Ken MacLeod

The Star Fraction; Forge, ISBN 0-765-30156-3 Order it from

The first-written of MacLeod's quartology, but the last to be published in the USA. A straightforward enjoyable tale of the ANR's revolution against the Hanoverian regime. A couple characters from the later books make brief appearances here.

The Stone Canal, 1996; Tor, ISBN 0-812-56864-8. Order it from

"He woke, and remembered dying." This book has one of the great openings, ranking up there with Snow Crash's "Deliverator" sequence. Jonathan Wilde wakes up next to a canal in the middle of a desert. There's a robot sitting there watching. It claims to have made him. The story intertwines present and flashback, with the two story lines gradually converging into a very satisfying showdown.

The Cassini Division, 1998; Tor, ISBN 0-812-56858-3. Order it from

A tale of three very different utopian anarchies. One is anarcho-syndicalist, one is totally capitalist, and the third is post-human nanotech AIs. Can they co-exist?

Ellen Ngewthu captains a ship in the Cassini Division, a military organization charged with protecting the solar system against the insane post-humans of Jupiter. Her mission: find the key to the Malley Mile, the stargate built by the Jovians before their descent into madness.

The Sky Road, 1999; Tor, ISBN 0-812-57759-0. Order it from

This is not a sequel to The Cassini Division; rather, it's an alternate time line. It's told in two intertwined parts. One story is set in a future post-civilized Scotland, where people are building the first spaceship for a couple hundred years. The other story concerns Myra Godwin-Davidova, who appeared briefly in Jonathan Wilde's flashbacks from The Stone Canal. Myra's story is the more interesting of the two, but neither story is of much consequence. This is probably MacLeod's weakest book.

It's easy to think that the communist Scotland of Sky Road is more or less the same thing as the anarchist England of Cassini, and therefore the two books could be jammed together into one time line. Well, easy for capitalist pigs like you and me, anyway. To leftist doctrinaires, the two societies probably look like exact opposites.
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