It’s really, really, hard for anything by Stross not to be a wee disappointing, but that’s only because Accelerando is on my shortest of short lists. But this is still pretty freaking awesome.
How, exactly, can it not be awesome to rob the central bank of a dungeons and dragons MMO? It takes a certain bit of vision to see the kinds of problems and coolness that will happen when computing is truly distributed. The story culminates around governments essentially being made irrelevant in the national security sphere when compared to motivated 14 year old hackers. I’m not sure if not following this idea was intentional or not; it’s a very interesting one to me personally, what with the seasteading and all. There’s a nasty (or wonderful?) cliff to fall off of, there.
Stross once again cements himself in my top 3 authors. Stross is the middle ground between ‘hard’ and ‘human’ that I like. Neal Stephenson sacrifices some science edge for humanity, and Greg Egan’s characters would be completely uninteresting if they did not exist in such scientifically awesome places.
The book needs no extra credit, but it gets some, nonetheless, for including the sentence ‘They’re tunneling TCP/IP over AD&D!’.