cover image Rule 34

Rule 34

Charles Stross. Ace, $25.95 (368p) ISBN 978-0-441-02034-8

Hugo winner Stross blends plausible near-future SF and crime in this brisk sequel to 2007's Halting State. In the mid-2020s, the police monitor the Internet full-time to prevent crime. In Edinburgh, this job falls to DI Liz Kavanaugh's Rule 34 Squad (whose name refers to the Internet truism that "if it exists, there's porn about it"). Kavanaugh views the position as a demotion, but she has a chance to get her once-promising career back on track when she is called to supervise the inquiry into the death of drug dealer Michael Blair, who was found dead on his bathroom floor, decked out in s&m garb. Her investigations are interwoven with the stories of an unlikely diplomat and a criminal known as the Toymaker. Each section builds on the others, making the whole more than the sum of its parts. (July)