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I read a book a while ago, yet cannot for the life of me remember its name.

Sorry I cant be more specific but I'm pretty sure it was within the last 2 years. Couldn't say if it was new. But it was kind of a crime investigation, and the heroine had to venture into an area made weird by quantum computers. They caused lowered gravity, etc. These computers were developed by a search company just like Google. In fact its name was also a rip-off of Google — which I also can’t remember.

There were parts of the story set around some university in the states - I want to say Caltech but I'm not sure.

The computers caused so many problems that they were banned, but evidently some people still had some.

There might have been some AI aspects but not the quantum computers and it certainly wasn't the focus. The quantum computers also had a banana smell,

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  • I wonder if this might help. en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_computers#2000s.
    – sumbuddyx
    Apr 20, 2014 at 23:29
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    It wasn't there unfortunately. At this stage I'm thinking about writing it myself and making millions. And then being sued for it all just to find out what its called
    – Chris
    Apr 22, 2014 at 4:35
  • Source Code (the movie) is technically about using a quantum something to solve crimes. It's not what you're looking for though.
    – ike
    Apr 24, 2014 at 16:44

2 Answers 2

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The book is Annabelle Scheme by Robin Sloane, available for free on the author's homepage

A Google-like search company develops quantum computers:

For the next forty days, Grail wasn’t just good; it was magic. There was no search box, just a button. You pressed it, and it simply gave you what you were looking for. It worked even if you didn’t know what you were looking for. It worked even if you couldn’t admit, not even to yourself, what you were looking for.

The computers affect gravity:

During those forty days, back when the quantum computers were still running, gravity felt thin and on some streets you could leap and bound like an astronaut on the moon. In alleys, the air was heavy and shimmered like glass.

They smell like bananas:

Scheme sniffed. “Smells like bananas.”

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    Hi, welcome to SF&F. Answering years later isn't a problem, but please add details from the book to show how it matches the question.
    – DavidW
    May 4, 2021 at 3:48
  • Possible summaries and review bits to quote at goodreads.com/book/show/7428549-annabel-scheme
    – FuzzyBoots
    May 4, 2021 at 3:52
  • The details seem to match very well, I added some quotes from the book
    – HugoRune
    May 4, 2021 at 6:52
  • That's not how a quantum computer works though. May 4, 2021 at 7:46
  • This is it! Thanks so much, can't believe we've got it after so many years!
    – Chris
    May 5, 2021 at 5:51
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I haven't actually read this series, but your description made me think of the Quantum Gravity series by Justina Robson. Here's a link to the first book of five, Keeping it Real and the Goodreads summary:

The Quantum Bomb of 2015 changed everything. The fabric that kept the universe's different dimensions apart was torn and now, six years later, the people of earth exist in uneasy company with the inhabitants of, amongst others, the elfin, elemental, and demonic realms. Magic is real and can be even more dangerous than technology. Elves are exotic, erotic, dangerous, and really bored with the constant "Lord of the Rings" references. Elementals are a law unto themselves and demons are best left well to themselves. Special agent Lila Black used to be pretty, but now she's not so sure. Her body is more than half restless carbon and metal alloy machinery, a machine she's barely in control of. It goes into combat mode, enough weapons for a small army springing from within itself, at the merest provocation. As for her heart, well, ever since being drawn into a game by the elfin rockstar Zal (lead singer of the No Shows), who she's been assigned to protect, she's not even sure she can trust that any more either.

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  • I've read Quantum Gravity, there is an advanced AI which keeps a safe refuge in a warp-space environment fixed by observing everything very frequently, but I don't think its the book the OP wanted.
    – Nick
    May 17, 2013 at 12:46
  • Nope. That's not it. There might have been some AI aspects but not the quantum computers and it certainly wasnt the focus. The quantum computers also had a banana smell
    – Chris
    May 29, 2013 at 20:54

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