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Paperback The Star Fraction Book

ISBN: 1857238338

ISBN13: 9781857238334

The Star Fraction

(Book #1 in the The Fall Revolution Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good


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Book Overview

Moh Kohn is a security mercenary, his smart gun and killer reflexes for hire. Janis Taine is a scientist working on memory-enhancing drugs, fleeing the US/UN's technology cops. Jordan Brown is a... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Very imaginative and thought-provoking

First of all, I do recommend this book to everybody that enjoys some near-future what-if books that mixes politics, artificial intelligence possibilities, and loads of technology.The good things about it would first be the ability to really shape a very interesting reality, very well built characters, many thought-provoking discussions, in the political, social and technological fields. In a way the story is very believable (maybe not in 40 years), and very fast paced.Now the reason why I didn't rate it a 5 stars is that sometimes it becomes too "thick". Too many things happen without much explanation, and the author seems to be looking for that. I remember finishing the first chapter of the book and just thinking to myself "What? What is going on here?". Little by little you start to get used to the acronyms, the political system, and the pace of the book and then it becomes really interesting. Just be ready for this "shock" if you plan on reading it.For now I'll move into a new book and then go back and read another of his Fall Revolution series books. Now that I know what he is talking about maybe it will be easier to finish the next one.

The Star Fraction - A somewhat lackluster beginning!

I believe that I originally found Ken MaCleod's "Cosmonaut Keep" on the bookshelf at a store and found the description for it to be extraordinarily interesting. That being said, I decided to research and find out what the authors first book was. Upon discovering the Fall Revolution Sequence did not have to be read in any particular order, I decided to order and read the Star Fraction before the others, just to put my own sense of order to it.Upon beginning this book, I found that a sense of order to the book itself was to some extent difficult to discern. Bear in mind that in several sequences I found the author's style to actually be very exciting and captivating, which lends to the idea that his later books will be very exciting. For a huge portion of the book though, I found his writing style to be somewhat cryptic, plodding and convoluted in the set up of the action sequences. This book is replete with varying political and social views that at times will leave your head spinning as to which direction the book is taking you.Overall, this novel for me was a worthwhile read, just not overly compelling. At some point in time, after some further reflection, I will pick up the next book, "The Stone Canal" and read it. The conclusion to this one just doesn't compel me to do so at this time.The premise: MINOR SPOILERSThis tome is about a dismal future of the early 2040's after a brief third world war, the US/UN has taken hegemony over a balkanized world. The Fall Revolution Sequence itself is an attempt to put an end to this new world order and reunify fragmented nations.A key player in the Fall Revolution is an extremely interesting character by the name of Moh Kohn. His father Josh Kohn was the one who wrote many of the revolutionary programs that runs the computers of this society, which play a key part in the society. Moh Kohn himself is a security mercenary, living in a commune who believes in many of the communist ideas. Through chance, he meets with Janis Taine, who is a scientist working on memory enhancing drugs. This meeting is what basically begins the Fall Revolution. {ssintrepid}

A Dizzying Trip

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 Catherin, 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, most of the prose is fairly prosaic, which gets the job done and is normally unobtrusive. Although there is a fair amount of techno-babble, there is very little use of British slang, always a problem for their American cousins to understand. However, the book is littered with typographical errors (the type that spell checkers won't pick up), and this definitely does cause some problems, as you try to determine if Macleod really wrote 'left' instead of 'let'. At a few places, Macleod inserts some sly insider references to other science fiction works and writers - which frequently caused me to have a laughing fit, as the irony used was beautiful. A rich mixture of cyber-punk and politics, a rather terrifying view of a possible future, and strong action make this a page turning mind-enhancing trip through the land of a fantastic and all too relevant tomorrow.

Crackling adventure, political savvy, and nice speculation

The Star Fraction is Ken MacLeod's first novel, only now being published in the States. It is set in the same "future history" (or "future histories") as The Stone Canal, The Cassini Division, and The Sky Road. (The books can in general be read in any order.)MacLeod is a very politically savvy writer, and his books are full of politics, but the politics is almost always expressed through action, or it is an integral part of the setting. In other words, the books aren't lectures: they are, rather, books that are about politics in interesting ways, ways that are integral to their themes. And I should add that besides being about politics, the books concern interesting future technology (especially computer technology and Artificial Intelligence), and they are centered on believable and likable characters. And they have rollicking plots, as well.The Star Fraction follows several characters through a revolution of sorts in 21st Century Great Britain. As the novel opens, the UK of our time has undergone several political upheavals, and is now "balkanized" into quite a few different, nominally independent, political divisions. These include the "Hanoverians", apparently the closest thing to a controlling force on the island; the "Army of the New Republic", the remnants of a liberal/socialist republic which apparently succeeded the Kingdom of our present time; a number of basically independent "mini-states", some occupying only a few blocks of territory, with wildly different political organizations. Furthermore, the whole world seems to be under the loose control of some combination of the US and UN, and such organizations as Stasis, which proscribes certain technology, and Space Defense, which controls the orbital anti-nuclear lasers. This society is fascinating, and the details are well portrayed, with off the cuff hints, and only the occasional well-done infodump.The main characters are Moh Kohn, a basically Trotskyite mercenary; Janis Taine, a scientist studying memory enhancement; and Jordan Brown, a young atheist computer expert, fleeing from his upbringing in the Fundamentalist Christian enclave Beulah City. Their paths intersect when one of Moh's jobs involves defending Janis' lab: Stasis seems to have decided that Janis' research is dangerous, and Moh takes her to Norlonto, in the process becoming infected her new memory drug. At the same time Jordan encounters the mysterious "Black Planner", an entity of the net, who some think may be the long-feared "Watchmaker": an AI coalesced from the combined networked computing power of the world. Jordan also flees to Norlonto, and hooks up with Janis and Moh. Moh soon begins to remember details about his late father's work, which involved a freeware program called (cleverly) Dissembler, which has become omnipresent on the world's computers. And people are beginning to ask Moh what he knows about a mysterious organization called The Star Fraction.The novel is fast moving and clever throughout. The actio

Possibly MacLeods best...

I thought I was going to be let down because this is the first book in "The Fall Revolution" series and I was reading it last, Ken happily proved me wrong. I like this as much as The Stone Canal, and that is saying alot. Ken's writing is so concise and vibriant. Each sentance flies off the page smacking you right up side the head. This is the reason I read SF (not sci-fi), and authors like MacLeod are the reason SF is on the rise. Start with this book and then read the whole series, you'll be happy you did!! Now I just have to wait for Cydonia: The Web to be published domestically...
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