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Peter A. Dawson (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia)

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Dark Light: Engines of Light Book 2: Bk. 2
Dark Light: Engines of Light Book 2: Bk. 2
by Ken MacLeod
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £15.03

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful handling of the "tricky" second novel in a series., 2 Jan 2002
The tricky second novel in any series is fraught with pitfals all of which MacLeod avoids skillfully. MacLeod's skill in characterization and plot development are displyed to good effect in Dark Light. If I could offer any constructive criticism it would be that MacLeod spins off ideas that would merit further deveolpment with such frequency that I found myself wishing for a book twice or thrice the size to fully explore all of them. I suppose that I am complaining about taught prose that leaves you wanting more which means that Ken, Mic and Tim have done their jobs rather well, not much of a complaint if truth be told.
The alternating timelines of Cosmanaut Keep have been dispensed with in favour of a linnear narrative which may make for easier reading for some. Criticism has been leveled at MacLeod in the past for the alternate political views expressed in his novels, while they are still present in Dark Light they are much less overt and are presented alongside many of the philosophical arguments behind those political systems, which is not nearly as dry as it sounds (what, you expected New Labour, Blair, Brown et al to get you to the stars?).
I should also make it clear that the naming of a heretical anthropologist in the novel had nothing to do with me but the honour was bought in an auction at a SF convention by Guy Dawson and not myself (More's the pity!).
I find it increasingly perplexing that Macleod continues to be nominated for the Clark prize and continually fails to win, especially as he seems to have developed a corollary to Clarks law that states if any sufficently advanced technology is indistiguisable from magic then the holder of the technology is probably ripe for worship from any lesser civilization.
As an author MacLeod has always been and continues to be very good value in all respects and Dark Light is no exception...


Cosmonaut Keep: Engines of Light: Book One
Cosmonaut Keep: Engines of Light: Book One
by Ken MacLeod
Edition: Hardcover

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The first book of a great new SF Series., 16 Nov 2000
Cosmonaut Keep is the opening gambit of what promises to be a complex, and very entertaining new SF series. The entwined timelines of Matt and Gregor Cairns bounce the reader from the near future to 10,000 light years away but still manages to keep the tension high and the readers interest fully intact. I read this book in one sitting despite being jet-lagged from a trans-atlantic flight and was very dissapointed when I realised that I had only a few pages to go before I finished; in fact I really wish that there had been some information concerning the publication date of the next book included on the final page. Plot and politics are what Ken MacLeod does best and he only gets better with each new book. Cosmonaut Keep was inspired by some of the work of the late Chris Boyce and includes a premise that may have a few SETI reseachers slapping their foreheads with a Homer Simpsonesque "Doh", meanwhile the ordinary reader can groove on Macleods rich narative and cracking plot. For whatever reason the book differs from the blurb put out by the publishers but that does not detract from the book itself.


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