Thumbs up for The Quantum Thief by Hannu Rajaniemi. Science fiction.
So, to start with, wow. If you’ve read my review of the author’s Collected Fictions, a lot of that applies here too. If you haven’t read what I said there and are too lazy to click over, suffice it to say I Like This Author A Lot But He Will Make You Work. Now, amplify that work by a couple of hundred pages and you have The Quantum Thief. You will not understand it. That is not because you are stupid or because Rajaniemi is a bad writer. On the contrary, he is a great writer who is confusing the fuck out of you on purpose by giving you a novel that is constructed like a puzzle, in the reading of which you are guaranteed not to understand, say, how the death of a chocolatier, a city racing around on the backs of the temporarily-dead, and mind-thieves all fit together. You will just have to trust that they do, and enjoy the not-knowingness along the way. Whether this will float your boat or not is something that you will know better than I.
That, in itself, is a testament to the chocolatier’s success. The red-brick building with the huge mural depicting cocoa beans sits in one of the most desirable locations of the city. A green space with low, rolling hills perhaps three hundred metres across, like all the interlocking parts of the City, the park is carried by a walking robotic platform. The green fields are dotted with tall, graceful, Kingdom-era villas that the young Time-rich of the Oubliette restore and incorporate into the city. Isidore has never understood the need of some of his generation to burn their Time fast on material goods and services, spending their Noble lives in a brief opulence before the long, back-breaking labour as a Quiet. Especially when there are mysteries to solve.
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