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Sci-fi Author Charles Stross Cancels Trilogy: the NSA Is Already Doing It

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the can-we-convince-the-NSA-to-spy-on-a-ringworld dept.

Sci-Fi 208

doom writes "Charles Stross has announced that there won't be a third book in the Halting State trilogy because reality (in a manner of speaking) has caught up to him too fast The last straw was apparently the news that the NSA planted spies in networked games like WoW. Stross comments: 'At this point, I'm clutching my head. Halting State wasn't intended to be predictive when I started writing it in 2006. Trouble is, about the only parts that haven't happened yet are Scottish Independence and the use of actual quantum computers for cracking public key encryption (and there's a big fat question mark over the latter-- what else are the NSA up to?).'"

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208 comments

Blah blah blah, free scotch, blah blah (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664307)

I'm sorry, what did you say? Hic!

Wow! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664315)

Another book becoming real!

Re:Wow! (1, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#45664395)

Another book becoming real!

I think we can safely say this has advanced to the stage of yet another*.

* it's a technical term.

Re:Wow! (1)

sudden.zero (981475) | about 7 months ago | (#45664529)

Agreed!

See what you have done, NSA ? (5, Funny)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 7 months ago | (#45664477)

Dear NSA,

You not only cost us our privacy, the privacy that we treasure so much.

Now you cost us a good book !

What else are you going to cost us, NSA ??

Re:See what you have done, NSA ? (5, Funny)

Cryacin (657549) | about 7 months ago | (#45664859)

Dear Mr. Stross,

It is with great regret that we have learned of the discontinuation of your how-to manual, Halting State.

We have unfortunately not been able to encourage Scotland to secede from the United Kingdom in a timely manner, however, we assure you that our state of Quantum Computing has reached appropriate levels.

We have been eagerly awaiting your third instalment. Considering your decision to discontinue your series, we would appreciate any notes you have to be emailed. Anywhere will be fine.

Yours sincerely,

Manne I. Black
NSA

Re:See what you have done, NSA ? (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about 7 months ago | (#45664919)

Considering your decision to discontinue your series, we would appreciate any notes you have to be emailed.

With this sentence you've given away the fake. Of course the NSA already knows his notes in detail. Better than he himself, in fact.

Re:See what you have done, NSA ? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45665665)

With this sentence you've given away the fake.

C'mon that sentence with its postcedent: "Anywhere will be fine" is the payload.

Email it anywhere ... too good!

Re:See what you have done, NSA ? (4, Funny)

flyneye (84093) | about 7 months ago | (#45666593)

Dear Batman,

          Since I don't believe in Santa Claus, could you take a break from patrolling Gotham to dismantle the evil NSA and put those responsible for it in Arkham Asylum?
I'm convinced the Penguin is behind it, due to the scope, peril and nuisance involved. Lotta tuxedos in the D.C. and burbs area. The proliferation of clowns in the White House/Capitol Hill/Lincoln Memorial areas would suggest that the Joker has been masquerading as President for years now. Could you rid us of these fiends and their henchmen?

Re:Wow! (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664565)

It's not just books. There I was, happily watching Person Of Interest, and then it turns out the premise behind a Sci-Fi show is true.

I don't know how many bottles of scotch the writers must have got through before they managed to start writing Season 3, but I'm guessing it came by the crate.

Scottish Independance (5, Funny)

LaminatorX (410794) | about 7 months ago | (#45664327)

The Scotts are to have a referendum on independance next year, as far as that goes.

Re:Scottish Independance (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664413)

and there's a big fat question mark over the latter

those of us who are plus-sized more to love find that discription offensive

don't even get me started on how the hispanic community feels about socalled "spic and span"

Re:Scottish Independance (2)

meerling (1487879) | about 7 months ago | (#45664807)

Please stop looking for insults where none exist.

Re: Scottish Independance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664875)

it was sarcastic.

