Top positive review
4 people found this helpful
on 5 March 2004
The Stone Canal is a very crisply written novel about life on, and life before, the planet New Mars, which is in a system some distance from Earth.
The story on New Mars initially concerns an android that has walked out on her owner and claimed self-determination; and a human clone, Jon Wilde, that has been brought into existence by another android for reasons as yet unknown.
The story before New Mars concerns Jon Wilde's (that is, the original Jon Wilde) life on earth and his involvement in the whole New Mars journey.
Both threads start simple, and stay simple for about 5 seconds. After that the weft becomes increasingly entwined and tangled, although never beyond understanding.
This novel is second in the sequence that began with The Star Fraction, and in terms of storyline, there is no connection. The common link is the interest in politics, power games, factions and fractions.
MacLeod has a profound understanding of the political game and of human interraction, and his enthusiam shines through his writing. In fact, The Star Fraction was more politics than sci-fi. The balance swings over towards sci-fi this time and the story is more enjoyable for it.
Where MacLeod's first novel showed promise, this, his second, shows distinct talent.