Read The Stone Canal by Ken MacLeod Online

the-stone-canal

Life on New Mars is tough for humans, but death is only a minor inconvenience. The machines know their place, the free market rules all, and only the Abolitionists object.Then a stranger arrives on New Mars, a clone who remember his life on Earth as Jonathan Wilde, the anarchist with a nuclear capability who was accused of losing World War III. This stranger also remembersLife on New Mars is tough for humans, but death is only a minor inconvenience. The machines know their place, the free market rules all, and only the Abolitionists object.Then a stranger arrives on New Mars, a clone who remember his life on Earth as Jonathan Wilde, the anarchist with a nuclear capability who was accused of losing World War III. This stranger also remembers one David Reid, who now serves as New Mars's leader. Long ago, it turns out, Wilde and Reid had shared ideals and fought over the same women.Moving from 20th-century Scotland through a tumultuous 21st century and outward to humanity's settlement on a planet circling another star, The Stone Canal is idea-driven sci-fi at its best., making real and believable a future where long lives, strange deaths, and unexpected knowledge await those who survive the wars and revolutions to come....

Title : The Stone Canal
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780812568646
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Stone Canal Reviews

  • Pearce Hansen
    2019-04-22 15:31

    Pros: Original, quality writing, with an eye for detail and a driving story arcCons: None whatsoever"The Stone Canal" takes place in the same future universe Mr.MacLeod's previous novels have described: a post-Singularity Solar System infested with uploaded 'Fast Folk,' anarcho-capitalist escaped slaves in their extra-solar breakaway republic, Marxist mercenaries and orbital armies protecting the nano-technological 'climax community' utopia that Earth has become . . .I won't give away the plot. As with all his books to date, the story line is delightfully unpredictable (even though the broader details have become as familiar to his readers as the inevitability of a Greek tragedy). As with his other titles, 'The Stone Canal' is an almost punnish reference to one of Mr. McLeod;s scientific and/or political in-jokes; in this case, a reference to the quasi-organic structure of ShipCity on New Mars, where the novel takes place.Reviewers have noted that Mr. McLeod is well read, but they haven't gone far enough. There are so many off-handed references to so many sources in his work, that you would have to go back to Joyce or Robert Anton Wilson to find another writer that is as densely layered and detailed, or so rewards the reader's devoted attention..This is cyberpunk, or even post-cyberpunk. It is unique, original, and literary in the quality of writing. The story is fast-paced enough to satisfy the need for a quick, easy read. Yet, if you let it, you could easily be sucked in to this kaleidoscope of ideas for many pleasant hours.* * *Pearce Hansen is the author of STREET RAISED, now available for the Kindle

  • Kelsy
    2019-04-02 17:20

    I had some trouble finishing the first book in the series but still had high hopes for this one, and it more than exceeded my expectations. It feels like the author really fixed a lot of issues with pacing and character development that made the first book harder to read. This is still an incredibly dense book full of tons of ideas, but it's done very well and the characters are so much more sympathetic that I felt very invested in their journey and finding out what happens to them. There's also a really interesting stylistic choice where there are a few chapters in first person perspective. I generally dislike first person perspective, but I even thought that these chapters were well done and added a lot of depth to the main story. Overall, this was just a really fantastic read and gave a lot of context for events that happen in the first book. I can imagine that re-reading the first book might be a better experience after having finished the series, so we'll see if I decide to do that later. :3

  • Simon Mcleish
    2019-04-06 17:21

    Originally published on my blog here in December 2000.The two interlocking narratives which make up The Stone Canal concern libertarian anarchist Jonathan Wilde. The earlier chronologically starts when he is a student at Glasgow University in the 1970s, and basically deals with his gradual development into a political guru as Western capitalism begins to fall apart in the twenty first century. The other narrative is set in the far future, when a clone of Jonathan Wilde is given his memories, copied from a computer copy of his brain. This provides one of the best first lines of any science fiction novel: "He woke, and remembered dying".For most of the novel, the two stories of Jonathan Wilde are basically independent, and while this is the case they are both top class pieces of science fiction. The story of his early days is believable, with the trends producing the changes he witnesses in the way the world works easy to see. His character is very well done indeed. The far future story is atmospheric, the rather bewildered revived Jonathan being recognisably the same person rather more sketchily drawn (as characterisation makes way for background). He makes occasionally anachronistic jokes, meaningless to the people that he meets but drawing in the reader who shares his late twentieth century background.The ending, where the two strands of Jonathan Wilde's life are drawn together, is the most disappointing part of The Stone Canal. It feels rather on the abrupt side and perhaps would have benefited from being extended. It answers the questions raised by the rest of the novel, but not really in an interesting way. It feels as though MacLeod has been attempting to convince the reader that he has something to say, but that when it comes down to it, he hasn't. Potentially interesting issues are raised - the nature of the relationship between a person and a machine-held copy of their mind, for example - without being explored.The excellence of the main part of the novel encourages me to read more Ken MacLeod, and the disappointment of the ending is not enough to put me off doing so.

  • Dokusha
    2019-03-25 22:35

    Zu Beginn hat mich der Stil dieses Buches etwas verwirrt, aber nach einer Weile hatte ich mich hineingelesen, und danach gefiel es mir deutlich besser.Eines der vorherrschenden Themen der Geschichte ist die Auseinandersetzung mit künstlichen Intelligenzen, und inwiefern diese als echte Individuen angesehen werden müssen oder können.Daneben geht es um die Entwicklung auf der Erde in technischer und politischer Hinsicht (das Buch hat hier eine Erzählperspektive von Jahrhunderten) sowie um die Geschehnisse auf dem "Neuen Mars", einer Kolonie der Menschen (und Maschinen, siehe vorherigen Absatz) auf einem fernen Planeten, der über ein selbstgebautes Wurmloch erreicht wurde.Die Geschichte wird alternierend erzählt: Kapitel, die in der Gegenwart auf dem neuen Mars spielen, wechseln ab mit einer Retrospektive, die Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts einsetzt und allmählich schildert, wie die aktuelle Situation entstanden ist. Das Ganze auf eine durchaus ansprechende Art und Weise (jedenfalls nach den ersten Seiten, die man zur Eingewöhnung braucht). Die Story ist lesenswert und hat auch einige Ansätze zum weiteren Nachdenken - die moralischen Zeigefinger werden aber nicht gehoben, jedenfalls nicht aufdringlich, und die Geschichte ist auch als solche gut zu lesen.Erst nach der Lektüre stellte ich fest, daß dies eigentlich eine Art Fortsetzung des Buches "Sternenprogramm" ist, das einen Teil der Vergangenheit dieser Geschichte näher erläutert. Wer beide hat, sollte vielleicht "Sternenprogramm" zuerst lesen - nötig ist es nicht, die "Mars-Stadt" ist auch als Sololektüre geeignet.

  • Howard
    2019-03-25 18:19

    Before reviewing Stone Canal, I have to confess that I really disliked Star Faction, its prequel. The nuances of political ideologies and their almost ridiculous preeminence in his character portraits deeply distract me from the fabulous concepts he can bring to his stories. In Stone Canal, I found the beginning almost unbearable - an exploration of early friendship and political ideologies (socialism, libertarianism, etc.) of the main characters. As the novel progresses, however, these shallow conversations drop away and let the narrative take over. I can't say I like any of his characters, in this novel or the last, but he crafts a fascinating future of human/artificial-intelligence civilization. The second half of the book picks up the plot pace and resolves very satisfyingly. Along the way, he explores a complex relationship between artificial beings and humans that he reveals like peeling layers of an onion. I am reminded of Ian M. Banks's Company novels, but instead of a post-scarcity, galactic civilization where artificial intelligences (minds) benignly guide lesser beings, McLeod's near future is a chaotic, messy balance of interdependence and self-preservation. I hope that his later books (Stone Canal and Star Faction are the first two, I believe) go more in this direction.