Re:Scottish Independance (2)

amicusNYCL (1538833) | about 7 months ago | (#45665587)

and there's a big fat question mark over the latter

those of us who are plus-sized more to love find that discription offensive

Lighten up, Francis. There's just more to love about the question mark.

Re:Scottish Independance (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45666221)

Then stop scarfing down fast food and other junk, get some exercise, and stop being fat. Problem solved.

Re:Scottish Independance (4, Informative)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#45664429)

The Scotts are to have a referendum on independance next year, as far as that goes.

With Madrid shaking its angry little fist at Scotland, saying the can't be admitted to the EU (which is an indirect way to dissuade Catalonia from pursuing independence as well.)

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!

Re:Scottish Independance (5, Insightful)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | about 7 months ago | (#45665197)

Well, if Europe doesn't want Scotland. We could use a 51st state. Especially one with such great scotch.

Re:Scottish Independance (5, Funny)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about 7 months ago | (#45665617)

Yes, but what would we do for the 52nd and 53rd states? We need 53, after all, the US is "One nation, indivisible."

Re:Scottish Independance (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#45665973)

Yes, but what would we do for the 52nd and 53rd states? We need 53, after all, the US is "One nation, indivisible."

Puerto Rico and Jefferson (The XX (Double Cross) State)

Re:Scottish Independance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664609)

Mentioned in the article as far as that goes.
In fact its one of two votes (other is UK leaving EU) that he says affected the decision to not release a third book.

I therefore conclude that there is simply no point in my starting to write a near-future politically astute crime thriller set in Scotland before I know the outcome of those votes

Summary is misleading, but its really not unreasonable to actually read the article. This one is only about a half dozen paragraphs.

Re:Scottish Independance (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#45664777)

... and I've got my immigration application signed and ready to send out*, just in case the independence movement actually succeeds :)

*Emigrating to Scotland, not from.

Re:Scottish Independance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45665083)

Hmmmmm.....

You might like to look beyond the "jam tomorrow" promises in the SNP "white paper" on the benefits of Independence.

Re:Scottish Independance (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#45665991)

... and I've got my immigration application signed and ready to send out*, just in case the independence movement actually succeeds :)

*Emigrating to Scotland, not from.

Sorry, but there can be only one Highlander.

Re:Scottish Independance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664797)

Given Charlie Stross live in Scotland I think he may know that.

Re:Scottish Independance (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45666395)

Could anyone who voted this as Funny explain why?

Scotland (4, Funny)

Threni (635302) | about 7 months ago | (#45664339)

Still, us English folk can only hope that a future which consists of the Scots living quietly amongst themselves and us not having to put up with that awful dirge Auld Lang Syne every bloody New Year's Eve isn't the stuff of science fiction...

Re:Scotland (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664435)

Still, us English folk can only hope that a future which consists of the Scots living quietly amongst themselves and us not having to put up with that awful dirge Auld Lang Syne every bloody New Year's Eve isn't the stuff of science fiction...

Something seems odd about that line.

Scots living quietly amongst themselves

Ah, right, that bit. What possibly makes you think Scots would (or could) ever be quiet?

Re:Scotland (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664579)

Hey, I'm FROM Scotland, how do you think I feel? I need to deal with that song IN REAL LIFE.

Re:Scotland (1)

Aboroth (1841308) | about 7 months ago | (#45664897)

Huh? Oh you mean that song where everyone sings "An old man's eye, my dear, an old man's eye."

Re:Scotland (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664953)

You're not doing it right, you're supposed to be very drunk, standing in a big circle linked arms, and running in and out of the middle. It's not supposed to go that slow either.

In America... (0)

Anarchy24 (964386) | about 7 months ago | (#45664373)

TV watch you.

Bitcoin. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664407)

Who needs quantum computers to hack public keys.
All those Bitcoin mining computers are actually secretly hacking encryption keys for the NSA.

