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The Fractal Prince (Quantum Thief 2) [Hardcover]

Hannu Rajaniemi
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
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Book Description

27 Sep 2012 Quantum Thief 2

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.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; Hardback edition (27 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575088915
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575088917
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 346,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Its great virtue arguably lies in its very strangeness. (SFX MAGAZINE 2013-12-01) --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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wild code 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. 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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of talent and time 12 Oct 2013
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
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
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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 days 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 14 days 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 1 month 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 3 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 4 months ago by K. L. Pegler
1.0 out of 5 stars A rubbish book
This is not a real story, fragmented and nightmarish. A four year old might like you to read it at bed time.
Published 7 months ago by James 42
4.0 out of 5 stars Not As Good As The First Book, But Still Good
I found this book to be less entertaining than the first Jean Le Flambeur book, and a little hard-going at times. Nevertheless, it is a good read
Published 9 months ago by Mark Rawsthorne
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave new writing
One of those books like Wolf Hall where you need to let the prose wash over you and let it draw you in and on: it’s not necessarily an easy read but is 100% worth the effort. Read more
Published 10 months ago by mr dj High
2.0 out of 5 stars I just could not get into this book
Sorry Hannu, you got me on this one. I simply could not remain interested in the plot or the characters when so little was explained to this dumb reader. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mike Roach
4.0 out of 5 stars Good sequel, though not as good a 1st
This sequel to the Quantum Thief follows the same style as the 1st. New words are thrown about, and their meaning only explained much later. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Shantnu Tiwari
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