Halting State by Charles Stross

Liked It

It's pretty good. There are a ton of characters - I would probably have been better served to try to take some notes on who everyone actually was.

The idea of a blacknet is extremely interesting & scary. It's a sort of illegal trading-favors system for crimes. It would issue you random orders, and in return let you make requests, while balancing out the value in / value out. It's sort of like a modern version of "Criss Cross" - hiding the connection between criminal and victim.

If that were real, though, it could be like one of those pyramid schemes - it would be very hard to trust that it was being administered fairly, and that the guy in the middle wasn't just taking everything for himself.