Probably writer's block (5, Interesting)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#45664421)

It's probably just writer's block. Intelligence agency interest in on-line games was in the news back around 2006-2008, just like the warrantless wiretapping controversy. If he was going to abandon it for the stated reason I would expect he would have done it then. Besides, this sort of thing hasn't really stopped other writers from creating interesting stories.

Re:Probably writer's block (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664887)

With Bush, it was still Science Fiction. With Obama, it has become Science Fact.

Re:Probably writer's block (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45665355)

What? None of the programs being disclosed are _new_. In fact, some of the most egregious only existed under Bush (although they undoubtedly continue under Obama, but technically under a different program umbrella).

Re:Probably writer's block (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45665729)

If you read the actual blog post, there's a PS at the end that some of the ideas are going into the trilogy he is writing now and furthermore that he will write a third police procedural: just that current events with the NSA have utterly broken his future history so he'll have to scrap it and make a new one from scratch that incorporates the recent NSA revelations.

Re:Probably writer's block (1)

Camembert (2891457) | about 7 months ago | (#45666153)

So far in his prolific career, Stross has never been short of ideas. Writer's Block is highly unlikely. As he posts in the blog, likely he will write a book with the recent NSA revelations as the baseline, and extrapolate from there.

This got modded up? (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#45666603)

So somebody that has been continuously publishing work gets accused of writers block?

Little Brother (0)

nitzmahone (164842) | about 7 months ago | (#45664425)

Yawn. MMO spies figured prominently in Cory Doctorow's "Little Brother" in 2008.

Re:Little Brother (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664983)

You're plugging Doctorow on this site? Lemme get my popcorn....

Already use quantum computers to crack (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664481)

Mostly just use the built-in cryptography backdoors, however.

Pick your favourite outcome! (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664515)

Would we rather see...

- A Neal Stephenson world
- A George Orwell world
- A Cory Doctorow world
- A Aldous Huxley world
- Name your world...

Re:Pick your favourite outcome! (2)

cusco (717999) | about 7 months ago | (#45664575)

CJ Cherryh's Foreigner world

Re:Pick your favourite outcome! (1)

davecb (6526) | about 7 months ago | (#45664971)

Yes! I want to file for a change of government tomorrow (:-))
--dave

Re:Pick your favourite outcome! (2)

jimshatt (1002452) | about 7 months ago | (#45664589)

A Ron Jeremy world!

Re:Pick your favourite outcome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664635)

You're fucked!

We are already fucked ! (2)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 7 months ago | (#45664823)

You're fucked!

We are already fucked no matter how you look at it.

The technology that we have (and the more advanced versions of technology that the BIG BROTHERS get to play with) today already enables 24/7/365 tracking - and the way we laid out our "rules and regulation" we have already submitted EVERYTHING THAT IS RELATED TO US (our name, our address, our car registration number, our HAM radio identification, our spouse' identity, the identity of our children, our education, the subjects that we took in the schools, and so on) to the authority (aka BIG BROTHERS).

They know us better than we know ourselves.

They know us so well that they can actually predict what we most probably going to do and/or going to be next week/month/year, while most of us do not even know what we are going to do next weekend.

Re:Pick your favourite outcome! (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#45664787)

Anne McCaffrey.

I'd happily live on Pern, Thread and all.

Re:Pick your favourite outcome! (4, Insightful)

HeckRuler (1369601) | about 7 months ago | (#45664813)

So...
Corporocracy
Totalitarian states in constant war
A post-scarcity utopia that hinges on karma
A utopia where the people are bribed into apathy/foolishness

I'd go with Doctorow.

Re:Pick your favourite outcome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664893)

^This. Totally this. Cory Doctorow understands technology better than almost anyone else writing today.

