Book Review: Halting State

This was my first Kindle book. That’s right Charlie Kindel bought a Kindle. I have to say it’s getting annoying having everyone saying my name…

Here’s my quick review of Halting State by Charles Stross

The big idea is an interesting one: the future world where MMORPG gaming becomes so ubiquitous that the following happens

  1. Humans participate everywhere because their mobiles are powerful enough to get them in the game.  Gesture based control with head’s-up-displays via eyeglasses.
  2. The Man uses MMORPGs not only to spy on the public, but to manipulate (and train) them.
  3. Crimes committed in the virtual realty of a MMORPG can be serious enough to jeopardize national security, and result in murder.

As a person formerly addicted to Asheron’s Crack I’m a believer that all the above will come true.  Mr. Stross does a fair job of showing us what it may look like.

I found the Scottish accents distracting and was disappointed with the ending. I won’t spoil it for you, but I just expected more, given how the story built up.

If you are into hard Sci-Fi, and want a slightly different perspective of what society may be in like in 10 or so years, I’d recommend Halting State.

© Charlie Kindel. All Rights Reserved.

1 comment


  1. Interesting as I just finished his ‘Glasshouse’ and there were elements of game theory in that as well, though more from an angle of being manipulated in a controlled environment and how you maintain your sense of self when you’re immersed in such a situation.

    All in all I found it entertaining and you can tell he has a lot of ideas that he’s trying to explore via the story instead of the ideas just being plot devices to move it along. Glad to see someone review ‘Halting State’ as that’s on my Christmas list 🙂

    I’m assuming he ‘writes’ the Scottish brogue? So far the only writer I’ve ever really felt pulled it off perfectly is Irvine Welsh in any of his books, all of which I greatly enjoyed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *