1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
MacLeod extrapolates the present into the far future...,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Stone Canal: Book Two: The Fall Revolution Series (Paperback)
The Stone Canal has a far wider scope than MacLeod's debut, The Star Fraction. There are two threads to the novel, set centuries and light-years apart; in one thread, MacLeod expands on Star Fraction's vision of the near future, tracking an uneasy friendship from Edinburgh University in the 1970s to the end of the characters' lives towards the end of the 21st century. The second thread, set on a distant planet some centuries into the future, sees these two characters resurrected in the form of clones. New Mars is not in our solar system and eighty percent of its inhabitants are sentient machines - a very different environment from turn-of-the-century London, and this uneasy friendship therefore takes on a very different form...
I found this novel a great improvement over Star Fraction - MacLeod's writing skills have certainly developed, and the human characters are rendered in a far more realistic manner (I found Moh Kohn, the main character in Star Fraction, to be little more than a communist Case). The juxtaposition of the modern-day storyline with the far future is most effective, though if you aren't interested in the politics of the future you may find the novel a little tedious. I myself find MacLeod's politics fascinating, and his exploration of how advanced technology, electronic intelligence and space colonisation will affect the political climate of the 21st century is far more authentic than many other authors who deal with the same themes (ie John Barnes, Neal Stephenson etc). Unfortunately MacLeod hasn't yet learned how to seriously grip a reader in the same way as his friend Mr I M Banks, but it would be unfair to expect that much of him. MacLeod's work stands on its own two feet, and very effectively at that!
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