26 December 2008

The Star Fraction by Ken MacLeod

I re-read this on a whim, seeing it on the library shelf, and was not disappointed. I think this may be his best novel - it's certainly so densely packed with ideas it seems liable to implode at any point. Fantastic. Should be on any serious science fiction fan's must-read list. Probably the must-own list, really.

For those who are late to the party, it follows a few characters, but centrally Moh Kohn, a mecenary with a hacked together gun/AI who discovers as part of a routine 'protect university science department from anti-technology terrorists' job that he seems to be a key part of some kind of backup plan to save British (or possibly global) socialism that was put together by his father (a genius computer programmer, and author of the OS/internet substrate of the computers used in the time of the novel) and seems to have suddenly activated itself. A combination of interesting and plausible politics and technologies make this work much better than many similar attempts. Also, there's a really good sprinkling of stuff that is just damn cool (the way that Gibson can also do so very well).

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