  • Spencer
    2019-04-10 19:33

    Selected this book based on it's transhumanist themes. It certainly had some neat ideas about the question of identity and what a transcendent intelligence might be like and it did some neat things with multiple story arcs. However, I gave this a lower rating because I didn't understand most of what was going on. I gave a pass to a lot of the cold-war era politics and social order stuff because I'm generally ignorant of that, but I also didn't understand what was happening a lot of the time in the main plot line.

  • Chris Starr
    2019-04-13 19:11

    I want the time I spent reading this backJust not worth the time it took to read it. I kept on hoping for redemption of the plot, but the end feels like it was just hurriedly put together to wrap things up and is totally lacking of any satisfaction.

  • prcardi
    2019-04-16 14:14

    Storyline: 4/5Characters: 3/5Writing Style: 3/5World: 5/5What a tremendous improvement over the first in the series, The Star Fraction. Unlike the founding book of the Fall Revolution tetralogy, MacLeod had answers for my mental objections and criticisms. Stop throwing out proper noun "isms" and show us what Libertarianism means in your world. -"Okay." MacLeod gets right to that by plotting out such examples as private sector nuclear deterrence. Please, please give us some chronology and orientation so we can situate ourselves.. -"Alright," says our author, as he synchronizes the two or three timelines; "I'll do that." You've got a lot of explaining to do if this world is going to make sense. -"Yes I do," our author admits. "I'm just getting to explaining why all those details and clues are significant."This one gives that needed information to make the first one coherent, and The Star Fraction is better now for this second installation. I probably was not the target audience for the book. I've read Marx and Stirner, but as a mainstream American living in the 21st century, my motivation was historical rather than for any ideological ownership. After Lenin, I entirely skipped over the Soviet schisms and leaders - haven't read a word of Trotsky - and am more aware of the ideational trajectory through the likes of laymen such as Heinlein or Rand. I think MacLeod was writing for political radicals who lived and breathed this stuff - aware of every discussion, debate, and refinement. That said, MacLeod gives enough for we mere dabblers to grab onto and follow. I particularly valued that this was speculative fiction rather than a disguised manifesto. Although MacLeod is definitely advocating his political preferences, the future in which they are present is hardly a utopia. In fact, much of this is very dystopian, and there are some excellent portrayals of the crises of compromising one's principles for pragmatism, of the pitfalls of the pursuits of ideals. It was also superb science fiction. Great technology and the concomitant possibilities. If it hadn't been for the worldbuilding as mystery-revelation, the gratuitous S&M, anthropomorphic virtual sex and other grimy transhuman baggage, I just might have loved this. So I'm left having simply enjoyed it immensely and enthusiastically looking forward to the remaining two in the series.

