to the SE and to the west began to blaze up as the fire jumped from crown to crown. This area along the tree line of Mt. Adams is choked with dead trees that have not seen a fire in many years… and many standing dead trees from a heavy infestation of Spruce Bud Worm and Bark Beetles. There has been great debate for years about cleaning up this area, but many who fought to keep it natural. Naturally, in history, the area was occasionally swept by fire which renewed the grazing for elk and other critters, and encouraged the growth of the huckleberries.

Fire, the great destroyer and the great purifier all at the same time… a primeval force that is overwhelming if you are downwind… yet so awe-inspiring. How can something so destructive be so beautiful??? Destruction and Purification all in one… Nature balancing itself.

Posted by Starlisa on 2008-07-21 20:06:43

Tagged: , Cold Springs Fire , Starlisa , FIRE , Mt. Adams , Trout Lake , wildfire , hot and fast , sounded like a freight train nearby! , over 8000 acres burning , forestfire , yes I was camping up there , Mt. Adams Fire , Gotchen Creek Drainage , June13_2008 , June13 , 2008 , Bird Creek , Bird Creek Meadows , Mt. Adams Wilderness , Yakama reservation , TractD , Washington State , Washington , State , Cascade Mountain Range , Cascades , Southern Washington Cascades , mountains , subalpine , high altitude , Yakima County , Klickitat County , landscape , view , volcano , mountain , purification , lightning