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The Sky Road

av Ken MacLeod

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
6941123,828 (3.66)17
Centuries after the catastrophic Deliverance, humanity is again reaching into space. And Clovis, a young scholar working in the spaceship-construction yard, could make the difference between success and failure. For his mysterious new lover, Merrial, has seduced him into the idea of extrapolating the ship's future from the dark archives of the past. A past in which, centuries before, Myra Godwin faced the end of a different space age--her rockets redundant, her people rebellious, and her borders defenseless against the Sino-Soviet Union. As Myra appealed to the crumbling West for help, she found history turning on her own strange past--and on the terrible decisions she faces now. "The Sky Road" is a fireworks display, a bravura performance, and the most amazing novel yet by one of the powerful new voices in science fiction.… (mer)
Senast inlagd avMikaMoore, privat bibliotek, NikiAnderson, tnewman195859

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https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/3488524.html

Here the setting shifts between a near-future Central Asian statelet, run by one Myra Godwin-Davidov; and a utopian anarcho-communist Scotland centuries hence, where young historian Clovis is working out what exactly Myra did to change human society and is seduced by the "tinker" Merrial (actually a member of a technologically advanced separatist tribe). MacLeod is a political writer whose interest is in the overthrow of the class structre as a means to liberation. The book is tightly constructed and builds to a coulpe of revelations in each timeline that are both surprising and satisfying, with shafts of humour which are sometimes satirical and sometimes just Scottish. I enjoyed returning to it ( )
  nwhyte | Oct 11, 2020 |
In this novel, MacLeod again presents two linked narratives in different times. In this case, the one in the farther future is told by a historian, and it soon appears that the earlier story is the history that he is attempting to research and write. But tension is maintained for the reader by the fact that with each of these proceeding by their own internal chronology, what the characters in the twenty-first-century story don't know seems to be exactly what goes without saying in the later period, when everyone knows it and takes it for granted. It's a clever and effective structure. I think this is also the most Scottish of the four "Fall Revolutions" books.

In notes referred to the author, it is alleged that this final book of the series takes place in a continuity divergent from the second and third, because of an event in the second book that is somehow inconsistent with The Sky Road. I can't figure it. Portions of The Stone Canal (the second book) take place both before and after the far-future narrative setting of The Sky Road. I see them all integrating well enough, though; there are explicit links to all three of the other books here, and at least cameo appearances of their principal characters.

Although The Sky Road was written and published last, its far-future portions serve to bridge narrative gaps between the other books, particularly helping to account for how the anarcho-socialist Earth society of The Cassini Division (the third book) came into existence. Now having read all four books in publication sequence, I think they could be equally enjoyed in any order whatsoever.
3 rösta paradoxosalpha | Oct 31, 2018 |
This is the second MacLeod book that I've read; the first was The Cassini Division. I picked up Cassini in hardcover almost immediately because so many people were raving about it, and it left me completely cold. A perfectly adequate book, as to plot, world-building, writing, etc., but absolutely nothing about it engaged me sufficiently to really overcome the fact that the protagonist is the villain of the piece, and she's not all that interesting a villain. I preferred to see her be defeated, but I never worked up any great concern even for that. It was only the New Mars section that really seemed to me to reward the effort of bothering to read it.

Given this reaction, it will probably surprise no one that I did not rush out to buy The Sky Road. I ignored it for months, and eventually picked it up at the library in a burst of idle curiosity about why MacLeod inspires such enthusiasm.

I can't say that I'm a convert, but I do rather wish I'd read The Sky Road first. Not only did I find it far more engaging and enjoyable than The Cassini Division; I think I'd have enjoyed The Cassini Division more if I'd read this first.