  • Tom Nixon
    2019-04-24 15:17

    This is the third Ken Macleod book I've reviewed in what seems to be a very short time, so I'll skip the usual plaudits- regular and semi-regular readers of the blog should be well aware of them by now. 1. He's an awesome writer, 2. He writes thought-provoking science fiction which is the best kind of science fiction and 3. He is well worth reading.Now that's out of the way- The Stone Canal. The second book in Macleod's Fall Revolution series (I'm reading these all ass backwards, I know. I'm sorry) it tells the story of Jon Wilde an anarchist who mysteriously arrives on New Mars, where the Free Market rules everything, machines (even intelligent ones) are enslaved and only the abolitionists object to that. Wilde has a past with the leader of New Mars David Reid and recalls their long history together from 20th Century Scotland out to the stars of the 21st Century and beyond-- Macleod weaves a tale of what awaits those that survive the wars and revolutions that are to come that's compelling, readable, thought-provoking and challenging all at the same time.Macleod plays around with notions of trans-humanism, the technological Singularity a lot more in this book and in ways that I was surprised at how disturbing I found some of them. At this point, not having the technology in front of me, I'm more inclined to support life extension than I am uploaded or out and out post-humanism. There's something about the idea of dying and then waking up in a computer that makes my skin crawl and when that happens to Wilde in the book, it takes him a lot of time to get adjusted to the notion. Personally, I think my first thought would be wondering where my wife would be and nothing else would matter after that. I don't want to live forever. I think things end for a reason. I think I'm just looking for reassurance that when my end comes, I'm content with the life I've lead and ready to move onto what's next. Whether that takes 80 or 200 I don't know. But it won't be forever- at this point, in 2012, I'm pretty sure of that.Wilde proves to be an engaging and interesting character- especially since he's a determined anarchist in a Macleod's world that's not too friendly to the notion- at least at first. From the collapse of the British Monarchy and the formation of a United Republic (a Federalist solution- how novel!) to the Third World War which Wilde gets a large chunk of the blame for when he refuses to sell his privately held nuclear deterrence policy to the Germans. (Kiev, Berlin and Frankfurt all get nuked in this particular World War 3- before the US intervenes and gets all 'Evil Empire' on everyone's behind.) Macleod has a way with building realistic dystopias that's admirable.Overall: Plays with some frankly weird and disturbing ideas that might just be possible one day- but as always, Macleod makes you think. And I really like that.

  • Tim Hicks
    2019-04-22 21:36

    I have to remember that this was written in 1996, when we were admiring Netscape 1.0; indeed it was probably written in 1995. I liked some of McLeod's later works more, which is to be expected. There are some interesting ideas here about humanity, robots, soul, etc. but for me they were lost in a sludgy plot. So ... is Reid totally evil, or a decent guy who's a tad paranoid, or evil-but-later-not, or what? I prepared to lose my suspension of disbelief when the book droned on about radical anarcho-marxist libertarian publishing cadres and OH SHUT UP AND GET ON WITH IT. I first wrote "it appears that it shouldn't make a lot of difference that I haven't read volume 1," but on checking I see that I did read most of it, but bailed out after an overdose of the political stuff that is repeated here. I did lose the suspension of disbelief when it became apparent that Wilde's political postings somehow slid him with a hop, a skip, a jump and a lot of handwaving into the leader of a sudden blossoming of a nearly-buried space program into a megaforce that's building wormholes and using nanobots. It felt a bit like Og the chiseler of stone newsmagazines suddenly being responsible for interstate freeways and hybrid self-driving cars. Anyway, we move on, and we have copies of minds here, and body templates there, and at some point did we have four copies of Wilde, or was it five? And, as do so many books that use cloning and mind-transfer, this one got lost in the swamp. I found I didn't much care who was who anymore. The whole courtroom scene was going well, then became baffling, with Reid alternating between sane and crazy, and all sorts of stuff happening at once, and then all mostly going pfffft in the end. We keep meeting Reid again, and each time we wonder if he's going to be Ernst Stavro Blofeld, or a madman, or just Jon's old buddy who's still OK but not quite to be trusted - or will he be something else this time? There's an ending, sort of, and one of the Wildes seems to have sorted things out. Annette was obviously very important, for about 200 pages, and then she wasn't. The rest of the Wilde copies? I dunno. Dee and Ax? Dunno, they made a cameo at the end of pffft. Lots of good ideas in a not-so-great frame.

