Thursday, May 02, 2013

The Sky Road

The Sky Road is a 1999 science fiction book by Ken Macleod. This book won the British Science Fiction Association award for best novel. It's part of the Fall Revolution series, but it's not at all dependent on the others. I enjoyed the political back story. I thought the characters were well-drawn. The plot was interesting, moved along nicely, and I cared what happened to these people.

I got a kick out of the occasional science fiction references -The Terminator movies, for example, and being "assimilated" by the Borg. There's mention of a coffee percolator, which I found fun since we're using a 50+ year old percolator for our coffee these days.

from the back of the book:
Centuries after the catastrophic Deliverance, humanity is again reaching into space. And Clovis, a young scholar working in the spaceship-construction yard, could make the difference between success and failure. For his mysterious new lover, Merrial, has seduced him into the idea of extrapolating the ship's future from the dark archives of the past.

A past in which, centuries before, Myra Godwin faced the end of a different space age - her rockets redundant, her people rebellious, and her borders defenseless against the Sino-Soviet Union. As Myra appealed to the crumbling West for help, she found history turning on her own strange past - and on the terrible decisions she faces now.

The Sky Road is a fireworks display, a bravura performance, and the most amazing novel yet by one of the powerful new voices in science fiction.
Kirkus Reviews closes by saying, "MacLeod's quietly and steadily setting forth a remarkable future history: this entry's politically still on the heavy side, but fascinatingly and refreshingly different."

SF Reviews says,
It's great writing and the twin plot-lines of Clovis and Myra complement perfectly. What's it got? nanotechnology, life-extension, artificial intelligence, space-flight, hard disks, tough women, big guns and battlesats.
The review at concludes,
Ken MacLeod continues to be one of the most exciting new SF writers. His books are politically intriguing, and honest, also full of nice SFnal speculation about future technology, nicely written, and fast moving. The characters are well-drawn, and almost always ambiguous. Each of his books is worth reading, and The Sky Road is one of his best.

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