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The Fractal Prince [Hardcover]

Hannu Rajaniemi
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Hardcover 14.14  
Hardcover, 27 Nov 2012 --  
Paperback 5.59  

Book Description

27 Nov 2012

Jean le Flambeur is out of prison, but still not free. To pay his debts he has to break into the mind of a living god. But when the stakes are revealed, Jean has to decide how far he is willing to go to get the job done.

The sequel to Hannu Rajaniemi's extraordinary debut novel is set to build on the extravagant promise of one of the most exciting new voices to come out of the genre this century.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (27 Nov 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765329506
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765329509
  • Product Dimensions: 24.2 x 16.3 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,394,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Its great virtue arguably lies in its very strangeness. (SFX MAGAZINE 2013-12-01) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Sensational science fiction from a new global star in the genre. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild code 17 Oct 2012
By D. Harris TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"The Fractal Prince" picks up where its predecessor, The Quantum Thief, left off (so stop reading this now if you haven't read "Thief" and you don't want spoilers). Master criminal Jean le Flambeur (a sort of post-human Raffles) has been rescued from prison by mercenary Mieli, acting for the mysterious Pellegrini. Pursued by Hunters, he is about undertake an audacious job for his patroness.

That makes it sound as though the story is just more of the same: a murder mystery and a caper, folded with mind-bending, almost incomprehensible hard-SF technology (none of it explained even in passing) and a tangle of motivations, both human and post human. And one can enjoy it at that level, watching the strangeness unfold and admiring Rajaniemi's command of the science, the breadth of his conception, his sheer breakneck imagination. The nature of the characters, in particular, encourages this. Almost all are instances (sometimes, multiple instances) of original individuals, incarnated into more or less techologically advanced artificial "bodies" for various purposes. (Rajaniemi's far future seems to follow the same logic as, for example, Charles Stross's Saturn's Children - intelligences cannot be artificial as such, but must be developed/ grown as human though they may then be duplicated, rehosted and augmented on non-biological hardware. A fair bit of the plot is concerned with accessing such stored "souls" - "gogols" - which are then traded as a commodity).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very hard to follow 6 Jun 2013
By S. J. Hughes VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I like this book and its predecessor, but must admit to not following it completely. Science fiction is a mixed bag - some science mixed with fiction, but the science usually has to make sense, but I find the creation of words and ideas so frustrating in Rajaniemi's works that he might as well be talking in a different language. I finally managed to finish, but not sure what it was all about.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good sequel 13 Dec 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The first book (Quantum Thief) took a while to make sense, and settle down into a style you could decipher and appreciate as new and different. Once you "got it" it became a refreshing new angle on storytelling that I like. This book carries on from the first and is already in it's stride, so instant fun. For all it's newness though there is an underlying sense of Conan Doyle about it. Every so often everything falls into place because Le Flambeur does something only he knows about and you are left wondering how that happened based on the scant information you were given. And we are not talking about red clay on a shoe here! This is not to say it is too unpredictable. I like the fact I have no idea where it is going for a change!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the last one 29 Nov 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I felt that this book shared some of the exquisitely creative concepts demonstrated in the quantum thief but the execution was slightly muddled with the clarity of the storyline sometimes suffering. It is worth persisting since the last fifth of the book does tie things together but especially in the early parts of the novel it is easy to feel a little lost.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inventive, Mind Blowing well crafted Future Epic 10 Nov 2012
By Ben G.
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
An absolute tour de force of inventiveness.
Fascinating worlds, beautifully rich technology and great characterisation makes the Fractal Prince into a must read.
You'll need a little patience at first, but stick with the somewhat disorienting lore and language and you'll be richly rewarded. As the texture and subtlety of this well-realised reality gradually reveals itself you'll be gripped, swept up in the journey and completely immersed in the almost magical technology.
In fact, because it is so seamlessly stitched into the lives of the people we're following, you soon understand why Rajaniemi doesn't just explain it - that would break the reality of the world he's created.
Get hold of this and dive in.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars KIng's new suit? 5 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Like the first in the series this should be read in conjunction with the explanatory Wiki article. You won't be much wiser, but it might help.The thing is to treat it like pure entertainment, and just blow through it, enjoying all the phantasmagorical happenings as you go.Don't try too make too much sense of it for the first couple of attempts, as everything is as mutable as in a dream.Things are changing constantly, not just in a wheels within wheels way, but in a nested box fashion, sort of Sheherazade meets the Neuromancer kind of effort.Is this author the new star on the scene,or is it all just a big lump of over-hyped techno-candyfloss? Is this style of "new physics" based fiction the shape of things to come? Well yes, S.F's not all Halo and shoot 'em ups, but I've seen it done better elsewhere with the gibberish and technobabble a bit more amenable to willing suspension of disbelief.Was I entertained? yes,and this is a keeper that I'll hopefully continue to return to for some time.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars What? 18 Oct 2012
By John W
Format:Hardcover
This book is difficult. The author is ruthless about not giving any help to the reader in explaining the meaning of technical and made-up words, or indeed just what on Earth is happening in the story.

Reading this is a bit like watching a really great movie (Inception, say) on TV during a thunderstorm - I was able to make out enough of what was going on to think it was pretty good, but frustrating because I wasn't always able to make everything out.

I don't understand what happened at the end - there was some kind of plot twist possibly introducing a new character, but I dunno. The ending promises a third instalment though, so maybe we need to wait a year or two to find out?

If you like sci-fi then like me you'll probably want to read this, because there is a definite something about it. I hope the author moderates his style in future though to accommodate the reader a bit more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Grand nonsense delightfully served
Douglas Adams meets Iain M Banks in penny dreadful format, engaging, entertaining and a fun romp, occasionally gets lost up its own arise and you can fall out of love with the... Read more
Published 7 days ago by C. M. Askey
1.0 out of 5 stars A slackers guide to writing SF
Oh deary deary me!
Hannu's first novel promised so much. Unfortunately his sequel just didn't deliver!
The quantum thief was quite enjoyable. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Mr. F. A. Driver
3.0 out of 5 stars Wouldn't read it again
I read it because I read the first one. And I have ordered the third one. But its not great, I would not read it again. It is a bit complicated.
Published 1 month ago by Rohit (NZ)
5.0 out of 5 stars challenging but satisfying
This book puts you through the mill of phsyco-metaphorical future-speak, but the reveals towards the end make the effort worthwhile!
Published 1 month ago by W12 Jock
5.0 out of 5 stars love it but . . . .
I was hugely excited by vol 1, The Quantum Thief. I thought that only 3 other books had opened things up for me like this one did: ( they are, Gibson's Neuromancer, Robson's... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr. David Mason
1.0 out of 5 stars Emperors new clothes perhaps?
Read the first, this second book is just very random, jumping from point to point, at times I had literally (and I do mean literally) no idea what was going on. Read more
Published 4 months ago by SteveJ
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding read
An outstanding read, Hannu takes current digital trends and warps and pushes them to the edge of, well I cant even think of a word that does it justice and then wraps it all round... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Roland
4.0 out of 5 stars Take it or leave it.
How you respond to this book will depend very much on how you view exposition in science fiction novels. Read more
Published 5 months ago by John Fletcher
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Clever
I really enjoyed this book - it's full of ideas while still being a fast-paced adventure. About halfway through I realised that I'd misunderstood a lot of the first book (The... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Brill
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read
I bought this for my son as he had read the authors first book and lived it. He was not disappointed with this one either
Published 8 months ago by K. L. Pegler
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