- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Gollancz (1 Nov. 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0575088893
- ISBN-13: 978-0575088894
- Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2.2 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 165,963 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Quantum Thief Paperback – 1 Nov 2011
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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)
The most exciting SF debut of the last five years - a star to stand alongside Alistair Reynolds and Richard Morgan.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
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 - '...Read more ›
The best sci-fi I've read since early Banks' novels. I very much look forward to the next.
To be sure, this debut is chock full of interesting ideas, and yet it's entirely unentertaining -- I can't recall the last book that I fell asleep to so many times. The protagonists barely register as characters, and since the consciousness of individuals exist in the book in various iterations of uploads, restores, and copies, it's even harder to become invested in any character's story or development. Meanwhile, the plot is an entirely convoluted caper that is both (A) exceedingly hard to decipher, and (B) ultimately kind of meaningless. The best precis of the book comes from one character's summation on page 293: "An interplanetary thief is building a picotech machine out of the city itself while the cyptarchs take over people's minds to try to destroy the zoku colony to stop the tzaddikim from breaking their power."
Uh...yeah... Maybe part of my problem is that I don't have much of a head for science, and all the stuff in this book about quantum particles and whatnot all just flies over my head. There's a whole ton of singularity, AI, social networking, privacy theories and ideas pumped up on steroids throughout.Read more ›
Tell you what, though: all my complaints aside, had there been some sort of index, I would have gladly (and repeatedly) referred to it during the mind-boggling first third of The Quantum Thief. Finnish debut author Hannu Rajaniemi does not condescend to explain much of anything in the opening act of his first novel. Nor, indeed, are convenient infodumps forthcoming in the remainder. There is a great swathe of races to get to know - Tzaddikim, Quiet, zoku and Sobornost - not to mention a wealth of initially baffling concepts to wrap your head around, from gevulots and spimescapes to Watches and agoras. The tomorrow's world of The Quantum Thief is one in motion from the get-go; its inexorable forward motion will fluster even the most grizzled veteran of hard science fiction, and there's hardly a chance to catch your breath.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Really not my cup of tea this one.
I am an avid reader of what some may consider 'hard core' science fiction, but I'm afraid this book is not a shining example of the... Read more
I really struggled with this book. It has some great ideas in it, but the author makes it incredibly hard work to follow - cleverness at the expense of readability and plot. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Paul Vanags
I’m not really sure what to think about this one. I’ve been searching for an Iain M. Banks replacement since his death and it’s all been a bit fruitless. Read morePublished 8 months ago by G Adams
Quite simply, one of the worst novels I have ever read. Style over substance and, despite what others have claimed, hugely derivative.Published 11 months ago by A. Martin
Confusing but brilliant. Stick with it, it's Sci-fi catching up.Published 12 months ago by Amazon Customer
This book starts well, and gets even better.
You are immediately immersed in a different world, often with no explanation of terms as they appear. Read more
A little difficult to get into, but deeply rewarding. Posthumans, and innovative thought about how societies grow and die. Makes me think of Banks at his best.Published 15 months ago by Cass M
Expansive, excruciatingly entertaining epic and if this is setting the tone for future works, were all in for a treat.Published 15 months ago by A J J Rowland