Re:Pick your favourite outcome! (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 7 months ago | (#45666327)

How about this: The old governments do not change, instead the corporations incite violence by proxy. Countries conquering countries is over, they're "freed" instead. The country borders and names left the same, but the corporations fight on economic fronts to institute their economic systems and siphon up as much wealth and work from the lower and middle classes as possible in a shadow war between the people of the world and Marxist Corpratism.

Welcome to the real world circa 1970-201X [youtube.com]

As always, reality is better and stranger than fiction.

A Larry Niven world (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about 7 months ago | (#45665107)

More options, and more hope.. and Moties look like they would be fun to hang out with. Tho preferably after the Kzin wars are over.. i don't want to be eaten by a cat.

Can i sign up to be an ARM agent?

Re:Pick your favourite outcome! (5, Insightful)

Esteanil (710082) | about 7 months ago | (#45665181)

Definitively a Iain M. Banks world (The Culture)

Re:Pick your favourite outcome! (1)

occasional_dabbler (1735162) | about 7 months ago | (#45665871)

At least in the cosy parts. Certainly you wouldn't want to live in a Neal Asher World (The Owner Trilogy)

Re:Pick your favourite outcome! (2)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#45666617)

I'll vote for a "Letters to Playboy" world.

Maybe his novel wasn't so novel (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664543)

A lot of fiction looks dated when current events or technology surpass what was supposed to be a look at the future. This time it caught up with this novelist before he even finished his story. Some are suggesting it caught up with him before he finished the previous piece of it.

Such is the life of a novelist. Next time be more novel.

Re:Maybe his novel wasn't so novel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45665231)

You mean the only thing that made it worth while was the ancilary descriptions of technology? Yeah, this is why Sci-Fi sucks. You know there are perfectly good stories that are even set in present or even past periods of time that entertain the reader through plot development and interpersonal relationships.

Re:Maybe his novel wasn't so novel (4, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | about 7 months ago | (#45665865)

Good SF is a period piece set in the future. OK SF is about discovering some revolutionary new wonder. TV/Movie "skiffy" is about explosions and effects and depictions of new technology - ick.

Advice to Charles Stross (3, Funny)

Mister Liberty (769145) | about 7 months ago | (#45664545)

Be quick and write that book where a large government structure, say like the Bastille,
is being stormed by citizens, and the Repulbic of the truly Free can finally be established

Re:Advice to Charles Stross (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45665031)

Yes, and don't worry about the fact the US and it's war on freedom extends well beyond its own borders.

Re:Advice to Charles Stross (1)

couchslug (175151) | about 7 months ago | (#45665819)

"Be quick and write that book where a large government structure, say like the Bastille,is being stormed by citizens, and the Repulbic of the truly Free can finally be established"

Even blackjack and hookers would do nicely.

Re:Advice to Charles Stross (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45666747)

The book would probably be banned, though.

Imagine a boot... (0)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 7 months ago | (#45664573)

The parts are all there to build the machine that tracks you amd ypur vehicle and phone, continuously, so someone could see a 3D Google map with you and a little right-click menu to call up your phone calls live, history (not just metafata) and a little ff/rw button to go back in time tracking you.

There are a number of sci-fi stories, and a TV show now, with exactly this.

Remember, NSA agents are supposed to fill out a form before listening in on the phone calls of presidents and senators and you.

We don't have to buy novels anymore! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664587)

Somehow, despite all the odds and the lessons learned from WW2 we managed it. Apparently the reality of corrupt, greedy, paranoid government abuse of civil rights in order to funnel cash to the owners of entities like Booz Allen Hamilton is too much: A noted science fiction author with futurist skills can't keep ahead even though he's the guy who figured out the trend of lifelogging as the likely end of privacy.
We win, the news is a functional replacement for new Stross novels! Of course we lose too, because at this point it's only a question of who gets to be either middle class or upper class instead of a serf. Considering automation technology is advancing by leaps and bounds there may be no serfs in the future. That hypothesis is in accord with the Obama-administration play of drone strikes as the preferred means of dealing with unpersons.

