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By A Customer
This review is from: The Cassini Division: Book Three: The Fall Revolution Series (Hardcover)
Ken MacLeod is, among other things, writing about a future in which science fiction -- SF as art form, as political discourse, and as dream -- has actually existed in the world. The central scene of The Cassini Division is a flashback to an argument, back in the 21st century, between an advocate of posthuman transcendence, and a critic of that ideal. The critic gets in the first blow, dismissing the Singularity as "the Rapture for nerds." The heroine, witnessing this, realizes that she and her friends are advocating the Asimovian, Star Trek dream of the Federation, against the would-be posthumans, the partisans of the Singularity. MacLeod knows that, at root, Star Trek is a Communist dream, and just as The Stone Canal was a sympathetic examination of libertarian utopia, The Cassini Division is a novel about communism...complete with a hilarious confrontation, at the end of the book, between his communist military cadre and the denizens of a libertarian free-market enclave. (Judiciously, both groups get in their share of good lines.)
MacLeod is a wily polemicist and just as you think you have him nailed down, he extrudes a pseudopod in some unexpected direction. For those who like their SF argumentative and challenging, he's a welcome kick in the head -- one of the most genuinely Campbellian SF writers now working.
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