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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

       
The Execution Channel

Copyright 2007 by Ken MacLeod

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Very good (3/5)

I first read this in October 2008 and most recently on the 20th February 2010.

It all started with a photo of a plane landing at a military base.

Well no it really all started with Al Gore winning the presidency.

Either way, life is suddenly rough and tough for the Travis family, James Travis, his daughter Roissin and son Alex. They are wanted by the UK government. That’s not a good position to be in as the governments of this alternate reality are just as damaged, corrupt and paranoid as those of ours.

  • The Execution Channel continues to broadcast the scenes of executions from around the world, the deaths of both the guilty and the innocent condemned to death by their governments. Although those governments’ security systems are pervasive and powerful, they are still unable to stop the Execution Channel broadcasting
  • CIA agent Jeff Paulson and Maxine Smith of MI5 struggle in their world of disinformation, deceit and deniability to implement the presumed wishes of their respective governments
  • Mark Dark catalogues in his blog the decaying world situation, and the conspiracies underlying it. He does his best to report honestly but he cannot completely overcome his own prejudices. And of course it is rather difficul to distinguish truth from lies in the data he scans
  • And Bob Cartright and the rest of the staff at Information Management Services have a lot to answer for

This is a brilliant and searing condemnation of corrupt politics and right-wing extremism and corrupt morality. It’s quite different in style to Ken's more mainstream SF novels – and that had me slightly worried for a while - but it is very good indeed.

What's it got? Conspiracies, betrayal and murder, sexy spies, mayhem and weapons of mass destruction. Also some nice views of Edinburgh which is clearly a city of some style.

Loaded on the 22nd April 2012.
    
Cover of The Execution Channel