Monday, February 2, 2009

Review: Newton's Wake

This short novel by Ken Macleod is fairly fast-paced, but covers a lot of familiar ground if you've read his earlier work.

You've got Macleod's standard left-wing take on the science fiction future here, mixed in with two forms of FTL travel: expensive spaceships and instantaneous travel directly through gates on planetary surfaces that are connected through the Skein, a network created by the now departed hyperintelligent beings of the Singularity.

There are several interesting future societies, though all are caricatures of a sort. You've got the out-and-out thuggery of the Scottish capitalist criminals, a bunch of erstwhile Communists, and an odd high-tech philosophical Asiatic society. Still, the book is intentionally funny in many places, though I felt like I had encountered a lot of the most interesting ideas in his earlier books.

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