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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews

Newton's Wake

Copyright 2004 by Ken MacLeod

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Good (3/5)

I first read this on the 7th February 2005.

Lucinda Carlyle is full of confidence as she leads her first combat archaeology mission, an exploration of ancient alien technology on the world of Eurydice.

Bearing in mind the power and repute of her family, her confidence is justified. However, this mission will be a disaster. Her impulsive actions will unfortunately activate the technology, anger the local population and result in the disabling of the portal that is her way back across the light years to home.

As she makes her long way home, she learns a bit about life, becoming a better, warmer person. She also leads a revolution, and uncovers truths about post-human technology that will transform the world.

All in a day's work for member of the Carlyle Family.

I'm almost smug that my review has cut to the quick of the novel so efficiently. You wouldn't want to know about the other characters: Lamont the astonishing asteroid miner; the embittered Professor Shlaim, bonded war-criminal; Ben-Ami, possibly the greatest living playwright on Eurydice, or of course the folk singers Calder and Winter, historical heroes resurrected to trigger a revolution.

And I'm sure you don't have time to read about the skein, the system of connected worm holes that the Carlyle family exploit and explore. Or the revolutionary FTL ships that the star-spanning Democratic Korean commonwealth, in its adherence to Juche, has managed to create. Or for that matter the plasma weapons, the space war and the replicating war-machines, the metal-faced lady, the super=-tough Knights of Enlightenment and the farming communities of America Offline.

What's it got? All the above and so much more, packed to the gills with inspirational technology and more excitement than, frankly, you deserve. And more about Scotland than you may expect for such a small country. But then this is a Ken Macleod book.

Loaded on the 30th March 2013.
Cover of Newton's Wake