- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Orbit; New Ed edition (24 Oct. 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1841491098
- ISBN-13: 978-1841491097
- Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 2.3 x 17.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 400,801 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Dark Light: Engines of Light Book 2 Paperback – 24 Oct 2002
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A modern-day George Orwell (SFX)
A hectic ride, through slaloms of audacious complexity, irreverent ingenuity and paradox as purposeful as it is playful (GUARDIAN)
* Following on from COSMONAUT KEEP, which was shortlisted for the 2002 Hugo Award, this is the second book in the dazzling new space opera series by one of SF's most exciting new authors.See all Product description
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Top Customer Reviews
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...
Especially fascinating is MacLeod's concept of the Gods and their relationship with humanity. Not highly recommended to extreme conservative religionists.
I did find myself mired down a couple of times in the political dissertations. However, MacLeod basically tells a good story. How good a story it is depends, I suppose, on the concluding book in the series. But these first two are interesting enough and I'm getting to better like the characters, and so I will be reading the final installment.
it's much improved over Cosmonaut Keep. the main charaters are much more active, and i love the way the sections from the POV of the 200+ year old Matt Cairns are all written in the present tense - it gives a very strong sense of a man out of time.
the politics in the book is very academic (and a bit dated), but interesting nonetheless. the idea of political systems as technology that can be introduced with just as potent effect as internal combustion deserves exploration; it's a shame that many people will turn their noses up at it because it doesn't gel with their own views.
so, not quite five stars; the eulogising of the "heathens" rings quite false, it would have been more convincing if a more balanced picture of their society was portayed. also i thought it was implausible that there should be such racial tension between humans, and yet little evident between different species. still, those are pretty minor considerations in a good book.
It's typically Ken MacLeod - particularly the way that a grass-roots trade union movement can solve all intergalactic-strife. This time he takes an interesting slant on gender politics too.
It works well as a stand-alone novel, although I think Cosmonaut Keep preserves its novelty better if read first. I'm certainly looking forward to Engine City.
Dark Light does follow on directly from Cosmonaut Keep, but it also stands as a novel in its own right - you could read it on its own, but it's a lot more fun to have read Cosmonaut Keep first - with Matt Cairns again centre stage, but this time perhaps even more out of his depth than he was first time around, trying to find his way among the plottings of various human groups on the world of Croatan, while also attempting to take the Bright Star into space to communicate with the 'gods' and find an answer as to why the Second Sphere exists in the first place.
Dark Light still has the political element that has helped to distibguish Macleod from so many of his contemporaries, but it's coupled with a striking narrative and an engaging plot, which makes this definitely worth reading and I, for one, can't wait for the final part - Engine City.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Difficult read to maintain some interesting ideas but a little too convoluted not as good as Engineer CityPublished 19 months ago by Michael Wakefield
Lots of solid MacLeod standards here - different levels of cultural development rubbing up against one another, powerful traders, some meaty paranoia about the intentions of the... Read morePublished on 7 Nov. 2013 by Andrew Bannister
"Dark Light" is a compellingly readable sequel to "Cosmonaut Keep" in Ken MacLeod's "The Engines of Light" space opera science fiction series of novels, reaffirming his status as... Read morePublished on 11 Jan. 2013 by John Kwok
The second part of a trilogy always has an difficult task - most of the concepts aren't entirely new, but the story can't be bought to an end either. Read morePublished on 9 Mar. 2003 by TG
I don't remember him using the present tense for description and narrative in his other books, but his use in this book I found both destracting and annoying. Read morePublished on 3 Feb. 2002