SF novel recommendation - Star Fraction

Lloyd Wood (L.Wood@surrey.ac.uk)
Mon, 19 Apr 1999 01:14:39 +0100 (BST)

Explanation of URL and book browsing:

Ken MacLeod, "Star Fraction".

This novel is too smart for its own good; too many ideas, too many
neat ripostes, witty jabs and one-liners, too much crammed into too
small a space by someone who can't quite balance dialogue with
description, much less interleave the two seamlessly in convincing
plotlines. And the fawning recommendation-from-my-best-mate-Banksy-cos-
he's-the-only-other-sf-writer-north-of-the-border should be disregarded.
(Odd that www.ntk.net witters on and on and on about M. Banks, yet has
never mentioned Our Ken.)

But hey, the US/UN are the bad guys here; shades of Kosovo, truly a
story for our times. The antihero - some guy called Kohn - carries a
Kalashnikov around a rather different London. Looks like there's a new
1999 paperback reprint (I read the hardback) and the take on
cyberpunk is in a field of its own. Although dense, it's hardly as
impenetrable as anything by Jeff Noon (who is completely unreadable,
if you ask me. postmodernist? more like preliterate), and well worth
reading to see a technicolour (okay, mostly red) imagination in

Well, worth reading once. And preferably with a marxist dictionary and
a copy of the Geneva Convention to hand, at that.

First of a series; haven't read _The Stone Canal_ or _The Cassini
Division_ (or _Sky Road_, which may be in similar vein). It's not
listed at all in amazon.*com*, which says a lot about the existence of
their database synchronisation. But you can find and order US books
via amazon.co.uk. Odd, what?

Ken Macleod is a writer well worth watching, for when he finally
learns to write well. He is our Connie Willis, who doesn't
have a UK publisher just as Ken doesn't have a US publisher, so
you can't buy this easily stateside. Anyway, it's probably seditious
under McCarthyism-enacted legislation or somesuch.