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Community Champion

Book-sorta-review: "The Quantum Spy"

I'm reading "The Quantum Spy" right now.  I think it's supposed to be a spy thriller.  It does seem to be about spies, but it's not very thrilling.  The spies seem to all be interested in stealing secrets to do with quantum computing.

 

The author isn't that good.  He's written other books, so he should know his craft.  I can't get a feel for the book.  It doesn't go in formula directions, but it doesn't seem to go anywhere else, either.  I'm about halfway through, and I still don't care about any of the characters.  (Maybe this is by design.  Similarly random and unlikeable books seem to get good critical reviews these days.)

 

I don't know how it ends, and, at the moment, I don't care.  (I probably won't be coming back and giving you an update on the book.)

 

He doesn't know anything about quantum technology or computing.  He throws around terms about lasers, photons, error correction, decoherence, cryogenics, and other stuff, but doesn't seem to know what they actually mean or do.  He doesn't know the current directions in quantum computing research.  He confuses (as most people do who don't know the technology) the decryptive possibilities of quantum computing with the (real but flawed) quantum cryptography key exchange.

 

Part of the book takes place in Vancouver, and he's obviously never been here.  Burnaby, while it has some high rent spots, is not the most exclusive suburb in the region: it's where you go for cheap rent and taxes.  (And lots of light industrial space.)  And you definitely don't take Granville Street to get there from the airport.  If you can find an apartment building that's 12 stories high (or more) in Burnaby, it definitely doesn't have a freight elevator.


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3 Replies
Advocate II

Re: Book-sorta-review: "The Quantum Spy"

<sarc-note>

Wow, you sure make us want to run out and get the book!

</sarc-note>

 

 

Dr. D. Cragin Shelton, CISSP
Dr.Cragin@iCloud.com
https://CraginS.blogspot.com/
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Contributor II

Re: Book-sorta-review: "The Quantum Spy"


@rslade wrote:

It doesn't go in formula directions, but it doesn't seem to go anywhere else, either. .


Hmmm, perhaps this is a demonstration of "literary entanglement" or perhaps the "Author Uncertainty Principle?" Quantum might not be describing the plot but the writing style ;-)

Community Champion

Re: Book-sorta-review: "The Quantum Spy"

> JoePete (Contributor I) posted a new reply in Industry News on 04-08-2019 05:26 PM in the (ISC)² Community :

> It doesn't go in formula directions, but it doesn't seem to
> go anywhere else, either...
>
> Hmmm, perhaps this is a demonstration of
> "literary entanglement" or perhaps the "Author Uncertainty Principle?"
> Quantum might not be describing the plot but the writing style ;-)

Ah! An intriguing hypothesis. If true, then the writing should be both good *and*
bad at the same tme. And, the book does posit sort of "multidimensional" qubits,
so we might look at the multiple dimensions of writing.

Let's see:
Characterization - bad.
Use of facts - bad.
Dialogue - bad.
Scene setting - bad.
Plot twists - bad. (Although it does seem to be entangled.)

Hmmm, the hypothesis doesn't seem to bear out, on first testing ...

(Although the "Author Uncertainty Principle" does seem to be promising ...)

====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
rslade@vcn.bc.ca slade@victoria.tc.ca rslade@computercrime.org
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adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered.
- G. K. Chesterton, `All Things Considered' (1908)
victoria.tc.ca/techrev/rms.htm http://twitter.com/rslade
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