Rule 34 Pdf Summary Reviews By Charles Stross

Rule 34 Pdf Summary

DI Liz Kavanaugh: You realise policing internet p*orn is your life and your career went down the pan five years ago. But when a fetishist dies on your watch, the Rule 34 Squad moves from low priority to worryingly high profile.

Anwar: As an ex-con, you’d like to think your identity fraud days are over. Especially as you’ve landed a legit job (through a shady mate). Although now that you’re Consul for a shiny new Eastern European Republic, you’ve no idea what comes next.

The Toymaker: Your meds are wearing off and people are stalking you through Edinburgh’s undergrowth. But that’s ok, because as a distraction, you’re project manager of a sophisticated criminal operation. But who’s killing off potential recruits?

So how do bizarre domestic fatalities, dodgy downloads and a European spamming network fit together? The more DI Kavanaugh learns, the less she wants to find out. 


Rule 34 Review

Justin Diehl

5.0 out of 5 stars Two Steps Into the Future and a Step to the Right

Reviewed in the United States on March 15, 2012

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What happens when you take two steps into the future and combine web culture with spam, 3D printers, and one of the standard rules of the internet provided by the masses of 4chan? You’d find yourself in the middle of Charles Stross’s Rule 34, surrounded by augmented reality, sociopathic criminals, and some of the freakiest fetishes you can image.

It’s a good novel that offers a slant of a dawn of a cyberpunk time period. The mental gyration the book presents has you wondering what oddity is coming next while slipping more and more of the macro culture of this world into view. The novel is complex, folds over itself, and then breaks down its own walls to fab itself a spiraling ending.

The book is given to us in a slant of second person. It comes across at times as a first person novel in disguise, as if Stross used you instead of I, but it feels like second person done right. I’ll admit this was a hardship for me starting the novel. Second person isn’t a format I care for but Charles Stross does a good job with the story and after 3 or 4 chapters of adjustment I was on board with the style. I think what made it harder to grasp is that the book jumps characters chapter by chapter. Not knowing the characters’ voices during those early chapters was the issue. Once I became familiar with them, the second person narration worked itself out.

Internet culture steeped into reality is one of the key features of this book. Spam, social networks, and how our relationship with each other comes as a central theme. Any character in the story can be Kevin Bacon’ed to another through various channels. This becomes striking apparent at the half way point in the novel, when characters that seemed unrelated start revealing their relationships with various one-degree characters of our core cast.

This is now one of my favorite visions of the future to come. For one thing, it isn’t homogeneous. Some characters are deeper into the tech because they have to be for their career. Others are there for their interest as a hobby or past private occupation. Others do it for the money. The tech just oozes but it’s not outlandish. The 3D printers exist today so it’s not surprising for them to have more exotic materials and components. Spam filters and spam bots are becoming smarter. There’s a joke about someday the internet will become sentient. Applying that to spam and spam filters doesn’t sound so farfetched. There’s no crazy cyberware. There’s no direct neural interface net. There’s just high tech that’s rolled out of what we are already developing today.


The AI, as presented as a form of antagonist, is somewhat believable. Stross doesn’t present a consciousness as we think of in humanity. It’s a far more linear gray scale weighing variables type of intelligence. It’s a believable near future AI. The on the ground antagonist is interesting, but his place in the story is a little awkward. Toymaker is a bizarre sociopath with unique quirks and beliefs about staying off the grid, but his psychosis mixed with the constant failings at each turn in his arc left me wanting. He succeeds in a few small goals, cleaning up one loose end, getting his new ident setup, getting laid, but most of those either cause him more issues, or are just stupid for the level of intellect as presented for him. There feels like he should have had more especially earlier in the novel. His final take down and strange departure of the monitoring AI on him act as a sort of climax to the novel, but it doesn’t feel earned and it doesn’t feel like the actual end of this part of the story.


Despite my hang ups I enjoyed the story, the characters, and the setting. The novel kept it focused on the characters while still giving up a world two steps into the future. I could see this reality happening in the coming decades.

The book manages to cover pretty much all the promises it makes. In truth we’re only seeing a part of the story; it’s really a side effect of a bigger picture and we’re getting the drippings. It’s better that way, though, as we’re kept to a certain level of darkness to the real “big world” events that caused the murders in the book. We don’t lose sight of character and the events that keep us attached. There was a chance here to do a political techno-thriller, but it doesn’t quite go behind fringe access. We don’t need to pay attention to the man behind the curtain.

I recommend this book on the grounds of a stunning two-steps into the future landscape, interesting character plots, and a chance to see second person done right. The book is a mystery with what might be considered a twist ending, but the clues and resolution can be figured out about half way through. We learn to feel for the various protagonists, their love and hate for their work, their family and relations, and their feelings of the world around them. It doesn’t come off as awkward for most of them, and I found myself relating to almost all of them.

