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The Quantum Thief

The Quantum Thief [Kindle Edition]

Hannu Rajaniemi
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
Kindle Price: £3.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Product Description


This is a sci-fi book to read; the world is pieced together masterfully and you get a detective/adventure story all in one. (Linda Bloduedd BOOK GIRL OF MUR-Y-CASTELL Blog )

Book Description

The most exciting SF debut of the last five years - a star to stand alongside Alistair Reynolds and Richard Morgan.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 493 KB
  • Print Length: 332 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (30 Sep 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0043M66Y0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #12,205 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Non-derivative science fiction - hooray! 11 Feb 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I agree with one of the other posters; this will probably become a classic. It is well written and highly imaginative, creating an original and yet oddly familiar future setting. Original in that it is refreshingly different to the well trodden space opera genre and is full of new ideas. True they are not all explained in detail and the author could have easily made the book 100-150 pages longer - but would it have been better? I'm not sure it would have been. It was refreshing to not have things explained in detail, scenes set , histories transcribed etc and to be catapulted into this strange and yet in some ways classic ie Martian setting - an almost Golden Age 1950's feel at times! It did feel slightly fragile now and then - but better that than the ponderous doorstops that get churned out all too often in this genre - and it has a welcome and subtle light touch that sets it apart from it's rivals. 4 or 5 stars? I'll give it 4 because I think he can get even better!

The best sci-fi I've read since early Banks' novels. I very much look forward to the next.
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86 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A new Classic 5 Oct 2010
By Diziet TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I think this is likely to become a sci-fi classic. Considering that it's also the first published work by Hannu Rajaniemi, that is pretty impressive.

I have to admit that, for the first chapter or so, I thought this was just going to be another techno-geek gadgetfest but I was definitely wrong. Like another reviewer, I found the start pretty confusing as the author does not give you much of a chance to get to grips with his terminology, with the result that I was left floundering about but hanging in there; a feeling I'm used to after reading a lot of Tricia Sullivan and C J Cherryh. And, like those writers, if you bear with it long enough, it starts to come together and repays the effort with interest.

Along the way, the story pays it's dues to it's sci-fi ancestors. I mean, the Quantum Thief - Jean le Flambeur - really reminds me of Harry Harrison's 'Stainless Steel Rat', while other characters, and even whole scenes, bring to mind Alfred Bester's 'Tiger! Tiger!' and 'The Demolished Man'.

However, even the technology has literary and classical references - '
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another promising writer pops up in my radar 8 April 2011
First things first, this is isn't the average book, there is a tang (maybe more) of weirdness to it. The novel is clearly space opera, but also not quite.

It starts with a prison, in fact, the Prison. A place with no clear boundaries because it can grow. It is also an unsual place because its directors make the prisioners play dangerous games and die, then its revival for them and repeat. That until the prisioners are redeemed of their criminal acts. It is from there one of our protagonist comes, Jean le Flaumber, a former thief who remembers nothing from his life.

He is rescued by Mieli and her ship, because of that he is in debt to her. The payback of the debt is what makes the story of "The Quantum Thief" and possibly of the second book, "The Fractal Prince".

Jean, Mieli and another surprise character meet in Oubliette, a peculiar city in a inhospitable planet, and problem starts brewing. It involves virtual inteligent beings, who could have come from real people or not, and even more odd things.

The novel also has a few elements of hard sf, a few quantum things, nanotechnology, among others, but nothing too detailed and hard to follow or unenjoyable, far from it, in fact.

It is original but within everyone comprehension. Definitely worth reading and waiting for a sequel.

Till next time,
M.I.T.H. (ManInsideTheHelm)
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable but hard to follow 5 Dec 2010
By Robert
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book. The first I have read by this author. I found the culture of a walking Martian city based on an idealised Paris fascinating. I am not sorry I bought it. There is a big but... Buuut...The thread of a tale can be easily broken by unfamiliar words or unexplained ideas. Several times I found myself reading a paragraph and was suddenly derailed trying to understand a concept or word. OK, a lot was explained later. But some of the plot never seemed to get explained. Which is why the last fifth of the book felt like a morass of porridge. I just could not understand what was going on. However the book was, mostly, a fun read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mind-bending start, turns into pacy pot-boiler 7 Aug 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought Quantum thief based on the Charles Stross endorsement - "I hate to say it, but he might be better at this stuff than I am".

This is partially true. The initial 4 or so chapters are pretty mind-bending, in that many plot facets are introduced without exposition. Narration is first person and is unreliable and partial - the main character being a partial-amnesiac.

What I like most about the style of this novel is that it doesn't spell it out for you. This is a tricky beast, challenging the reader to keep up.

The depth of characterisation, and humour is not quite up there with Stross, but the depth of world-building probably exceeds it. If you enjoyed Glasshouse by Stross this is comparable, think of it as a cross between that and Altered Carbon, minus [most of] the ultra-violence.

Good for fans of trans-humanist, anarchic fiction, not dullard space-opera. I have pre-ordered the squeal.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars an outstanding read
The ideas I found in here were all new to me, the book had me constantly reaching for understanding and I just loved it.
Published 23 days ago by Roland
5.0 out of 5 stars mind blowing!
Never read any book twice before and never written more than 20 words in a positive review in amazon. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Pendulum
4.0 out of 5 stars great
A great book but hard to read, a lot of made up words you're expected to know. . . . .
Published 3 months ago by Jay Kilvington
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent debut....
I first read this novel in 2011 and thought it was pretty good at the time, if a little complex in terms of the introduction of terms with no glossary. Read more
Published 4 months ago by The Patrician
4.0 out of 5 stars Wierdly Brilliant
Or maybe brilliantly wierd. Rajaniemi requires a bit of careful reading and can be difficult to follow but he has created an original world and unique stories. Read more
Published 7 months ago by C. A. Jarvis
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
This is an interesting book, however not my style as I thought it would have been, however this is not a bad reflection of the book which is excellently written, although can be... Read more
Published 8 months ago by A. Jefferys
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Creative But ...
... in some ways not an easy read. It is definitely worth persevering with this book. Rajaniemi has a vivid imagination and his writing is in itself easy enough to read, it is his... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Peter J. Holmes
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This is an amazing book, well worth its reputation and hype. It not for everyone, since the story craft is complicated; Rajaniemi writing is exceptional but requires effort to... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Morgriot
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear
This really is an overrated product. I bought this on the strength of reviews on here and it is badly written turgid drivel. Read more
Published 9 months ago by The Goat
1.0 out of 5 stars Another potential frisbee
I'm on page 9 and I've got that sinking feeling that I've bought another stinker.
This is the second crap book in a row I've bought based on Amazon reviews. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Mr E. McConnell
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