Trouble And Her Friends
Copyright 1994 by
I first read this on the 18th August 2006.
Trouble used to be a computer hacker, and that's a tough and precarious
profession, yet she excelled at it. Trouble had a formidable reputation
and no one dared to cross her.
Then the Government declared hacking to be illegal, criminalising that whole
section of society. Trouble retired and dropped out of sight.
Now someone is operating under her old handle. That would be insult enough
but this impostor has used her name to commit serious crimes.
That's abusing her name and blackening her reputation. That is showing
dangerous disrespect and further more it is making life remarkably
Trouble will be forced to reappear. Then Trouble and her friends will hunt
down, find and stop this rash impostor.
Disappointing, very disappointing, and from the author of the incomparably
good "Five Twelfths Of Heaven".
I alternated between boredom and annoyance. There were just so many parts
of this novel that rang false.
- She fails to make enough of the problems that NewTrouble has caused
making the Trouble's fight for justice largely pointless
- Trouble is away for only three years. Ten years I could
understand, even twenty years, would account for the career changes people went through and indeed
the physical changes that Cerise and Trouble notice. But three years is a sabbatical.
It's just going to college. It's only a long time if you're seventeen.
- She fails to make the net metaphor convincing - partly that's just wrong
predictions, missing out riding on the cyberpunk wave.
Having said that, I admit I had a bit of trouble remembering the state
of the computing back in the early '90s. Windows 3.0 was released in 1990,
running on top of DOS.
Your PC would have been an 32bit (yes, Intel was stuck on those for a few years)
80386 running at 33Mhz with 4MB RAM and 80MB hard disk. Yes, a modern PC
is at least 1000x better on each of those specifications. We didn't even have
the public Internet. Compuserve was out there providing a commercial forerunner, and there
were Bulletin Boards all over the place but the web was all but unknown. Of
course, you had mainframes and superminis, God bless 'em, but those beauties are
probably not relevant.
Overall view: Deeply disappointing, too long but even with that I felt there
were chunks of it omitted.
Loaded on the 25th January 2007.