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Newton's Wake: A Space Opera


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About the Author

Ken MacLeod holds a degree in zoology and has worked in the fields of biomechanics and computer programming. His first two novels, "The Star Fraction" and "The Stone Canal," each won the Prometheus Award; "The Cassini Division" was a finalist for the Nebula Award; "The Sky Road" won the British Science Fiction Association Award, and it and "Cosmonaut Keep" were finalists for the Hugo Award. His novella "The Human Front" won the Sidewise Award. Ken MacLeod lives near Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife and children.


Amid the somewhat strident politics there are some outrageously funny patches in this over-packed space opera from Nebula and Hugo finalist MacLeod (Cosmonaut's Keep, etc.). In the 24th century, brash young Lucinda Carlyle takes her first big chance to prove herself to her wheeling-dealing clan who control the skein, a network of "gates" transporting people and equipment instantaneously between planets. In the Hard Rapture war centuries earlier between the United States and united Europe, run-amok American AI took over the brains of humans. Survivors flung into space include the gawkish farmers of America Offline (AO), the straitlaced Oriental Knights of Enlightenment (KE) and the third-world "commies" who strip-mine planets (DK). Lucinda opens a Pandora's box of shifting alliances that turns 20th-century American sensibilities upside down. Keeping the AO, KE and DK straight can be confusing as Lucinda brawls along her barrack-room Glasgow-dialect way. Perhaps MacLeod's most memorably quirky character, Benjamin Ben-Ami, produces epics like Jesus Koresh: Martyred Messiah, with "a mild-mannered and modest but strong-willed hero" and "gloating psychopathic villains, the Emperor Reno and the Empress Hilary." MacLeod slyly entices Americans to see ourselves as others see us-not a flattering picture at all. Agent, Mic Cheetham. (June 22) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

When artificial intelligences (AIs) on Earth suddenly evolved into godlike beings, a war ensued, and the humans who managed to survive were forced to flee to other worlds. Lucinda Carlyle, a galactic entrepreneur, discovers an artifact that could disrupt the way of life that the offworld humans have forged. MacLeod (The Stone Canal) is a master of high-tech sf and political intrigue. Space battles, clever plotting, and an accessible prose style make this space opera a good addition to most sf collections. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

"Far more fun than deep space drama has any right to be...Just read the book. Then read it again. It's even better the second time." -"SFX" on "Newton's Wake" "Stylish, witty, and engaging!" -"San Diego Union Tribune" on "Newton's Wake" "For my money, Ken MacLeod is the current champion of the very smartest kind of New Space Opera: a relentlessly engaged thinker about nitty-gritty political-economic-social matters who also operates on the Romantic end of the genre by imagining worlds that offer vast (and even godlike) possibilities for humankind...MacLeod returns to his story elements and concerns with a persistence that signals a stubbornly committed intelligence as well as a fertile and mischievous imagination, and every variation on his themes produces something worth re-reading." -"Locus" on "Newton's Wake" "If you haven't yet read MacLeod's work, this is an excellent place to start." on "Newton's Wake" "Exciting...Accessible to the average reader as well as the hardcore SF fan. This is a work sure to keep the reader on the edge of her seat." -"Romantic Times Bookclub "on "Newton's Wake" "The kind of book that we wish would come to us more often in science fiction...Above everything, this book is fun." -"Vector" on "Newton's Wake" "Ken MacLeod's novels are fast, funny and sophisticated. There can never be enough books like these. A nova has appeared in our sky." --Kim Stanley Robinson, author of "Red Mars" "Science fiction's freshest new writer...MacLeod is a fiercely intelligent, prodigously well-read author who manages to fill his books with big issues without weighing them down."--"Salon" "Engaged, ingenious, and wittily partisan, Ken MacLeod is a one-man revolution, SF's Billy Bragg." -"Asimov's SF" "This man's going to be a major writer." -Iain Banks "Prose sleek and fast and the technology it describes-watch this man go global." -Peter F. Hamilton "MacLeod at his strongest: clever, passionate, and committed." -"SFX" on "Dark Light" "Distinctive, politically challenging, both tantalizing and satisfying." -"Kirkus Reviews" on "Cosmonaut Keep" "Rarely does a book demand so much of the reader-and then deliver." -"Publishers Weekly" on "Cosmonaut Keep"

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