This book had a strange title, I think it was one of those made up all capital letters titles. Unfortunately I remember none of the plot! Only vaguely that the theme was around conflict about replicators were anyone can make almost any products and the law and regulation around it and economics.. I think. The author added a foreword around 2001 it mentioned Napster. Another one about ten year later I think that mentioned 3d printers...

I THINK that the author may have been involved with Software Engineering at a big tech company but may just be confused about it.

Pretty sure it was published between 1997 - 2000.

Help this driving me nuts and Google and Goodreads is no help because of the weird title.

  • Hello and welcome to the site! Could you please take a look at this list and edit in any extra details you remember?
    – fez
    Oct 6 at 17:22
  • Could it be Cory Doctorow? He wrote several stories based on similar premises (see Unauthorized Bread (2019)), as far back as 2001 with Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom.
    – LSerni
    Oct 6 at 17:22
  • No not Cory Doctorow almost certain about it
    – Dan
    Oct 6 at 17:27
  • Definitely before 2001 author definitely mentioned Napster in foreword that was added at that time. More dystopian cyberpunk feel than that of Cory's.
    – Dan
    Oct 6 at 17:36
  • If it wasn't before 2001 I'd have wondered about Doctorow too - Makers (2009) would be another possibility.
    – tardigrade
    Oct 6 at 18:51

This sounds a bit like Charles Stross's Rule 34.

Charles Stross’s latest science fiction novel, Rule 34, includes a whole lot of deep thinking on the implications of widespread 3D printing. We’ve discussed some of these issues before, but Stross’s novel proposes another more aggressive solution: forbidden shapes. In other words, 3D printers could be rigged to detect and prevent the production of certain objects deemed illegal. The printers may even report you for attempting such, too.

The plot dances between three main threads. Inspector Kavanaugh does some enforcement of illegal printing of 3D items (mentioned in the narrative 3D printing of weapons, and of realistic dolls of other people, the "Rule 34" of the title, including some underage), Anwar a former identity thief who now works for the Operation, a criminal organization, and The Toymaker, an enforcer for the Operation.

As a 2011 book, it would be a little bit late on your time table (the prior book, Halting State, about an MMO heist tied to real money, was released in 2007). One thing that might stick out to you if you read most or all of the book is that The Toymaker is a paranoid schizophrenic, convinced that he's always being watched by beings that want to skin him and wear his flesh, and near the end of the book, Kavanaugh muses that, with mass surveillance being what it is, paranoid schizophrenics aren't necessarily wrong that they're always being watched.

  • 2
    Also would explain why a simple Google search for the title wouldn't work too well...
    – fez
    Oct 6 at 17:49
  • Unfortunately not Stross or Doctorow... I think this book is quite obscure but had a very modern theme... published before 2001 Napster people! :)
    – Dan
    Oct 6 at 17:56
  • 1
    I was thinking of Stross too, but "Singularity Sky" which had the cornucopia machines. At 2003 this is too late too though. Oct 6 at 18:51

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