I’m trying to remember the name of a book I started once that I’m thinking of finishing. It was fairly new and I don’t think it was more than one or two decades old. (The book was published in the past two decades.)

It took place in a futuristic city and it was mainly a murder mystery. One of the things I remember distinctly is there was something about when the police caught someone, they didn’t use handcuffs but instead put a ring on the person’s head (called a halo) rendering the person passive.

There was also another element about a space probe traveling in space. I remember the probe was leaving relay beacons behind itself to contact earth.

Edit: The halo thing wasn't a major plot point, and may not have even been called a halo. I just remember there was a police raid at a fancy apartment and the guy caught really didn't want the ring thing put it his head because it made you completely helpless.

  • 3
    The halo thing sounds like Minority Report, but Phillip K Dick wrote that in the 50's. Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 11:48
  • @MagikarpMaster There were no halos in the short story; that's an invention of the (horrible) movie. Possibly the only good invention: I'm of the opinion that the movie truly ends after Anderton gets halo'ed, and everything that follows is his dream. Would make a corny movie so much better!
    – Andres F.
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 16:17
  • Good to know. Never read the short story (I've never been a fan of Philip K Dick ((I really had to fight the urge to make a juvenile joke there))) so thanks for setting me straight on that one. Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 16:20
  • @MagikarpMaster May I attempt to convince you to give the short story a chance? :) Unlike other works of PKD, it's not at all surreal or hard to follow. Its ending is also very different from the movie's.
    – Andres F.
    Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 16:23
  • @AndresF. Certainly. I've just finished American Gods (the show did such a hatchet job) and I have been on the lookout for something new to read. Commented Jul 16, 2017 at 16:48

1 Answer 1


Pretty sure this is a novel by Greg Bear called Queen of Angels. The plot strand features a space probe as you say and there is another plot stand featuring a female detecive. There are devices referred to as hellcrowns that would match the halos you mention. Here is the Wikipedia entry on the novel... https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_of_Angels_(novel)

  • I also thought of Queen of Angels when I saw this question's title. But the hellcrown is a banned device, primarily used by vigilantes. It doesn't just make the person passive, it gives them an intense nightmare experience, and even short exposure to the device is likely to have permanent effects on their sanity. IIRC, a few hours of the hellcrown is likely to be fatal.
    – PM 2Ring
    Commented Jun 1, 2019 at 8:51
  • I am almost (95%) sure that is it. In fact googling the cover the covers kind of match my memory too. Now I get to find it and finish it. Now that I've written this it make sense that years ago having finished the excellent Eon by Bear, I tried reading something else by him. Commented Jun 2, 2019 at 3:36
  • Arrrgh!!!! There is no like button on here! Bottom line is I am glad I was able to help! I like Greg Bear, am thinking I should go back and re-read this one!
    – skyjack
    Commented Jun 14, 2019 at 12:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.