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Sci-fi Author Charles Stross Cancels Trilogy: the NSA Is Already Doing It 208

Posted by Soulskill
from the can-we-convince-the-NSA-to-spy-on-a-ringworld dept.
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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Sci-fi Author Charles Stross Cancels Trilogy: the NSA Is Already Doing It

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  • by LaminatorX (410794) <sabotage@nosPaM.praecantator.com> on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @05:51PM (#45664327) Homepage

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

  • Scotland (Score:4, Funny)

    by Threni (635302) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @05:53PM (#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 (Score:1, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @05:59PM (#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?

  • by Taco Cowboy (5327) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @06:03PM (#45664477) Journal

    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 ??

  • by Mister Liberty (769145) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @06:09PM (#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:Wow! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @06:10PM (#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.
  • by Cryacin (657549) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @06:34PM (#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
  • by Molt (116343) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @07:06PM (#45665251)
    It could be worse, The Laundry could be becoming reality.
  • by DMUTPeregrine (612791) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @07:37PM (#45665617) Journal
    Yes, but what would we do for the 52nd and 53rd states? We need 53, after all, the US is "One nation, indivisible."
  • by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @08:14PM (#45665991) Homepage Journal

    ... 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.

  • by flyneye (84093) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @09:21PM (#45666593) Homepage

    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?

  • by psithurism (1642461) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @11:33PM (#45667435)

    You mean the only thing that made it worth while was the ancilary descriptions of technology?

    These descriptions, to nerds, are like titty-shots in movies are to high school boys. Sure, maybe we go through the whole plot once once or twice, but what we really got the book for was to reread the technical, oh so technical, descriptions, and boners, err...uh, bonus for equations that we can work into simulations.

    plot development

    Also known as filler-between-technical-descriptions. I doubt anyone is ever entertained by that alone.

    interpersonal relationships

    I tried to Google this; still not sure what you're talking about here, but it sounds boring too.

  • by EmperorOfCanada (1332175) on Thursday December 12, 2013 @12:12AM (#45667641)
    I had an idea for a book (that I'd probably never write) where a Canadian spy service turned out to be one of the worst offenders for international assholery. The basic premise was that nobody would think of Canada as a bunch of meddling douch-nozzles; and then damn it turns out we are.

    The whole stupid thing is that if you were to add up all the value that Canada has received from our super spy stuff that it would pale in comparison to the damage that has been done to our international reputation. How many companies won't deal with us? How many countries don't view us as fairplay sorts of people? How many countries are now going to think, "If Canada is even doing it then so should we."?

    If it turns out that the spies were stopping a James Bond level supervillain every month or so then it might have been worth it. But my guess is that the sum total was that other spy agencies fed crap information to us combines with their discovery that people who they knew were bad, were, in fact, bad.

    But the premise of my book being that Canadian's could wander the globe un-molested (except for the 2 minutes that people thought they were Americans) is now in the crapper. Prior to recent events I suspect that a Canadian who wandered into North Korea could potentially be believed that he thought that South Korea was the one he wasn't allowed to do and then before he was released organize a mining contract with the government.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 12, 2013 @03:14AM (#45668357)

    If you never get insulted - just get married. Solved that problem for me.

"The value of marriage is not that adults produce children, but that children produce adults." -- Peter De Vries

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