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The Execution Channel Hardcover – 30 Jun 2007


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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Classics (30 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765313324
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765313324
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 2.8 x 25.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,421,625 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

Review

Ken MacLeod's The Execution Channel starts like a techno-thriller "ripped from tomorrow's headlines", a thrilling, fast-moving tale of suspense rife with paranoia and multiple conspiracy theories. However, it's deeper and more thoughtful than most thrillers. MacLeod vividly and economically portrays an all-too-plausible world in which war has spread across the Middle East and Central Asia; millions of Americans live in FEMA concentration camps due to climate change; the British Government is considering deporting all Muslims, and what's really happening is hidden in a blizzard of disinformation and propaganda. This is politically engaged, speculative fiction at its finest, with a conclusion that's absolutely mind-blowing. (THE TIMES)

Politically engaged, speculative fiction at its finest, with a conclusion that's absolutely mind-blowing (The Times)

Jaw-droppingly audacious (SFX)

A very good book, perhaps the best Ken MacLeod has written to date . . . The Execution Channel is an extraordinary novel (STRANGE HORIZONS) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

Ken MacLeod's most relevant and accessible novel to date. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Diziet on 4 May 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
First off, I really enjoyed this book. I read The Star Fraction a long time ago and got hooked on Ken Macleod, reading everything that he wrote subsequently for quite a while, but then slowly lost interest. The Star Fraction has a wonderful plot, insanely complicated politics which somehow seemed realistic, was not set too far into the future and was full of possibilities. But slowly the books that followed lost that fizz. But with The Execution Channel all that energy is back. And I'm sure more will follow.

I found it pretty difficult to get into at first; the writing seemed slightly stilted, the plot dark and rather unappealing. But it quickly picks up pace and starts to get more intricate, more engrossing and the possibilities start opening out. I can't help but compare it to The Star Fraction - in that, the main character is haunted by the legacy of his father. In The Execution Channel, there are similarities. Although the father character is there and (this time) alive and well, he still, in a sense, dominates the book, through the actions of his two adult children.

At times, it seems less a sci-fi novel and more a spy thriller, but the references to James Blish which, at first , seem totally out of place, slowly take on more relevance and importance. I won't say more as I don't want to give away the plot. Plot, ah yes, well there is one in there somewhere. But it's funny the way that several characters seem to feel responsible for what actually happens; it's funny because you get the feeling that ultimately none of them made the slightest difference. Still, somehow it's a gripping read.

One thing though - I wish it had been proof-read better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Halo VINE VOICE on 6 Sept. 2008
Format: Hardcover
The Execution Channel is set in an alternate near future ... one where terrorism and the war against it can often mean the same thing. In the fight against terror, certain civil liberties have been lost, and states sponsor conspiracy theories ... with devastating results.

It wasn't until I was a little way through the book that I actually realised it was an alternate future. It was interesting to see that with a small change things could be completely different, but often, with a big change things stayed the same. Take Al Gore as President of the USA for example -- in The Execution Channel it was his attacking of Arab soil that led to 9/11 ... except it wasn't the Twin Towers ... and people were wishing that George Bush had become President, after all he'd had known from his father's mistakes not to attack the East, and it's inconceivable that 9/11 would have happened just out of the blue...

While those are slightly morbid musings, it was a good comment on the inevitability of certain things, but also a warning that instead of just hoping things will be different, we should try to make them different. Of course, it was also a political comment ... and there are lots of warnings in The Execution Channel, e.g. over the loss of certain human rights, and how paranoia can set special relationships into hostile beginnings of another world war.

The Execution Channel wasn't a dry rant on politics and social climates, though, even if MacLeod's anger at the injustice at what's going on presently and what will happen is clearly palpable. Far from it.

Travis, a British citizen, angry at the special relationship with the US, works under cover for the French secret service.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 2 Jun. 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is MacLeod's best book since "The Cassini Division". Everything he writes is worth reading, but with the exception of "Newton's Wake" his last few books have seemed a bit staid and lacking in the real passion of his earlier work.

No-one could accuse "The Execution Channel" of being a passionless work, it's filled with righteous anger at the amoral cynicism of the War Against Terror, and the corrosive effect this has on the morality of everyday life.

There is a splendidly complex conspiratorial plot and plenty of action to speed along the storyline, and the novel finishes with a terrifically uncompromising Hard SF finale, which has enough optimism and faith in the future of humanity to wipe out the sour taste of government corruption and brutality.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 22 Sept. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Really enjoyed this book up until final chapter.

The credibiltiy rating of the plot bubbled along throughout the book at a high level until the end. Then it went off the scale, in a -ve direction.

The ending was too "Outside Context".

Up until that point I really enjoyed this book and will definitely stick with the author.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sarah A. Brown VINE VOICE on 11 April 2008
Format: Hardcover
I didn't think The Execution Channel ever quite delivered either as an sf novel or as a thriller. (Robert Harris's Fatherland is a good example of a book which does.) MacLeod doesn't exploit the intriguing possibilities of his near future (and alternate) world to the full - Kim Stanley Robinson and Stephen Baxter are just two examples of authors who, by contrast, create absorbing and convincing worlds which are subtly unlike our own. I wouldn't have minded this so much if the novel had functioned satisfactorily as a thriller. But the narrative wasn't well paced, the plot was tortuous - I kept on forgetting who people were partly because I wasn't sucked in enough to read it very quickly - and the ending was frankly silly.
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