Seriously, we fucked up. We should've never let the surveillance-state develop and now it's too late to claw it back from Microsoft, Google, NRO, NSA and the rest of that terrifying crew of large bureaucracies. The only real question is whether we stand a chance in the war that has already started, or if they did too good a job of dividing and conquering and it'll just be slow extermination.

I've had the same problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664613)

I actually just scrapped the entire beginning of my sci-fi novel a few years ago for the same reason. Part of it was set in the EU, with riots breaking out and political trouble over the unification of the EU government versus each EU signatory being able to make their own laws independently. I was even really proud of the riot scene I'd written, it felt amazing and was one of the best things I'd ever written according to others that read it. Then like a month after it was completed an incredibly similar thing happened with the Greek riots over austerity, with similarities down to the way the molotov cocktails were being used. Apparently I'd done my research too well.

And this is why great science fiction novels have dropped compared to earlier decades. You write about drones being in the future and the next month you see Amazon experimenting with actually delivering packages with them. You write about people stuck in VR games and you read about someone dying on a Warcraft binge or see a talkshow host trying out the Occulus on his show. You need to go so far into the future, for which you need to know so much about physics and engineering and etc. to even try and predict what will happen, that you may as well start looking for a job applying that knowledge rather than struggle to be a writer with totally uncertain income.

Re:I've had the same problem (1)

Smauler (915644) | about 7 months ago | (#45665293)

The plot you mention doesn't contain any sci-fi, at all. Drones have been about for ages, VR is still crap, and no one car get stuck in it (how would that even happen, anyway?).

Predictive fiction has always been problematic... I don't know one writer who's got the last 50 years close to right. Half thought we'd be living on the moon and mars, the other half thought the Soviets would have invaded or bombed us to dust, and none of them predicted the pervasiveness of computers or the Internet.

Re:I've had the same problem (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#45666689)

Half thought we'd be living on the moon and mars

They are just the ones that didn't see Nixon coming. Who would have thought that the USA would throw away an expensive space station despite having several years to save it and enough bits of Saturn V already built to do so. I think that was the turning point, throwing away Skylab, giving up on the moon and distracting everyone into the ever changing Shuttle project for long enough that a generation of expertise was lost.

Re:I've had the same problem (1)

alexgieg (948359) | about 7 months ago | (#45665611)

You need to go so far into the future, for which you need to know so much about physics and engineering and etc. to even try and predict what will happen, that you may as well start looking for a job applying that knowledge rather than struggle to be a writer with totally uncertain income.

Maybe that's a sign that the Singularity is indeed going to happen. The whole idea is that the speed of technological achievements continues to increase to the point new advances start coming faster than we can follow them. After the Singularity you're presumed to live like this: you start to become acquainted to the last industrial revolution-like development, with all it entails in terms of new technologies, and you hear it's already 20 generations behind, individual technological achievements within each of those revolutions so numerous they can't even be numbered. Then you start to vaguely and very superficially try to get a glimpse of what they were about and 50 new revolutions happened in the meantime...

Science fiction just isn't possible when science goes faster than your writing. At best you start writing fantasy as the difference isn't clear anymore.

Well boo hoo hoo hoo! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664663)

Let the crazy paranoid loon not produce his book. He is only harming his own career and reputation.

It was not predictive (2)

Trogre (513942) | about 7 months ago | (#45664817)

The NSA has been heavily monitoring Internet traffic since the 90s, and no one seemed to mind.

Perhaps it was predictive in the sense of people suddenly becoming outraged about it now.

Re:It was not predictive (1)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 7 months ago | (#45665139)

It's predictive if all you read is near-future sci-fi. Most of the sci-fi we call predictive is either mere coincidence or some bored engineer reading or watching it and deciding it's a cool thing to make things like sentient AI (Asimov, Clarke, et al), a multipurpose hand-held information acquisition tool (Star Trek), or a laser-based space defense system (Star Wars). So no suprise there. If you fire in one general direction enough times, you're bound to hit the bull's eye some time.

