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The Execution Channel Paperback – 10 Jun 2008

3.4 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (10 Jun. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765320673
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765320674
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.6 x 580.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,667,875 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

" Ken MacLeod's novels are fast, funny and sophisticated. There can never be enough books like these."
--Kim Stanley Robinson

"Ken MacLeod's novels are fast, funny and sophisticated. There can never be enough books like these."
--Kim Stanley Robinson

Praise for Ken MacLeod:
“Science fiction’s freshest new writer…MacLeod is a fiercely intelligent, prodigously well-read author who manages to fill his books with big issues without weighing them down.”
--"Salon"
 
“Ken MacLeod's novels are fast, funny and sophisticated. There can never be enough books like these.”
--Kim Stanley Robinson

Praise for Ken MacLeod:
"Science fiction's freshest new writer...MacLeod is a fiercely intelligent, prodigously well-read author who manages to fill his books with big issues without weighing them down."
--"Salon"

"Ken MacLeod's novels are fast, funny and sophisticated. There can never be enough books like these."
--Kim Stanley Robinson

Book Description

The war on terror is over. Terror won. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Hardcover
Macleod is back to the stuff that he does best - politics.

After his brilliant first book, he has been going down hill (slowly, but still down hill). This book has put him back on the top.

He does use a few too many TLAs (Tree Letter Acronyms) for my taste (hence the odd title - you'll come across MRE on the first page), but he does know his stuff (and for someone who hasn't been in the forces, his military characters aren't bad).

I felt the ending was a bit soft, but then that does seem to be his weakness.

All in all a VERY good read.

One point though, I notice that Amazon are suggesting that you buy this book and a Alastair Reynolds book. I can't think why, as I've found Reynolds work to be dreadfully disappointing.

Oh, and one last thing: don't ever try doing a handbrake turn in a Landrover. All you'll do is break half-shafts (the handbrake is really a transmission brake), you'll understand why I mention this when you read the book.

And I do recommend that you read this book.
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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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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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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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