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The Star Fraction: Book One: The Fall Revolution Series Hardcover – 28 Sep 1995

3.8 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; 1st edition (28 Sept. 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099558718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099558712
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 2.5 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 394,345 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Stunningly assured, inventive and intelligent. THE STAR FRACTION is richly readable and riddled with accuracies. The book takes near future fiction into cyberian places it hasn't dared go before. SF bibliographies better take note; grab a first edition now before they disappear; this man is going to be a major writer. (Iain M. Banks)

He's clever, witty, and his future has just the right grainy feel to it (SFX)

Prose sleek and fast as the technology it describes ... watch this man go global (Peter F. Hamilton)

An immensely exciting SF adventure ... The Star Fraction is an auspicious debut (STARBURST) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The debut novel from a major force in SF, the first of his novels to be shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Patrick Shepherd TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 27 Oct. 2002
Format: Paperback
Those who like the safe, the normal, the everyday commonplace should not read this book, as it is certainly anything but. Macleod creates a world where the US/UN is the bad guy, where England is divvied up into many semi-autonomous city-states, each of which have their own idea of what the perfect society should be, and most of whom are at gun-point loggerheads with all the others, where the Net is pervasive and invasive, and may just be the locus of the real world power, a conscious AI, and where your ideas and assumptions about anarchy, communism, socialism, and capitalism will be stood on their head.
The main characters of Moh Kohn, mercenary extraordinary, Janice, bio-chemist, Jordan, programmer and rebeller against the purantistic creed of his birth society, and Catelin, idealist and Kohn's former lover, are well realized and interact with each other and the rapidly changing socio-political environment in believable manners.
The plot is very fast-paced, almost too much so. At the beginning of the book we are dropped into this wildly different future with very little explanation of where you are or what the overall world picture/history is or how it got that way. The casual reader who is not steeped in science fiction, in being able to accept things as they are presented, and hold his questions in abeyance will probably feel lost and confused. These items are really not explicated in cohesive detail till near the end of the book, with bits and pieces presented all along the way, as the reader is carried along pell-mell through this odd society with each twist and turn of the plot.
Stylistically, the work uses pretty utilitarian prose which gets the job done and is normally unobtrusive, but is not likely to garner any awards.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'd been meaning to read a Ken Macleod novel for some time and as I'd heard good things about this, I thought I'd give it a go.

This is a very intelligent, inventive, original and superbly written book. It's no secret Ken has left-wing leanings and, like the much missed Iain M Banks, he's not afraid to weave this into his work. It contains a well-constructed plot, great characterization and enough technical stuff to keep the biggest nerd happy. Again, as with Banks, the high-concept stuff meshes perfectly with the character-driven story. He has created a fascinating, believable yet very worrying vision of the future. I found it thoroughly enthralling and just I couldn't put it down. I'll definitely be reading the rest of Ken's work.

We may no longer have Iain's books to look forward to, but Ken is right up there with him in terms of the quality of his writing and the fertility of his imagination and I'd urge anyone who loves quality Sci-Fi to give this a read.

Excellent!
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Format: Paperback
Ken Macleod has brought politics back into SciFi in a way which is understandable to a broad audience and an absolute hoot for those of us who were active in the far-left politics of the early 70's he describes so well (in fact I think I was at half the meetings..).
The issues he raises about the intertwining of technological and political/social change are fascinating. This is what the best SciFi ought to be about - exploring what it means to be human, or not....
He's even given me some good ideas to explore in my 'day job' as an academic.
Incidentally, I actually published the 'Harry Wicks' edition of "The Transitional Programme" (The Star Fraction, p151) and interviewed Harry to get his intro. (Back in the days when I worked for the International Marxist Group, British Section of the FI).
Keep it up Ken.
(Prof.) Colin Talbot
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Format: Paperback
Well I hit all the buttions- a lefty man with a techno fixation who loves North London so this book was right up my street, though a little tough on the Greens- Ken must have spent too much of his time enguageing with deep ecologists and eco-feminists and not understanding the concepts of eco-socialism but I'll forgive him his blanks spots. The story is not exceptionally original but the setting and world he outlines is fundamentally different from the usual sci-fi extrapolations.
Buy the book if you are a lefty lad- don't bother if your not- you'll miss 90% of the jokes.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting supposedly possible future of Britain though too much wild political theorising. The computing concepts are a bit off-true but well developed. I will probably read the rest of the quartet and treat this as an introduction.
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Format: Paperback
My missus found this for a couple of quid in a charity shop, and what a lucky find - after reading The Star Fraction I was straight on Amazon buying everything else available by MacLeod. I'm a huge fan of Gibson, Neal Stephenson etc, and I'm so happy to finally find a convincing British voice to rival them... Yes - unlike the other reviewer here, I really think he does have a very distinctive voice of his own; partly this is the constant (but never tiring or distracting) wordplay and punning which give the text an almost poetic density and richness, but also a great passionate intensity, leavened by a good old bit of British corrosive sarcasm and realism. OK, it's not the easiest going - it's not Tom Clancy that's for sure - and you really need to read closely as the small detail is vitally important, but the excitement of the plot and the relationships was more than enough to keep me focussed and gripped all the way through. The science kicks arse too; I'm no expert but I have several freinds involved in AI / artificial life / evolutionary systems, and the science in Star Fraction certainly *feels* plausible. I really like the politics too: the extrapolation of ideas to ludicrous extremes and the revelation of the paradoxes in politics (e.g. the extension of green politics being fascism - something which I've long suspected myself - and the logic of 'free market socialism') are both funny and really thought-provoking.
As you can probably tell I'm a convert; I really can't find anything bad to say about this book. It's a classic, and one that I'll be re-reading soon.
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