  • Aaron Arnold
    2019-04-07 19:36

    This came off as a science-fiction lover's science-fiction novel, and so I liked it a lot, even if there weren't a lot of "big ideas" per se.The narrative is split in two between the "present day" of the protagonist's life from the 70s to the near future, and the far future on New Mars where his mysteriously rejuvenated self has to intervene in a major political dispute, with alternating chapters helping to bring some structural tension as more and more backstory is slowly revealed. Jonathan Wilde is an anarchist whose friendship with socialist David Reid ends up being very important to the far future. It's not quite a "buddy novel" since there are major issues between the two (like Reid's attraction to Annette, Wilde's wife), but the humorous political debates between the two make up a large part of a novel - there's a lot of light-hearted politics of the "Snow Crash libertarianism" variety, which is always fun to read about. Supposedly MacLeod is very politically active in real life, so a lot of the best political scenes have a humorous roman à clef vibe to them.Wilde is a bit too constantly self-consciously cool to be a really first-rate protagonist, but his adventures are fun to read about, especially in the "present" timeline where he tries to put some of his anarchist ideas into practice. MacLeod has lots of the kind of funny writing that comes from being a big sci-fi fan, and so you'll read lines like "Night fell, and without headlights we drove on, tirelessly, and discussed how to hack the gates of hell" fairly often. He has a talent for finding good ways of putting things, like "Walking between terminals was a Brownian motion through a Hobbesian crowd" that make the book fun to read, and the ability to make his characters laugh at their own ideals: "'The sunlight really is the white light.' This materialist insight was all that survived of a magic-mushroom trip I'd taken as a student. That and a vision of three goddesses: Mother Nature, Lady Luck, and Miss Liberty, who were - I realized after coming down from it - necessity, chance, and freedom, and indeed the rulers of all."This was his second novel, and the second in a series. I haven't read the first novel, but I'll be on the lookout for it.

  • Kristin Lieber
    2019-04-08 19:33

    This book is a weird genre of technology-economics science fiction. The author is clearly really intelligent. The book has many smart ideas and references, many of which I didn't understand.Despite not feeling like I really got it, I liked the book and the story was engaging. A group of dead humans have colonized New Mars resurrecting themselves in bodies grown from DNA. They coexist with robots of varying degrees of cognition, some very human. Humans have solved many problems of the human condition - death, aging and most illnesses.The book explores economic theory - Marxism, capitalism, socialism, Trotskyism, anarchy and libertarianism. It mainly deals with singularity, or what makes something unique and distinct. For example, one person exists both in robot and human form simultaneously and each copy has different thoughts. There are humans in robot form and robots in human form.The basic premise is a robot version of a person grows a body for and resurrects a human version. The person, Jon Wilde, and his robot try to find the person , Reid, who killed him and has resurrected a succubus robot in the body of his wife. Whatever, right?What were some of the interesting ideas?��� the future where human and artificial intelligence are equally aware.��� crimes are worked out through ATM-like computers. After crimes are committed, fines are automatically transferred from the guilty's bank account.��� Death no longer exists.��� There are super fast computers, called the fast folk, who are too fast and smart to coexist with civilization.��� The environment is very steam-punkish.This is the second in a four part group. It's not a series because the next two books represent two alternate endings. I read the first book as well, called Star Fraction. The books are too complicated and I don't really care enough about them to tackle 3 and 4.

  • Kristin
    2019-04-09 21:19

    This book is a weird genre of technology-economics science fiction. The author is clearly really intelligent. The book has many smart ideas and references, many of which I didn't understand.Despite not feeling like I really got it, I liked the book and the story was engaging. A group of dead humans have colonized New Mars resurrecting themselves in bodies grown from DNA. They coexist with robots of varying degrees of cognition, some very human. Humans have solved many problems of the human condition - death, aging and most illnesses.The book explores economic theory - Marxism, capitalism, socialism, Trotskyism, anarchy and libertarianism. It mainly deals with singularity, or what makes something unique and distinct. For example, one person exists both in robot and human form simultaneously and each copy has different thoughts. There are humans in robot form and robots in human form.The basic premise is a robot version of a person grows a body for and resurrects a human version. The person, Jon Wilde, and his robot try to find the person , Reid, who killed him and has resurrected a succubus robot in the body of his wife. Whatever, right?What were some of the interesting ideas?• the future where human and artificial intelligence are equally aware.• crimes are worked out through ATM-like computers. After crimes are committed, fines are automatically transferred from the guilty's bank account.• Death no longer exists.• There are super fast computers, called the fast folk, who are too fast and smart to coexist with civilization.• The environment is very steam-punkish.This is the second in a four part group. It's not a series because the next two books represent two alternate endings. I read the first book as well, called Star Fraction. The books are too complicated and I don't really care enough about them to tackle 3 and 4.

