The name "Rule 34" comes from the internet meme -"If it exists, there is porn of it. No exceptions"
The book is not overly explicit, though it can be shocking.. for example one of the incidental characters.. a paedophile takes pictures of his targets and then 3d prints life size, photoreal, animatronic sex dolls of them.
Also mentioned in the book 3d printer spam!
The novel follows 3 characters..
- A police Inspector who investigates 3d spammers murdered in weirdly inventive and gruesome ways..
- Anwar, a former cyber criminal who unwittingly gets in over his head working for "The Toymaker"
- and lastly a sociopathic enforcer working for an organisation he only knows as the "Operation".
Their paths eventually coincide and culminates in a serious showdown.. which would have led to a great sequel.
except.. Stross realised that his books were becoming somewhat prophetic.. and decided to cancel the sequel.
Stross announced that there would be no third book in the planned trilogy. "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?)"
To get a taste of this future.. where full body scans and 3d printing converge.. have a look at the following and make your own inferences
Pinla3d - This a shop/service in China, that can do a full body scan in minutes! the 3d print will take a little longer.. but comes in surprising level of detail. A variety of szes are available.. ranging from action figure or smaller to life size. Simillar technology have already been seen at places like Comicon.