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The Fractal Prince (Quantum Thief 2) Hardcover – 27 Sep 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; Hardback edition (27 Sept. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575088915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575088917
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 2.9 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 163,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

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

Book Description

Sensational SF from a new global star in the genre.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By D. Harris TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 17 Oct. 2012
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By I. Baxter on 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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 12 Oct. 2013
Format: Paperback
It wasn't the fact that there is no explanation at all of the exceedingly complex back story against which the action unfolds that caused me to dump this book in the waste bin halfway through. I'd worked my way through `The Quantum Thief' which has the same problem, not all that happily, but still enjoyably because Mr Rajamiemi writes very well. You have this vocabulary in both books referring to events, people, societies, technology which is simply thrown at you and you have to surf across it or sink. I have been reading hard SF and Fantasy for many decades and this sort of back story is common. But not to explain it at all is outside my experience and in my view is stupid posturing that detracts from the book. Consider `The Lord of the Rings'. Tolkein had as complex a back story (if less Quantum technology) but took you with him via some explanation en route and by all the Appendices at the end of Volume 3.

Nonetheless, while I consider this approach to be a grave mistake, I could have lived with it. Rather it was an incident half way through that caused me to stop, analyse what was happening and realise I had better things to do. Our hero (probably - uploading and copying of minds makes for some uncertainty here) is tied to a chair in a virtual reality environment and is about to be tortured by an entity that looked like a tiger a page or two before but now has a human aspect (there is no explanation at this point of why this happens). Suddenly by a mechanism which is also not explained our hero turns the tables and triumphs. This is no more than the `with one bound he was free' device used by the writers of Victorian serials. After some thought I decided that the real weakness of this book is the fact that the characters we come to care about are never in serious jeopardy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Simon Edgar on 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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