Re:It was not predictive (2)

Trogre (513942) | about 7 months ago | (#45665933)

Indeed, that is true. Though I was referring more to the fact that while he was writing those books, the surveillance was already widely known to be happening in his present, not the future, and had been for some time.

It would be a bit like writing a science fiction novel today that involved a global social network or semi-robotic car assembly lines.

They don't need to crack anything (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 7 months ago | (#45664873)

All indications are that Verisign and others were compelled to turn over their master keys, so what's left to crack? Seriously, via MitM they can own just about any internet-using box on the planet, and failing that, there's always the cousin of Stuxnet.

The only solution at this point is a human one - make them stop. Technologically, it's already past game over.

Re:They don't need to crack anything (1)

wed128 (722152) | about 7 months ago | (#45665945)

Or stop trusting central authorities. Run a certificate authority, hand out keys out-of-band, and do the "Web of trust" thing the old fashioned way.

There's no reason you need somebody like Verisign for personal, or even public, communication.

Re:They don't need to crack anything (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about 7 months ago | (#45666201)

No reason other than every browser on the planet warning its users not to trust your certificate authority, you mean?

Re:They don't need to crack anything (1)

wed128 (722152) | about 7 months ago | (#45666485)

They *SHOULD* warn, unless the person browsing explicitly trusts you. That's the whole point.

Unless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45664929)

Maybe what really happened is that the NSA got to him. Maybe he was a bit too clairvoyant.

Well... (1)

sharknado (3217097) | about 7 months ago | (#45664965)

I wouldn't have cancelled the trilogy - there's a unique opportunity here for a twist ending. For example, the president of the NSA could be a cyborg. Or maybe the third book could be a satire - introduce a Snowden-type character into the novel and have him assassinated / kidnapped by the government, or start a war between the US and the country providing his asylum that ends in nuclear winter.

Re:Well... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45665095)

It seems the NSA is into turning fiction into fact - so don't give them any ideas.

How about a twist where the NSA say they won't illegally spy anymore (and mean it), delete all old data, and everyone lives happily ever after. (Copy that one NSA!)

By not giving them any idea ... (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 7 months ago | (#45665367)

It seems the NSA is into turning fiction into fact - so don't give them any ideas

You and I may think that as long as we do not give them any idea it's fine.

But you and I do not know that by deciding NOT to give them any idea, it is already another IMPORTANT idea that we are giving to the NSA (and all other BIG BROTHERS)

Remember, to those who know how to play this game - Silence is an answer, non-cooperation is an action, and not-giving-any-idea by itself is a very useful idea.

Re:Well... (1)

dbIII (701233) | about 7 months ago | (#45666715)

After hearing about the Star Trek set thing it appears that satire of the NSA has nowhere to go. Reality appears to be far more stupid than readers would be willing to swallow.

A scary thought. (4, Funny)

Molt (116343) | about 7 months ago | (#45665251)

It could be worse, The Laundry could be becoming reality.

The real problem here... (1)

Vitriol+Angst (458300) | about 7 months ago | (#45665303)

... anything sufficiently distancing itself from reality is too farfetched to make a plausible premise. I mean, he COULD say that they take DNA from citizens and then create virtual humans inside a matrix to predict human interaction to better control the population.

Then we have a virtual Snowden break lose on the web like Max Headroom and someone ends up with another case of writers block.

Douglas Adams (1)

Tokolosh (1256448) | about 7 months ago | (#45665361)

HHGTTG had six books in the trilogy, so I think we are being short-changed here...

Re:Douglas Adams (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45666725)

Or... in making a six-book trilogy, Douglas Adams threatened to violate the symmetry of the trinity. Nature had to cut other trilogies short in order to restore balance to the universe.

