After the Sony Pictures hack, I had the sneaking suspicion that this was just the beginning of a lot of hacking to come. It's true that sometimes I have a doomsday outlook, so I wouldn't lay a lot of stock into this, but I predicted that 2015 would be the year of the hacker, that we're going to see major inconveniences and perhaps even catastrophes due to hacking in the upcoming year. Then when we discovered that my son's new XBox was affected by hacking on Christmas Day, I nodded to myself. Yep, it's beginning.
On that happy thought, I went looking for a short story about hacking and found one on io9 (one of my favourite website discoveries this year), courtesy of Tobias Buckell called "System Reset." Referred to as a pre-apocalyptic, it tells of two bounty hunters who track down hackers. Their latest target is, as the "pre-apocalyptic" bit would indicate, planning something huge.
I was a bit hesitant at first, thinking it might be something like Cory Doctorow would write. Don't get me wrong, I've often found Doctorow intriguing, I respect his politics, and often agree with him. However, I've not greatly enjoyed his fiction, usually finding it very jargon-filled, chocked full of great ideas if you can understand them but messily crammed together in disjointed, tacked-on plots. Buckell, thankfully, pulled off "System Reset." It gets into technology and technology fears and ethics without making it inaccessible for the lay people (the people who draw the ire of the target hacker in "System Reset"). It's exciting and thought-provoking at the same time.