For those of you who care about such things, ten minutes ago I emailed the finished manuscript of "Rule 34" to my editors at Ace and Orbit. If they like it, it should be published in hardcover around the beginning of July next year. (If they don't like it, I've got a huge headache coming ...)
For those of you who care but who've lost track of such things, "Rule 34" is the kinda-sorta sequel to "Halting State". It's set five years later, is not about MMOs or virtual reality, and none of Jack, Elaine, or Sue appear in it (although Sue's boss, DI Kavanaugh, is one of the major characters). It's a crime novel — or, more accurately, a criminology novel, insofar as it looks at the future of crime and policing in the post-internet age.
According to my notes I started writing on March 2nd, 2009 and didn't get it nailed down until August 6th, 2010. Which is to say, don't expect me to squirt books like this out every year.
When you were eight, your dad taught you the correct way to peel a live frog.
And when you were fifteen, you took Jesus for an alibi &mdash lest the other girls at school realize what you were.
As for you? You're not gay, you insist: it's just that you like to fuck other men.
You all have secrets. But the net knows them all. And if it doesn't, it holds the gaps in the graph of all your interpersonal transactions — and can therefore discern the shape of the shadows that fit the implied spaces. Nothing escapes the net.
No. This is not that net. This is the other net. The one that features in your nightmares. The net that knows your secret sins. The net of blind justice; the net that holds the sea of shame. The net that binds you softly, the better to lift the onerous burden of free will.
Knowing all, forgiving nothing. This is your story, as the net sees it.