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Sci-Fi Books Privacy Games

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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  • Re:Wow! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ackthpt (218170) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @05:57PM (#45664395) Homepage Journal

    Another book becoming real!

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

    * it's a technical term.

  • Bitcoin. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @05:57PM (#45664407)

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

  • by cold fjord (826450) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @05:58PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @06:06PM (#45664515)

    Would we rather see...

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

  • by namgge (777284) on Wednesday December 11, 2013 @07:18PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 12, 2013 @01:19AM (#45667935)

    I sympathize with Charles Stross's problem. When I wrote "TobakkoNacht" in 1997, it was based on a prediction that by the mid 2020s we'd be seeing the introduction of smoking bans outdoors in public plazas (which NY's Bloomberg brought in three years ago and has been emulated in California and elsewhere), smoking bans in brothels to protect the "working girls" (old news now in Canada), people being shot in smoking disputes (numbers of them by now, including two pregnant women, as well as country singer Wayne Mills last week), a worldwide antitobacco treaty (similar to the 2000s' "World Framework On Tobacco Control" that is now threatening countries that refuse to abide by its dictates) and a president having to hide his evil smoking habit. The problem was that aside from a preliminary Kindle short story version in late 2008, I didn't get to fully publish it until a few months ago as an opening fiction-piece in "TobakkoNacht -- The Antismoking Endgame." When I originally wrote the story I was criticized for supposing that any such things could come about as early as the 2020s ... or *ever* come about at all.

    NOT "anonymous coward" here:
    Michael J. McFadden
    Author of "TobakkoNacht -- The Antismoking Endgame"

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