Spin State

Chris Moriarty
Spin State Cover

Ho-Hum Whodunnit in Quantum Space


This novel starts strongly, by showing us a glimpse of a 'posthuman' world where people backup their memories and where AIs can hijack ("shunt") human beings for a joyride. The protagonist is a strong, tough female, suggesting a welcome change to other SF male leads.

Unfortunately, the novel quickly devolves into a 'whodunnit?' about a scientist murdered in a coal mine. It's a bit sad that such interesting hard SF concepts such as quantum teleportation, 'spinstream' and Emergent AIs are presented through a very ho-hum, run-of-the-mill detective story, and this is what makes 'Spin State' so frustrating to read.

It gets better after roughly half of the novel, but the novel never really exceeds the awesome potential that it seemed to have. Whereby it could have been a gritty 'Snow Crash' set in space, it ends up being a detective story with a space opera backdrop.

If you're looking for a crime novel, skip this because it doesn't offer anything beyond clichés such as characters cryptically helping the protagonist along for convoluted reasons. If you're curious about intriguing new SF concepts, then it's worth to go through this book regardless of the detective story.