I'm a little hazy on MacLeod's future chronology, so I can't really say whether this book is set before or after Cassini, although my money would be on "before". A few centuries after the Deliverance, humanity is once again building a spaceship, its first attempt to return to space since the Deliverer turned all the satellites and habitats in Earth orbit and at the Lagrange sites into so much space junk in her attempt to remove one particular danger. A young scholar who hopes to research the life of the Deliverer is approached by a tinker who, after seducing him, tells him of her fears that near-Earth space may be filled with space junk, and recruits him to help get access to the Deliverer's files, which might answer the question. The scholar, Clovis, agrees, and he and the tinker, Merrial, head off to Glasgow to do a little not-quite-illegal research.

Over the next few days, his life and his worldview get pretty thoroughly smashed to bits. Nothing is as he believed it to be, including Merrial, and including himself.

I found Merrial, Clovis, and their world and their problems a lot more interesting and worth my reading time than Ellen May and hers. If that's not quite the ringing endorsement that those who better appreciate MacLeod's work would make, at least I'm more likely now to pick up another of his books, and see if his virtues as a writer become further clarified for me.
( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
This novel concludes Ken Macleod's 'Fall Revolution' sequence and does so in a very satisfying manner. It still requires some degree of familiarity with Leftist politics, though given that it was written in 1999, it perhaps helps to think of the near-future segments as being in an alternate history.

There are two strands to the novel. In the first, we are placed in a far future Scotland, in a partly post-industrial society, where a young engineer and student of history is working on a project to build a spaceship, the first for some hundreds of years. The second strand takes us back to the events of the previous books, and follows the political exploits of Myra Godwin, partner of one of the men who shaped her future world, as she negotiates politics from post-Soviet central Asia, dealing with space factions, a resurrected and (comparatively) low technology neo-Communist Sino-Russian alliance (the Sheenisov), the CIA and even the Trotskyite Fourth International.

The two strands come together in surprising but wholly consistent ways. Macleod's command of his future history is excellent. The distant future segments are particularly well-drawn, mainly through occupying physical territory that Macleod knows well.

Along the way, he has some fun with his readers. The very opening of the first chapter, up in the far future, establishes the atmosphere of the society, at the same time both post-industrial and technologically savvy, though the way it is done will chime best with those who know Celtic traditional music. The whole far future setting is reminiscent of the great Russian dystopian novel, Yevgeny Zamyatin's 'We', though 'The Sky Road' ends rather better for Macleod's protagonist than it does for Zamyatin's. Later, there is a nod to the British surrealist tv series 'The Prisoner' in the name given to a military-grade AI; this AI, known simply as 'The General' may have some relationship to the protagonist of the first novel in the sequence, 'The Star Fraction'.

This novel can be read as a stand-alone, although an appreciation of the 21st century segements will be helped by some knowledge of the author's universe and some familiarity with the politics of the Left, though most of that will only be background material in this book. ( )
2 rösta RobertDay | Jun 3, 2018 |
Recently, I came across this novel and realized I had never finished it, so I reread it. This is the fourth novel in MacLeod's Fall Revolution series but it stands alone. Still, I plan on rereading the first three novels because this one reminded me how much I enjoyed them. The Sky Road alternates between events in the mid-21st Century and the first launch of a space ship since then, some hundreds of years later. Suspenseful, imaginative and hoppe-filled. ( )
  nmele | Dec 12, 2016 |
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Gibbons, LeeOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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Centuries after the catastrophic Deliverance, humanity is again reaching into space. And Clovis, a young scholar working in the spaceship-construction yard, could make the difference between success and failure. For his mysterious new lover, Merrial, has seduced him into the idea of extrapolating the ship's future from the dark archives of the past. A past in which, centuries before, Myra Godwin faced the end of a different space age--her rockets redundant, her people rebellious, and her borders defenseless against the Sino-Soviet Union. As Myra appealed to the crumbling West for help, she found history turning on her own strange past--and on the terrible decisions she faces now. "The Sky Road" is a fireworks display, a bravura performance, and the most amazing novel yet by one of the powerful new voices in science fiction.

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