Cosmonaut Keep: Engines of Light: Book 1 and over 2 million other books are available for Amazon Kindle . Learn more

Buy Used
Used - Very Good See details
Price: 2.80

or
 
   
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Colour:
Image not available

 
Start reading Cosmonaut Keep: Engines of Light: Book 1 on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Cosmonaut Keep: Engines of Light: Book One [Hardcover]

Ken MacLeod
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Available from these sellers.


Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition 4.35  
Hardcover --  
Paperback 10.99  

Book Description

2 Nov 2000 Engines of Light

After the Ural Caspian Oil War, nobody really trusted the EU government. So why should their extraordinary announcement of first contact with alien intelligence be believed? Matt Cairns thinks he can discover the truth. It is out there, but much, much further away than he could have imagined. Thousands of light-years from Earth, a human colony is struggling for survival. The world on which they have settled, however, has already been inhabited by humans - and other intelligent species from Earth - for millennia. In that ancient division of labour, humans do have a place. But where is it?

Twenty-first-century political intrigue becomes space opera on an epic scale in Ken MacLeod's first book in a dazzling new series. His most ambitious novel to date, it will take one of Britain's most exciting new science fiction authors to even greater heights of success and critical acclaim. More information on this book and others can be found on the Orbit website at www.orbitbooks.co.uk



Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; First Edition edition (2 Nov 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857239865
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857239867
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 24.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,550,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Since graduating from Glasgow University in 1976, Ken MacLeod has worked as a computer analyst in Edinburgh. He now writes full-time.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Like a British--specifically, Scots--counterpart of Bruce Sterling, Ken MacLeod is an SF author who has thought hard about politics and delights in making unlikely alternatives plausible, grippingly readable and often downright funny.

Cosmonaut Keep swaps between two timelines whose characters share the ultimate goal of interstellar travel. In an uncertain future on the far world of Mingulay, human colonists live in the title's ancient, alien-built Keep--coexisting with reptilian "saurs", trading with visiting ships piloted by krakens, and hiding their laborious "Great Work" of developing human-guided navigation between the stars.

Meanwhile alternate chapters present a mid-21st century Earth whose EU is (to America's horror) Russian-dominated with a big red star in the middle of its flag, rumours of alien contact aboun, and computer whizzkid Matt Cairns finds himself carrying a datadisk of unknown origin that offers antigravity and a space drive.

Clearly the later storyline's Gregor Cairns is Matt's descendant. There are ingenious connections and surprises, with witty resonances between their wild careers, their travels and their bumpy love-lives. The foreground action-adventure points to a bigger picture and a master plan known only to the godlike hive-minds who built the "Second Sphere" of interstellar culture and who regard traditional SF dreams of unlimited human expansion through space as precisely equivalent to floods of e-mail spam polluting the tranquil galactic net.

Cosmonaut Keep opens MacLeod's new SF sequence Engines of Light. It is highly entertaining and intelligent, promising more good things to come. --David Langford

Review

Like a British--specifically, Scots--counterpart of Bruce Sterling, Ken MacLeod is an SF author who has thought hard about politics and delights in making unlikely alternatives plausible, grippingly readable and often downright funny. (Cosmonaut Keep swaps between two timelines whose characters share the ultimate goal of interstellar travel. In an uncertain future on the far world of Mingulay, human colonists live in the title's ancient, alien-built Keep--coexisting with reptilian "saur )

Meanwhile alternate chapters present a mid-21st century Earth whose EU is (to America's horror) Russian-dominated with a big red star in the middle of its flag, rumours of alien contact aboun, and computer whizzkid Matt Cairns finds himself carrying a dat (Clearly the later storyline's Gregor Cairns is Matt's descendant. There are ingenious connections and surprises, with witty resonances between their wild careers, their travels and their bumpy love-lives. The foreground action-adventure points to a bigger )

Cosmonaut Keep opens MacLeod's new SF sequence Engines of Light. It is highly entertaining and intelligent, promising more good things to come. (David Langford, AMAZON.CO.UK REVIEW )

This man is going to be a major writer (IAIN M. BANKS )