Peter S. Bradley


5.0 out of 5 stars 5 Minutes – and, perhaps, a bit more – into the future.

Reviewed in the United States on April 14, 2013

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This is a police procedural novel set in Edinburgh, capital of the independent nation of Scotland, some time in the very near future – “near future” as in about 10 years from today, i.e., 2013. This is a future of “3-D” copy machines, near artificial intelligence, and globalization and surveillance gone wild. The story follows Borders and Lothian Detective Inspector Liz Cavanaugh as she is sucked into a highly improbable murder of a person loosely connected to local organized crime.

Liz’s usual beat is “Rule 34” violations, which are an internet geek in-joke that have become highly possible and hugely disruptive. “Rule 34” is the internet canard that there is nothing so improbably, unlikely or disgusting that someone hasn’t turned it into internet p*orn. The problem in this near-future is that wild ideas in a society of “replicators” and social fracture and globalization can be imitated by many people very quickly and create all kinds of new dysfunctions.

Because of her Rule 34 beat, Liz learns that other internet scam artists are being liquidated in other parts of Europe. This lead to the introduction of a disgraced Interpol cop – who had a hand in Liz’s disgrace a few years before this story – and the two start investigating as other wildly improbable deaths of various internet criminals start showing up. The deaths are all incredibly complex and improbable, and seem to disclose a superhuman ability to plan and/or alter probabilities to bring together circumstances that lead to fatal accidents. They also seem to involve people who are somehow involved in phishing and spamming. In the near future, spamming is the essential industry for criminal enterprise because they need to advertise somehow, and in order to advertise they have interest people with their advertisements, which means getting past the future’s highly-developed spam filters, which means developing something that approximates artificial intelligence.

Stross also populates his story with other viewpoint characters. There is Anwar Hussein, a con recently released from prison for his spamming frauds, who has been talked into becoming the honorary consul for the Independent Republic of Issyk-Kulistan. (It is a tribute to Stross’s braiding of his story into our world that there really is an Issyk-Kulistan.) There is also the Toymaker, a sociopath who represents the criminal Organization that supplies things that people want and needs the spammers to make people aware of what they want but can’t get. There is also Colonel Datka and his boss Bhaskar, president of Khyrgistan, another real country, who seems to have something of a long game being played out.

Over the course of the story these threads develop, weave around each other and finally come together for a satisfying ending.

There were a few problematic elements. First, Stross seems to go out of his way to populate his book with casual, kinky s*ex. Anwar is unfaithful to his wife with men. One of the fulcrum character who links Anwar to other threads is the “Gnome,” who is one of Anwar’s homos*exual assignations. Liz is a lesbian. One of the fulcrum characters who brings together various threads is Dorthy, one of Liz’s lesbian lovers. Dorothy hooks up with the Toymaker for a night of casual s*ex, involving sado-masochism and “safe words,” After he gets what he wants, he casually tosses her out of his apartment, making her feel devalued and used, which gets her to consider whether she was really “raped.” The first murder seems to involve some kind of masochistic self-bondage. Stross is either pitching this book for the libertine left, or, perhaps, he is making a point about the continuing deterioration of conventional morality in the near future, or he really thinks all this is normal. I don’t think this is a particular issue, because it does seem to project the near-future quality that Stross is aiming at, but for anyone with particular moral issues that this kind of thing might offend, forewarned is fore-armed. For my part, I found the characters’ politically correct post-prandial recriminations tiresome.

Another problematic aspect of the book was its use of a second person perspective at the beginning of various chapters. That was confusing and disrupted the flow of the story. It seems that there is a reason for that perspective, which is alluded to by the end of the book. however, that leads to the third problematic feature of the book, namely, the crime was never solved. Things to wrap up, and the Lothian and Borders Police Force think they have gotten their man, but the truth seems to be that there is something else floating around the global electronic ecosystem.

But that may be an issue for a future book.

The story works as both a police procedural and a view of things we may live to see. The story was interesting and gripping, and, as with all of Stross’s books to date, I feel it fully justified my investment of time and money.

About Charles Stross Author Of Rule 34 pdf Book

Charles Stross
Charles Stross

Charles David George “Charlie” Stross Author Of Rule 34 pdf Book, He is a writer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. His works range from science fiction and Lovecraftian horror to fantasy.

Stross is sometimes regarded as being part of a new generation of British science fiction writers who specialise in hard science fiction and space opera. His contemporaries include Alastair Reynolds, Ken MacLeod, Liz Williams and Richard Morgan.

Rule 34 pdf, Paperback, Hardcover Book Information

Rule 34 pdf book
Rule 34 pdf book
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Orbit (January 1, 2011)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 368 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1841497738
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1841497730
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 1.07 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.06 x 1.06 x 9.13 inches
  • Best Sellers Rank: #4,747,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • #335,185 in Science & Math (Books)
  • Customer Reviews: 4.1 out of 5 stars    239 ratings

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