  • Sharon
    2019-04-07 17:10

    Can't give it any more as I have no idea what is going on. Problem - should have read the first one of the series.

  • Benjamin
    2019-03-25 21:37

    If you think Mad Max is a libertarian hell, try this book. At one point, I was like, "this book is pure evil!" but it's not of course, Ken MacLeod is one of the good guys on our sorry planet. There were a couple of moments where I thought, "wow" just from the ideas in here and that is supposedly one of the reasons we read science fiction, right? The "wow"s? I also think I am going to miss hanging out with the characters in this book and that, I think, also says a lot about the quality of the writing. The novel bounces back and forth between characters' pasts and futures, offering both a near-future Earth-based story and a far future story on a planet called "New Mars." MacLeod does that kind of thing often, I think. The book with the bats, for example, Learning The World flips back and forth between the bat planet and the generation ship story. Cosmonaut Keep, also does that. I was way more into the "New Mars" story than the near-future Earth stuff and I was a little disappointed with how the romance novelish love story in the beginning kind of withered away -- because I like a good love story -- but then things got all post-human-Wizard-of-Oz and I was hooked again.

  • Scribe
    2019-03-30 17:25

    Wow. Finished this book 20 seconds ago and need to say wow before I forget everything I just read.I had this on my shelf for years, unread. It took me months to read. But it was worth it. This is a *smart* book. But not in a pompous way, not in an academic way (much). In a *story* way. It's ambitious, it's epic, and the scariest thing about it is it comes across as *plausible*. Avoiding spoilers, the story starts from both the future and the past. Where other books hint at some crucial point that will be revealed to the reader later, this book turns that into the entire arc. But the scope is huge, and takes in everything from 70s politics to hard-and-fast sci-fi, to a love story. Imagine Iain M Banks meets the Matrix meets Aronofsky's the Fountain maybe. You're probably still not close, but...Definitely convinced me to pick up his other works. And soon.

  • Mark
    2019-04-07 20:16

    will Goodreads let me give this less than one star?ugh:- hard-to-follow plot: mostly an alpha-male pissing contest, interrupted by ideological windbaggery about libertarianism vs Leninism, and padded by an equally hard-to-follow, and clumsily expounded, backstory- sexist characterizations, especially of the escaped sex-slave "gynoid" and, more incidentally but just as symptomatically, of the child tv news anchor, a "blonde bimbette", and of a recurring minor character, recurringly described as only a "slut."- all the libertarian "anarcho-capitalist" theorizing emerges, ironically, in actions & dialogue of two "superman" main characters, each other's nemeses and sexual competitors, who typify the outsider-hero trope that A. Santesso (in SFS 41.1, 2014) identifies as one of the strongest persistent legacies of fascist ideology in science fiction.

  • Michael Hall
    2019-04-08 15:20

    An intelligent and philosophical science fiction tale with a genre bending foray into economics and politics (socialism, libertarianism, etc.). The storytelling is artful and vivid yet intellectual enough at times to make you stop and think in distraction. It's chapters alternate between a story of identity set in the future on a planet fairly recently colonised by humans, and a second story that skips through the main character's lives from the 1970s into that future. The future story is quite interesting, but the other feels like it's there to loosely incorporate this (the sequel) into the same universe as The Star Fraction which preceded it. Interesting yet annoyingly weak at the end.

  • Tristan
    2019-04-24 15:15

    A strong follow up to The Star Fraction, this story follows a character briefly mentioned in the previous book.Alternating between recollections of the recent past and near future to a time far in the future on the settlement of New Mars, it finds the protagonist suddenly reborn from a digital snapshot of their brain taken immediately after their death in the 21st Century.Againt the story stands on its own merit whilst exploring political themes. This time Benjamin Tucker's individualist anarchy is the starting point, but it also explores the consequences of human equivalent robots and hyper intelligent computers.

