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The Quantum Thief Audiobook, by Hannu Rajaniemi Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Hannu Rajaniemi, Jonathan Maberry Narrator: William Dufris Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Series: The Jean le Flambeur Series Release Date: May 2011 ISBN: 9781427214607
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,228 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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The Quantum Thief is a Kirkus Reviews Best of 2011 Science Fiction & Fantasy title.

One of Library Journal's Best SF/Fantasy Books of 2011

Jean le Flambeur is a post-human criminal, mind burglar, confidence artist, and trickster. His origins are shrouded in mystery, but his exploits are known throughout the Heterarchy- from breaking into the vast Zeusbrains of the Inner System to stealing rare Earth antiques from the aristocrats of Mars. Now he's confined inside the Dilemma Prison, where every day he has to get up and kill himself before his other self can kill him.

Rescued by the mysterious Mieli and her flirtatious spacecraft, Jean is taken to the Oubliette, the Moving City of Mars, where time is currency, memories are treasures, and a moon-turnedsingularity lights the night. What Mieli offers is the chance to win back his freedom and the powers of his old self-in exchange for finishing the one heist he never quite managed.

As Jean undertakes a series of capers on behalf of Mieli and her mysterious masters, elsewhere in the Oubliette investigator Isidore Beautrelet is called in to investigate the murder of a chocolatier, and finds himself on the trail of an arch-criminal, a man named le Flambeur....

Hannu Rajaniemi's The Quantum Thief is a crazy joyride through the solar system several centuries hence, a world of marching cities, ubiquitous public-key encryption, people communicating by sharing memories, and a race of hyper-advanced humans who originated as MMORPG guild members. But for all its wonders, it is also a story powered by very human motives of betrayal, revenge, and jealousy. It is a stunning debut.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Spectacularly and convincingly inventive, assured, and wholly spellbinding: one of the most impressive debuts in years.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “The next big thing in hard SF. Hard to admit, but I think he's better at this stuff than I am. Charles Stross

  • Many an anglophone author would kill to turn out prose half as good as this…. Reminiscent of the work of Alfred Bester, who produced two of the finest American SF books of the 1950s, The Demolished Man and The Stars My Destination. The Financial Times
  • “The best first SF novel I’ve read in years. Hard to admit, but I think he’s better at this stuff than I am.”

    Charles Stross, award-winning author

  • “An absolutely incredible spin through a post-human solar system and a fascinating and gripping read…Endlessly inventive and compulsively readable…One of the best books of the year.”

    RT Book Reviews (4½ stars, Top Pick!)

  • “Outstanding…A storytelling skill rarely found from even the most experienced authors.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “A stellar debut.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Rajaniemi has spectacularly delivered on the promise that this is likely to be the most important SF novel we’ll see this year.”


  • A brilliant first novel. The Quantum Thief, like so much of the best space opera of this century, is a prodigy house, where propositions are instant heritage, and arguments are eyeclick. John Clute

  • A 2011 John W. Campbell Memorial Award Finalist
  • A 2011 Library Journal Best Book for Science Fiction/Fantasy
  • Winner of the 2011 Locus Award for Best First Novel
  • Nominated for Locus Awards - Nominee, 2011

Listener Reviews

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  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Victor | 2/19/2014

    " Certainly worth reading, but I can't help thinking that this should've been a much meatier novel. We get glimpses of the enormously imaginative setting, but mostly _just_ glimpses. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rob | 2/4/2014

    " Takes a while to get going, ends up quite good. I don't read a lot of harder sci-fi; it was a little hard to get past some of the made-up terminology since it's never really explained, but you learn to roll with it. Ended up enjoying it, but I did consider abandoning it once or twice. By the end there is some very cool stuff going on, plotwise. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dave | 1/5/2014

    " I enjoyed this book, though it was often smug and infuriating in a lot of ways. Though if you go into it with the mindset of something that is unapologetically "cool", it can be a lot of fun, which is a feeling that a lot of current sci-fi lacks. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 12/18/2013

    " Not the most well written but it is a stunning example of world building. It is also a book that appeals to the senses. This was the most fun read I've had in a while. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brandon | 12/9/2013

    " Really enjoyed this one. The author doesn't coddle the reader, forcing you to invest some actual brainpower (gasp!) while reading the novel. I would have loved some more detail on how some of the technology worked, but that's a minor gripe from an engineer who loves that type of stuff. I was definitely ready for the sequel, and am anxiously awaiting The Fractal Prince's release in the US. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 James | 12/2/2013

    " Wow. Not since I stumbled across Charlie Stross have I read a writer who seemed ... um ... a quantum leap ahead of me in terms of thinking about the future. Not sure whether the general reader would get all of this book, but it seems to me that Hannu Rajaniemi is a writer that any aspiring -- or practicing! -- writer of sf ought to know about. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Meagan | 12/2/2013

    " I just started reading this and so far it's hard to digest. I'm enjoying unravelling the mystery, though. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Stephanie | 11/15/2013

    " Didn't finish this. Way too hardcore for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt | 8/10/2013

    " Rajaniemi creates a wildly engaging universe. It's hard to describe how deep the sci-fi elements go. I was overwhelmed by the crazy directions the author has technology from the future going. Overall, a good book with a solid story and a fantastic galactic setting. I look forward to the sequel. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Zach | 2/24/2013

    " That'll teach me not to trust literary reviews in the newspaper. If this is what passes for good sci fi these days then the genre is dead. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Greg | 2/22/2013

    " Once I got a general idea of the tech and the world that was being described, I fell into this book completely. I loved it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jim | 1/13/2013

    " I'm going to have to go back and read this again, now that I've read The Fractal Prince. Interesting style, but not a casual read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rick | 8/23/2012

    " Characters good, plot was good, though it got a bit muddled at times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeannie | 11/5/2011

    " I really liked this book. There are more good ideas on a page than were really good for the story! I had a slow read with this one - but liked it. Great idea of sharing memories as communication. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Chris | 5/21/2011

    " Made it to the third chapter and bailed.

    Sorry, but too much techno-babble with NO context leaves me cranky. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Edward | 5/17/2011

    " Excellent book bring on the sequel nothing more to be said "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Evgeni | 5/6/2011

    " A little tough on start. But when you got enough information... It`s like a landslide. Happy one. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Paul | 4/17/2011

    " Read the blurb and fancied it, but it all became a bit labyrinthine for me. Found some clever touches and wordplay but left me cold. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Grack21 | 4/14/2011

    " I received this book through goodreads first reads giveaway.

    I'll put up a longer review later. Let me just say that this is one of the BEST BOOKS I;ve read in the last ten years. I loved it so much I'm going to buy a copy of the actual ahrdcover to have. "

About the Author

Hannu Rajaniemi was born and raised in Finland, but now lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, where he is a founding director of a financial consultancy, ThinkTank Maths. He is the holder of several advanced degrees in mathematics and physics. Multilingual from an early age, he writes his science fiction in English.

About the Narrator

William Dufris attended the University of Southern Maine in Portland-Gorham before pursuing a career in voice work in London and then the United States. He has won more than twenty AudioFile Earphones Awards, was voted one of the Best Voices at the End of the Century by AudioFile magazine, and won the prestigious Audie Award in 2012 for best nonfiction narration. He lives with his family in Maine.