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm 5 Jan 2002
By Steven Fouch VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
There is an old joke that runs as follows: - Q: What is the Golden Age of Science Fiction? A: Between thirteen and fifteen. This novel feels a bit as if it was written with that age group in mind, yet at the same time it manages to carry some fairly technical and complex political and scientific ideas as well.
This is not a great Ken MacLeod novel - but by his standards that makes it still a more than halfway decent piece of science fiction. It is Golden Age sci-fi/space opera in its main concerns (god-like ancient aliens with an apparent Erik Von Daniken complex, interstellar commerce, space drives and so forth), but also typically MacLoed in its concerns with economic and political ideologies and agendas (growth capitalism versus steady state socialism). It has echoes of his earlier novels - bit of the narrative on the planet Mingulay read like "The Sky Road", bits of the parallel narrative in the 21st century have echoes of "The Star Fraction" and "The Stone Canal". As a consequence, it feels a bit like re-treading old territory, but in other ways this is a lighter novel, less dark and complex than his first four novels, more open and accessible to the first time MacLeod reader.
The main problem, as the start of a new "sequence", is that it simply does not quite grab you the way to should. It's good, but not outstanding, inventive, but not really all that original. And, some of the characterisation, and in particular the love story sub-plots are rather on the juvenile side - catering (it seems to me) to male adolescent fantasy.
On the other hand, it throws up enough interesting puzzles (although the answers to some of them were obvious from within a few chapters) to make me want to read the next instalment. I only hope that "Dark Light" is more engaging and challenging.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More of the same, just better... 5 Dec 2000
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Seriously good work from Macleod sees two time lines mirroring each other, in character and events, across both time and space. The plotting is tight, the characters strongly drawn (including the various heroines, which hasn't always been true in the past) and the locations both on and off planet, as ever with Macleod, are so real that you could walk round them blindfold in your head.
As for the saturnine dope-smoking reptile scientist - spot on (I'm positive I used to know him).
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:Paperback
"Cosmonaut Keep" is a page-turning, memorable and enchanting start to Ken MacLeod's "The Engines of Light" space opera science fiction series of novels, successfully recycling such time-worn tropes of science fiction like first contact and the role of computerized technology in a near future human civilization. MacLeod courageously takes us on a centuries-spanning journey through time and space as seen through the eyes of 21st Century outlaw freelance computer programmer Matt Cairns and his direct descendant, Gregor Cairns, an exobiology student and citizen of the remote human colony world of Terra Nova. Cairns is assigned the task of breaking into the computer network of the secret European Space Agency space station Marshall Titov, soon after a mutiny occurs, with the station's scientists seizing control of it from the station's military crew, shortly after making First Contact with an alien race possessing the secret to interstellar travel. Cairns finds himself confronted unexpectedly with his family's historical legacy, even as he tries to woe the daughter of a young trader, not realizing that his research partner Elizabeth has fallen in love with him. Together, with the assistance of their alien Saurian friend Salasso, they seek discovering again, the secret to interstellar travel. This is a novel rich in fantastical imagery, from the arrival of a gigantic starship to stumbling upon the surprisingly rich, almost human, family life of Salasso and his Saurian family and friends. Though MacLeod is a gifted storyteller and a fine prose stylist in his own right, readers should prepare themselves for the frequent, quite substantial, jumps in space and time as he shifts his focus from Matt Cairns to Gregor Cairns; that, however, is merely a minor criticism for what I regard is among the most intelligent, well-conceived, and well-written space opera science fiction in contemporary Anglo-American science fiction literature.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting sci-fi 9 Dec 2003
By Tom Douglas TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is my first outing with Ken McLeod and very enjoyable it is too.
The story has two threads. The first is set in the near future, and we get a hearty dose of political thriller mixed into the plot (the EU has been invaded by the Russians, and we are back in the cold war!) along with some fairly standard cyber thriller elements. At one point there was so much talk of legacy systems that it was like reading Computer Weekly!
The second thread is on the planet Mingulay, which is inhabited by humans and various other species, including the classic 'grey' alien (big head, big black eyes, small mouth; appears in every third episode of the X-files).
Mingulay is a long long way from earth and is in a volume of space called the Second Sphere which includes many human-inhabited planets. This book is about how humans came to be on Mingulay in the first place, but also acts as a scene-setter for the trilogy as a whole (the other books being Dark Light and Engine City).
McLeod has a fast-paced writing style, but thankfully this does not result in thin characterisation. He uses humour well and manages to write about alien species as if he knows them personally. Maybe he does.
All in all, well worth a read as a stand-alone novel and I can also recommend the trilogy as a whole.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Extremely dull author wish fulfillment
Oh my, this was a boring book. Aside from the glacial pacing, any dramatic tension created from the plot is immediately dispelled by the smart-arse characters saying 'Yeah, that's... Read more
Published 24 months ago by Jim dot bailey
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmmuuuurrgggh
Sorry didn't like it. I'll tell you the good stuff first - it does some very smart things and the universe it's set in is really interesting. Read more
Published on 24 Jun 2009 by jambox
1.0 out of 5 stars Whatever happened to Ken MacLeod?
Whatever happened to Ken MacLeod? There was a time when I avidly read everything Ken MacLeod wrote. That was in the days of 'The Cassini Division, Star Fraction etc. Read more
Published on 19 May 2006 by A. Swiecicki
5.0 out of 5 stars What can I say? - I loved it
This was the first Ken Macleod book I read and it inspired me to go on and read much of his other work. Read more
Published on 31 Dec 2004 by K. de Lucia
2.0 out of 5 stars Done too quick
This is a mildly interesting book with nothing much new as far as sci fi goes. I spent the first half of the book trying to deal with with the twisting themes and the two different... Read more
Published on 22 Sep 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting. but not his best
This is the first book in a series called 'Engines of Light' and I will be reading the next part pretty soon I hope.
So you know that I enjoyed it enough to read a sequel. Read more
Published on 28 Jan 2004 by Amazon Customer
2.0 out of 5 stars sci-fi struggle
After checking the reviews on this book, and seeing some of the almost rapturous praise heaped on it by other authorsm, (Iain Banks included) I was looking forward to something... Read more
Published on 4 Dec 2003 by Tyson Bridger
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful plot & good characterization
... This is grand old space opera, but it does have ideas. And MacLeod distinguishes his science-fiction with political ideas, but he doesn't let them get in the way of the story. Read more
Published on 28 Feb 2003 by Neal C. Reynolds
4.0 out of 5 stars Keep up if you can - it's excellent stuff if you do
Ken MacLeod is somewhat of an enigma to me. I have read "The Star Fraction" previous to this, and I found similarities in my reaction. Read more
Published on 25 Feb 2002 by Jonathan Waterlow
5.0 out of 5 stars Blessed relief!
Macleod, like his friend Ian Banks, can be a fast, sloppy writer sometimes and his characters don't always come off, but this guy is a real SF writer in the true tradition. Read more
Published on 7 Jan 2002
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category


Feedback