New direction for his creativity (5, Interesting)

namgge (777284) | about 7 months ago | (#45665393)

Perhaps Mr Stross could use his skills to to describe an imaginary world where the government told the whole truth to the electorate, there was a right to privacy, and only politicians were systematically spied on and investigated...

It sure would be interesting to know what that would be like.

Re:New direction for his creativity (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45665519)

That would not be science fiction. That would be fantasy.

Re:New direction for his creativity (1)

DMUTPeregrine (612791) | about 7 months ago | (#45665641)

Ian M. Banks' Culture series does that pretty well.

Re:New direction for his creativity (1)

anarcat (306985) | about 7 months ago | (#45665867)

Actually, that last part (politicians were systematically spied on and investigated) is one of the key plot elements of the novel "The Circle" by Dave Eggers - except everyone is spied on there...

I DON'T CARE (1)

Rinikusu (28164) | about 7 months ago | (#45665505)

I still want to read it!!!! I love Stross' work and I imagine his 3rd installment would still be a good read, regardless of real world applicability.

Re:I DON'T CARE (1)

lgw (121541) | about 7 months ago | (#45666085)

He's still writing a book with many of the same ideas. I'll just be glad if he drops the "second person storytelling" gimmick. That was clever for about one chapter, and most people won't even get the joke.

Cop out (0)

squidflakes (905524) | about 7 months ago | (#45665557)

Wait, so I can literally blame anything on the NSA?

I ran out of ideas and motivation for my next book because of the NSA!

I'm late for work today because of the NSA!

Sorry, I can't afford child support this month because of the NSA!

This really sounds like a steaming pile of bullshit to me. Not that I'm in any way supportive of the actions of the NSA, but stating that you're not going to finish a series because it has become too much like real life just smacks of someone taking an easy way out.

Re:Cop out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45665771)

Wait, so I can literally blame anything on the NSA?

I ran out of ideas and motivation for my next book because of the NSA!

I'm late for work today because of the NSA!

Sorry, I can't afford child support this month because of the NSA!

This really sounds like a steaming pile of bullshit to me. Not that I'm in any way supportive of the actions of the NSA, but stating that you're not going to finish a series because it has become too much like real life just smacks of someone taking an easy way out.

Actually, he got a quiet visit from some people who informed him that certain critical plot elements divulged matters covered under the Official Secrets act. Including the part of the Act that itself is kept secret. And they took away his drafts and manuscripts. Because of the NSA!

Re:Cop out (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45665785)

Sorry, I actually did RTFA (well, I follow Stross's blog...), and he said nothing of the kind. In his opinion, the NSA revelations break the universe he created for Halting State/Rule 34 so he does not feel like another book in the same continuity makes sense. On the other hand, Halting State and Rule 34 weren't really related plot-wise anyway, so the fact that the third book---which the linked blog post says he still intends to write--won't be in that continuity doesn't seem like that big a deal to me.

Re:Cop out (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45666713)

That Rule 34 book is nothing like the pics would led you to believe.

NSA does not have a quantum computer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45666215)

Posting anonymously for obvious reasons.

People who think it's plausible that the NSA has a quantum computer do not now how insanely hard is it to build one.

I'm a PhD student in physics, and I know personally several people trying to build real quantum computers. The ones that are most advanced -- the Innsbruck group -- have a design that's inherently non-scalable (ion trap). An the ones that do have a scalable design (my best guess are the superconducting qubits at IBM) are still decades away from being useful.

To think that NSA would have managed to build a quantum computer and keep it a secret is on the same level of insanity as thinking the US would have been able to make the Manhattan project and kept it a secret for 20 years.

mod _0p (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45666487)

locating #GNAA, BSD machines lube is wi4ed 0ff BSD's codebase goal here? How can has significantly copy a 17 Meg file A previously On an endeavour

Started writing it in 2006 (1)

koan (80826) | about 7 months ago | (#45666523)

Bro do you even type?

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