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Fractions: The First Half of the Fall Revolution Paperback – 2 Mar 2009

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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books; Reprint edition (2 Mar. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765320681
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765320681
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.6 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 864,436 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

Fractions Back in print, the first half of Ken MacLeod's landmark modern science fiction series about a balkanized future of dizzying possibilities. This volume comprises "The Star Fraction" and "The Stone Canal." Full description

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok on 30 Jan. 2009
Format: Paperback
Written towards the end of, and shortly after, the Cold War, Ken MacLeod's "Fractions", is the first half of a four novel series, "The Fall Revolution", exploring humanity's potential political futures. His first novel, "The Star Fraction", is a brilliant near future exploration as to how mankind copes with a fragmented nation state, 21st Century Great Britain, consisting of Marxist societies co-existing uneasily with others, especially with the overarching libertarian ethos of the US/UN world government. Set several decades after a brief World War III which was fought to integrate all of Europe into one state, MacLeod offers an optimistic appraisal of anarchistic rule, as seen through the eyes of his misfit protagonists, most of whom members of an urban terrorist band resisting the rule of the restored British monarchy and its US/UN overlords.

Centuries and many light years later, in MacLeod's second novel, "The Stone Canal", humans and androids share a world - New Mars, still in the midst of terraforming - and struggle to establish equality for both groups, when a mysterious human clone appears, recognizable as the British leader who triggered the Fall Revolution. MacLeod skillfully weaves back and forth between the lives of the original leader in the early 21st Century and his New Mars clone, drawing uneasy social and political parallels between both societies.

There are no real heroes in either half of "Fractions". MacLeod admits that his protagonists are flawed figures, rising occasionally to do memorable, perhaps even heroic, deeds. As characters they seem far more realized than the cyberspace cowboys and other social misfits inhabiting the near future landscape of William Gibson's "Cyberspace Trilogy".
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Provocative, Exciting First Half to Ken MacLeod's "Fall Revolution" 30 Jan. 2009
By John Kwok - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Written towards the end of, and shortly after, the Cold War, Ken MacLeod's "Fractions", is the first half of a four novel series, "The Fall Revolution", exploring humanity's potential political futures. His first novel, "The Star Fraction", is a brilliant near future exploration as to how mankind copes with a fragmented nation state, 21st Century Great Britain, consisting of Marxist societies co-existing uneasily with others, especially with the overarching libertarian ethos of the US/UN world government. Set several decades after a brief World War III which was fought to integrate all of Europe into one state, MacLeod offers an optimistic appraisal of anarchistic rule, as seen through the eyes of his misfit protagonists, most of whom members of an urban terrorist band resisting the rule of the restored British monarchy and its US/UN overlords.

Centuries and many light years later, in MacLeod's second novel, "The Stone Canal", humans and androids share a world - New Mars, still in the midst of terraforming - and struggle to establish equality for both groups, when a mysterious human clone appears, recognizable as the British leader who triggered the Fall Revolution. MacLeod skillfully weaves back and forth between the lives of the original leader in the early 21st Century and his New Mars clone, drawing uneasy social and political parallels between both societies.

There are no real heroes in either half of "Fractions". MacLeod admits that his protagonists are flawed figures, rising occasionally to do memorable, perhaps even heroic, deeds. As characters they seem far more realized than the cyberspace cowboys and other social misfits inhabiting the near future landscape of William Gibson's "Cyberspace Trilogy". While MacLeod is not nearly as graceful a stylist as Gibson, he does a most impressive job as a storyteller, telling two emotionally riveting tales that may be more meaningful as scenarios of potential human futures than as fiction. "Fractions" is an excellent, if long, introduction to this young British science fiction writer's work; a superlative blend of political science fiction and post-cyberpunk technological thriller.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Smart, quirky, funny SF with a point of view (not an attitude) 3 July 2010
By Mark from Bawlmer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ken MacLeod is a peerless purveyor of speculative fiction with a bite. An intellectual, fiercely partisan, aggressively funny, British writer, MacLeod gets in your face with his politics -- but makes it palatable by writing about characters you really care about. On top of that, he manages with the Fall Revolution series to create a satisfying puzzle whose pieces all fall together in his final novels of the series (collected as "Divisions"). For the fullest effect, read "Fractions" and "Divisions" together to appreciate how MacLeod spans light years of space and geologic eras of time while stitching together a satisfying yarn about super-long-lived characters linked - and divided - by friendship, love, ideology, and enmity. Oh yeah, and by nanotechnology, steam-punk cybernetics, the Singularity, and rip-roaring space opera.

"Fractions" combines the first two novels of the Fall Revolution series, "The Space Fraction" and "The Stone Canal." MacLeod focuses on a different character in each of his novels, while having the same core personalities appear either in the foreground or background of each of the other. In "The Star Fraction," we are introduced to a war-torn Britain that has been shattered by competing ideologies -- oh, yeah, and by some almost accidental nuclear blasts. We follow some armed-to-the-hilt mercenaries, psychedelic memory researchers, space enthusiasts, and left leaning revolutionaries as England tries to shrug off the latest Restoration. Despite deep discomfort with the notion of artificial intelligence, the protagonists end up unleashing the Black Plan of the Fourth International.

In "The Stone Canal," one of the fringe characters from "The Star Fraction" takes center stage. Using a slightly disorienting device of bouncing between late 20th Century/early 21st Century Britain and a world called New Ares centuries and light-years away, MacLeod tells a tale of love, jealousy, ideology, and the nature of consciousness. We encounter space entrepreneurs, robots, androids (and gynoids!), super-evolved humans, and wormholes, but MacLeod keeps the story grounded by following some compelling, but deeply flawed characters whose struggles span centuries and light years, and even frustrate death itself.

These novels showcase some of the best speculative fiction of the Nineties by an author who really delivers the goods.
One of my favorites 4 Jun. 2013
By Ken K - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Fall Revolution is one of my favorite series, and the two books included here are simply outstanding. If you enjoy hard scifi and space opera, this is a series that you shouldn't miss!
Epic 19 Feb. 2013
By Steve Bergeron - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It has been a long time since I read something this Epic. I would put this up against Herbert's Dune. It snuck up on me. The thoughts are big, the plot is deep. Epic.
ken macleod "Fractions" The first half of the fall revolution. 21 Nov. 2012
By jimrand - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having already read The Stone Canal it was good to revisit the scene again with the complete back story attached as it were.
I have enjoyed other titles by Ken Macleod and this is no exception.
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