  • Peter Dunn
    2019-04-16 14:31

    I cannot say I am as keen on this second outing in the Fall revolution series. I do like the background society on New Mars which has great ideas such as the fast Folk, free robots set alongside indentured humans minds, and the ability to hire fairly speedy court services which compete for clients. It’s the characters that I do not really buy into. The quasi eternal battle between Wilde and Reid just does not ring true. Reid in particular slides more and more into a cardboard cut-out corporate villain.

  • vladimir
    2019-04-16 17:34

    The story of a friendship that spans 300 (yes, 300 years--it all makes sense without the need for pixie-dust or some such crutch), during which civilization crumbles (sort of) and a new civilization (sort of) rises on another planet. All the while, Macloed's ruminations on the nature of revolutions and the (post)human condition keep the reader's feet on the ground while being dazzled by the his imaginative brilliance. My favorite of the Fall Revolution books.

  • Jobjörn Folkesson
    2019-04-21 14:21

    Jag gjorde ett uppehåll i läsningen av den här boken och det var ett stort misstag. Den föregående boken i serien - Star Fraction - är sjukt intensiv med massor av olika grejer som händer som alla är just the right amount of mind-boggling. Den här är värre/mera. När jag läser de resterande bitarna av The Fall Revolution ska jag nog se till att ha ett litet anteckningsblock till (detta kommer knappast hända på riktigt).

  • Jim McGowan
    2019-03-30 22:08

    Pretty good, but not MacLeod's best, in my opinion. This book takes the form of chapters alternating between an interesting story set in the future on a planet fairly recently colonised by humans, and a second story that skips through the main character's lives from the 1970s into that future. The future story is quite interesting, but the other story feels like it only exists to tie this story into the same universe as The Star Faction, MacLeod's preceeding novel.

  • Craig
    2019-04-11 17:21

    This novel bounces back and forth between near-future Earth and far-future New Mars. The near-future Earth has some really weird and enjoyable bits, where revolutionaries remake large chunks of Earth (especially Britain) in bizarre ways (I gather his "Star Fraction" covers this in more depth), as does the far-future quasi-Mars, and the (well-done) bits in between. But I had serious trouble accepting the characters and their relationship--just not really believable.

  • James
    2019-04-17 14:26

    ... there's a longer story here about how reading this series meshes perfectly with both my memories of living in Glasgow for one semester in the 90s and with where the rest of my college experience fits in my brain, but it'll have to wait. Maybe when I next read the last book in the series. Suffice to say that you can take the scene in Glasgow University's Queen Margaret Union bar, move it up 15 years, and plop me right in the middle of it with no real effort at all.

  • Eric Holm
    2019-04-10 17:31

    Aside from the author's zeal for politics and name dropping, the story was quite entertaining. Still, the conflict between arch nemeses was anti-climactic, and the ending was disappointing. If less energy were spent writing down the names of economic and political authors, and more energy spent on tuning up the intrigue it would be a five star book.

  • Tani
    2019-04-25 22:14

    Better than the first book, but still not really for me. Thinking I'll persevere and read the next one, as it's the award-winner, but may not ever read the last book in the series, depending on how the next one goes.

  • Mike
    2019-04-13 16:38

    A very entertaining and imaginative story. This is the 5th novel by Ken MacLeod that I've read and I really like his writing style. He manages to weave in a lot of "future politics" without making it boring. The science is always good.

  • Joe
    2019-03-31 14:18

    Any and all of the Fall Revolution books are hard to read. That's not to say they aren't awesomely great books, because without fail they are. What I mean is that you will be challenged by Macleod politically. His story structure is very hard to accept at first but in the end is very rewarding.

  • Signe
    2019-04-24 20:09

    Extremely intelligent and politically as well as philosophically interesting science fiction. You may need to be on the left wing (or have leftish sympathies) to fully appreciate the depts of it, but spoken as someone who is, it is some of the best SF I have ever read.