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The Stone Canal (2002)

av Ken MacLeod

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Serier: Fall Revolution - timeline 1 (2)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
8221419,216 (3.69)21
This book contains selected papers from the E-Commerce and E-Business (SIGeBIZ) track at the 15th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2009, held in San Francisco, CA, USA, August 6-9, 2009. The 25 papers presented address emerging e-business issues and have been organized into four research lines: business models for the digital economy, electronic and mobile commerce behavioral and global issues, IS in financial markets and institutions, Web 2.0 and e-commerce and collaborative value creation.… (mer)
Senast inlagd avCrsh, privat bibliotek, skeletor_999, TomWeiss
  1. 10
    Snow Crash av Neal Stephenson (bsackerman)
  2. 00
    Necroville av Ian McDonald (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Mid-90s SF concerned with the social enfranchisement of technologically-resurrected humans.
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» Se även 21 omnämnanden

Visa 1-5 av 14 (nästa | visa alla)
Wow. Finished this book 20 seconds ago and need to say wow before I forget everything I just read.

I had this on my shelf for years, unread. It took me months to read. But it was worth it. This is a *smart* book. But not in a pompous way, not in an academic way (much). In a *story* way. It's ambitious, it's epic, and the scariest thing about it is it comes across as *plausible*.

Avoiding spoilers, the story starts from both the future and the past. Where other books hint at some crucial point that will be revealed to the reader later, this book turns that into the entire arc. But the scope is huge, and takes in everything from 70s politics to hard-and-fast sci-fi, to a love story. Imagine Iain M Banks meets the Matrix meets Aronofsky's the Fountain maybe. You're probably still not close, but...

Definitely convinced me to pick up his other works. And soon.
( )
1 rösta 6loss | Nov 7, 2019 |
I took a year's breather between reading Ken MacLeod's first novel The Star Fraction and this sequel The Stone Canal. In this one, he was already experimenting with many of the techniques that I enjoyed in his later Engines of Light series: changes of narrative person, parallel plot-lines that turn out to be nested, and multiple centuries of setting. It covers a time-frame both preceding and succeeding the one in the previous volume, and is definitely in a shared narrative continuum, with at least one point of explicit character contact, as well as many shared events in what was then (when it was written in the 1990s) a conjectural near future. At the same time, I think this volume would make a fine starting point, and that readers could really appreciate it fully without having read the first book.

Politically, the book's protagonist is raised by splinter-schismatic ultra-leftists, enters adulthood as an anarchist, and develops more socialist sentiments late in the course of events. The villain--a far more sympathetic one than in the previous book, but still quite detestable--goes from disillusioned socialist to the figure presiding over an extra-terrestrial "anarchy" in a most revoltingly capitalist manner.

Like The Star Fraction (and Engines of Light, for that matter), The Stone Canal is very much animated by the author's political concerns. To these is added a level of more science-fictional politics concerning the ontological status and social rights of post-human ("artificial") intelligences. In this respect, and with its attention to the dilemmas surrounding nanotechnologically-driven resurrection of the dead, this book reminded me more than a little of Ian MacDonald's Necroville, which had been published the year before. At the same time, it also covers a lot of the ground of space exploration and singularity exploitation that would later be treated in Charles Stross' Accelerando.

I don't think I'll pause as long this time before tackling the next book in the series, The Cassini Division.
3 rösta paradoxosalpha | Jul 22, 2018 |
More complex politics of the 70s interspersed with more abstract politics of a colony. ( )
  reading_fox | Jul 17, 2018 |
Starting out as what looks like a cyberpunk-ish take on Mars (except it's not the Mars we know and love), the second chapter plunges the reader into mid-1970s radical student politics in Glasgow, though this seems for a while to be merely a framing device. MacLeod soon shows himself to be quite capable of subverting his own political agenda by having his two main characters in the 1970s plot timeline work through all the radical socialist ideas and then come up with a libertarian solution to world conflict that works fine until the flaws in the plan become obvious and it falls apart badly. World War 3 follows.

It's only as you get to the midpoint of the novel that the reader realises that we are in a sort of prequel to MacLeod's first novel, 'The Star Fraction', showing how the Balkanised Britain of that novel came to be. The focus is actually rather wider than in that novel, and indeed from the perspective of this book there seems to be more organisation than 'The Star Fraction' would lead you to believe. The action of that novel is referenced a little obliquely. Eventually, both timelines come together as the technology and the political actions that started in the 1970s snowball (how convincing readers in the early 21st century will find that snowballing is debateable). For a novel dating from 1996, the technological props don't appear too outdated, and indeed the AI tech described seems to get closer by the day! MacLeod also exploits - without making it obvious - advances in medical science resulting in his characters having extended lifespans.

The plot suddenly opens out into what Brian Aldiss once called "wide-screen Baroque" and we jump almost seamlessly from the fairly ground-based political scenario of the 1970s/80s/90s timeline into the thick of almost full-blown space opera.

The action of the novel appears to segue seamlessly into the next novel in the sequence, 'The Cassini Division'. Its connections to 'The Star Fraction' are not obvious, and this novel could be read on its own. It also is far more subtle in its handling of the politics. ( )
3 rösta RobertDay | Sep 8, 2017 |
One strand runs from the present day in the UK, the other beginning hundreds of years in the future on New Mars, a human colony half a galaxy away. Each strand revolves around two main characters, Jonathan Wilde and Dave Reid, friends and competitors, political radicals, and both in love with the same woman.

The strand that runs from the present day has Wilde and Reid ricocheting off each other as rivals, both for Annette, who becomes Wilde's wife, and politically, as Reid's agenda takes him rightward, while Wilde's takes him leftward into anarchist/libertarian streams of thought. Ironically, each triggers the other, Wilde inundating Reid with a wide variety of political propaganda from all over the world as revenge for propositioning Annette, while Reid sets Wilde up as a political agent with funding enabling his views to be widely propagated.

In the second strand, Wilde awakes on the banks of the stone canal, to be told by a robot named Jay-Dub that his body is a freshly grown clone with Wilde's mind downloaded into it. He soon discovers that the colony is run by Dave Reid -- and the last memory Wilde has of Reid is of him being there when Wilde was gunned down. He also discovers that Reid has a clone of his wife, though downloaded with a machine intelligence. An age old battle is rejoined, with the future of the colony at stake.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
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Moore, ChrisOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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- we have the certainty that matter remains eternally the same in all its transformations, that none of its attributes can ever be lost, and therefore, also, that with the same iron necessity that it will exterminate on the earth its highest creation, the thinking mind, it must somewhere else and at another time again produce it.

Frederick Engels, Dialectics of Nature
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He woke, and remembered dying.
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This book contains selected papers from the E-Commerce and E-Business (SIGeBIZ) track at the 15th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2009, held in San Francisco, CA, USA, August 6-9, 2009. The 25 papers presented address emerging e-business issues and have been organized into four research lines: business models for the digital economy, electronic and mobile commerce behavioral and global issues, IS in financial markets and institutions, Web 2.0 and e-commerce and collaborative value creation.

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