Rule 34 by Charles Stross — book review

Rule 34 by Charles Stross. Orbit ‘12.99

Reviewed by Pauline Morgan

This is the sequel to Halting State. Set in the near future where Scotland has seceded from the UK and entered the Eurozone it is related in multiple second person narratives. Five years down the line, DI Liz Kavanaugh has been put in charge of the department dealing with Rule 34 offences. This basically says that ‘if you can think of it, there is a porn of it’. Towards the end of one of her shifts, she is called to attend what at first appears to be an unfortunate accident with an enema machine. Then others start turning up and not just in Edinburgh.

Anwar is on probation after serving time for internet offences. His friend Adam points him in the direction of what appears to be a legitimate job as honorary consul for the newly independent state of Issyk-Kulistan. He will be paid for doing practically nothing except hand out free bags of bread making flour to those who ask for it.

John Christie turns up at the first death scene by accident, having intended to recruit the corpse for his own nefarious Organisation. Already an unstable sociopath, he also finds the next body and is sent to Anwar for papers relating to a new identity. Liz’s boss does not believe in coincidence and sets her looking for the links.

This is a future where the cops have easy and immediate access to all kinds of data through postulated advances in technology. Those unfamiliar with netspace terms may have some difficulty interpreting some of the background information.

Rule 34 by Charles Stross. Orbit ‘12.99

Reviewed by Pauline Morgan

This is the sequel to Halting State. Set in the near future where Scotland has seceded from the UK and entered the Eurozone it is related in multiple second person narratives. Five years down the line, DI Liz Kavanaugh has been put in charge of the department dealing with Rule 34 offences. This basically says that ‘if you can think of it, there is a porn of it’. Towards the end of one of her shifts, she is called to attend what at first appears to be an unfortunate accident with an enema machine. Then others start turning up and not just in Edinburgh.

Anwar is on probation after serving time for internet offences. His friend Adam points him in the direction of what appears to be a legitimate job as honorary consul for the newly independent state of Issyk-Kulistan. He will be paid for doing practically nothing except hand out free bags of bread making flour to those who ask for it.

John Christie turns up at the first death scene by accident, having intended to recruit the corpse for his own nefarious Organisation. Already an unstable sociopath, he also finds the next body and is sent to Anwar for papers relating to a new identity. Liz’s boss does not believe in coincidence and sets her looking for the links.

This is a future where the cops have easy and immediate access to all kinds of data through postulated advances in technology. Those unfamiliar with netspace terms may have some difficulty interpreting some of the background information.