Thursday, 30 September 2010

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: The Quantum Thief - Hannu Rajaniemi

Release Date: 30/09/10


Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy - from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to steal their thoughts, to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of the Moving Cities of Mars. Except that Jean made one mistake. Now he is condemned to play endless variations of a game-theoretic riddle in the vast virtual jail of the Axelrod Archons - the Dilemma Prison - against countless copies of himself. Jean's routine of death, defection and cooperation is upset by the arrival of Mieli and her spidership, Perhonen. She offers him a chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self - in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed ...The Quantum Thief is a dazzling hard SF novel set in the solar system of the far future - a heist novel peopled by bizarre post-humans but powered by very human motives of betrayal, revenge and jealousy. It is a stunning debut.


Whilst I do tend to keep a very close eye on the Fantasy genre, there are times when an author of huge talent almost slips me by in the Science Fiction genre. What drew my attention to Hannu, was thankfully a recommendation from friend John Jarrold, an agent, well known for spotting alongside nurturing talent.

Hannu’s writing style is pretty unique as he blends what could be science fact skilfully with a mystery, a heist and above all else a cast of characters that you want to be around. They are fully rounded, each serves their own ideals alongside code of morals and they definitely add more to this offering than many other titles out there. The peaks and lulls of the author prose make this a title that you have to read and whilst there are quotes from notables within the genre, they really do not do this author justice to their own individual skill. It is definitely a title that I am backing to the hilt and one I think will soon be grasped by a bevy of awards and a whole host of readers demanding to know who this author is. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

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