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The Stone Canal: A Novel (Fall Revolution)…
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The Stone Canal: A Novel (Fall Revolution) (2002 original; edició 2001)

de Ken MacLeod (Autor)

MembresRessenyesPopularitatValoració mitjanaMencions
8261519,557 (3.69)21
This book contains selected papers from the E-Commerce and E-Business (SIGeBIZ) track at the 15th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2009, held in San Francisco, CA, USA, August 6-9, 2009. The 25 papers presented address emerging e-business issues and have been organized into four research lines: business models for the digital economy, electronic and mobile commerce behavioral and global issues, IS in financial markets and institutions, Web 2.0 and e-commerce and collaborative value creation.… (més)
Membre:rmdmphilosopher
Títol:The Stone Canal: A Novel (Fall Revolution)
Autors:Ken MacLeod (Autor)
Informació:Tor Science Fiction (2001), Edition: 1st, 352 pages
Col·leccions:La teva biblioteca
Valoració:
Etiquetes:to-read, speculative-fiction

Detalls de l'obra

The Stone Canal de Ken MacLeod (2002)

  1. 10
    Snow Crash de Neal Stephenson (bsackerman)
  2. 00
    Necroville de Ian McDonald (paradoxosalpha)
    paradoxosalpha: Mid-90s SF concerned with the social enfranchisement of technologically-resurrected humans.
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This came off as a science-fiction lover's science-fiction novel, and so I liked it a lot, even if there weren't a lot of "big ideas" per se.

The narrative is split in two between the "present day" of the protagonist's life from the 70s to the near future, and the far future on New Mars where his mysteriously rejuvenated self has to intervene in a major political dispute, with alternating chapters helping to bring some structural tension as more and more backstory is slowly revealed. Jonathan Wilde is an anarchist whose friendship with socialist David Reid ends up being very important to the far future. It's not quite a "buddy novel" since there are major issues between the two (like Reid's attraction to Annette, Wilde's wife), but the humorous political debates between the two make up a large part of a novel - there's a lot of light-hearted politics of the "Snow Crash libertarianism" variety, which is always fun to read about. Supposedly MacLeod is very politically active in real life, so a lot of the best political scenes have a humorous roman à clef vibe to them.

Wilde is a bit too constantly self-consciously cool to be a really first-rate protagonist, but his adventures are fun to read about, especially in the "present" timeline where he tries to put some of his anarchist ideas into practice. MacLeod has lots of the kind of funny writing that comes from being a big sci-fi fan, and so you'll read lines like "Night fell, and without headlights we drove on, tirelessly, and discussed how to hack the gates of hell" fairly often. He has a talent for finding good ways of putting things, like "Walking between terminals was a Brownian motion through a Hobbesian crowd" that make the book fun to read, and the ability to make his characters laugh at their own ideals: "'The sunlight really is the white light.' This materialist insight was all that survived of a magic-mushroom trip I'd taken as a student. That and a vision of three goddesses: Mother Nature, Lady Luck, and Miss Liberty, who were - I realized after coming down from it - necessity, chance, and freedom, and indeed the rulers of all."

This was his second novel, and the second in a series. I haven't read the first novel, but I'll be on the lookout for it. ( )
1 vota aaronarnold | May 11, 2021 |
Wow. Finished this book 20 seconds ago and need to say wow before I forget everything I just read.

I had this on my shelf for years, unread. It took me months to read. But it was worth it. This is a *smart* book. But not in a pompous way, not in an academic way (much). In a *story* way. It's ambitious, it's epic, and the scariest thing about it is it comes across as *plausible*.

Avoiding spoilers, the story starts from both the future and the past. Where other books hint at some crucial point that will be revealed to the reader later, this book turns that into the entire arc. But the scope is huge, and takes in everything from 70s politics to hard-and-fast sci-fi, to a love story. Imagine Iain M Banks meets the Matrix meets Aronofsky's the Fountain maybe. You're probably still not close, but...

Definitely convinced me to pick up his other works. And soon.
( )
1 vota 6loss | Nov 7, 2019 |
I took a year's breather between reading Ken MacLeod's first novel The Star Fraction and this sequel The Stone Canal. In this one, he was already experimenting with many of the techniques that I enjoyed in his later Engines of Light series: changes of narrative person, parallel plot-lines that turn out to be nested, and multiple centuries of setting. It covers a time-frame both preceding and succeeding the one in the previous volume, and is definitely in a shared narrative continuum, with at least one point of explicit character contact, as well as many shared events in what was then (when it was written in the 1990s) a conjectural near future. At the same time, I think this volume would make a fine starting point, and that readers could really appreciate it fully without having read the first book.

Politically, the book's protagonist is raised by splinter-schismatic ultra-leftists, enters adulthood as an anarchist, and develops more socialist sentiments late in the course of events. The villain--a far more sympathetic one than in the previous book, but still quite detestable--goes from disillusioned socialist to the figure presiding over an extra-terrestrial "anarchy" in a most revoltingly capitalist manner.

Like The Star Fraction (and Engines of Light, for that matter), The Stone Canal is very much animated by the author's political concerns. To these is added a level of more science-fictional politics concerning the ontological status and social rights of post-human ("artificial") intelligences. In this respect, and with its attention to the dilemmas surrounding nanotechnologically-driven resurrection of the dead, this book reminded me more than a little of Ian MacDonald's Necroville, which had been published the year before. At the same time, it also covers a lot of the ground of space exploration and singularity exploitation that would later be treated in Charles Stross' Accelerando.

I don't think I'll pause as long this time before tackling the next book in the series, The Cassini Division.
3 vota paradoxosalpha | Jul 22, 2018 |
More complex politics of the 70s interspersed with more abstract politics of a colony. ( )
  reading_fox | Jul 17, 2018 |
Starting out as what looks like a cyberpunk-ish take on Mars (except it's not the Mars we know and love), the second chapter plunges the reader into mid-1970s radical student politics in Glasgow, though this seems for a while to be merely a framing device. MacLeod soon shows himself to be quite capable of subverting his own political agenda by having his two main characters in the 1970s plot timeline work through all the radical socialist ideas and then come up with a libertarian solution to world conflict that works fine until the flaws in the plan become obvious and it falls apart badly. World War 3 follows.

It's only as you get to the midpoint of the novel that the reader realises that we are in a sort of prequel to MacLeod's first novel, 'The Star Fraction', showing how the Balkanised Britain of that novel came to be. The focus is actually rather wider than in that novel, and indeed from the perspective of this book there seems to be more organisation than 'The Star Fraction' would lead you to believe. The action of that novel is referenced a little obliquely. Eventually, both timelines come together as the technology and the political actions that started in the 1970s snowball (how convincing readers in the early 21st century will find that snowballing is debateable). For a novel dating from 1996, the technological props don't appear too outdated, and indeed the AI tech described seems to get closer by the day! MacLeod also exploits - without making it obvious - advances in medical science resulting in his characters having extended lifespans.

The plot suddenly opens out into what Brian Aldiss once called "wide-screen Baroque" and we jump almost seamlessly from the fairly ground-based political scenario of the 1970s/80s/90s timeline into the thick of almost full-blown space opera.

The action of the novel appears to segue seamlessly into the next novel in the sequence, 'The Cassini Division'. Its connections to 'The Star Fraction' are not obvious, and this novel could be read on its own. It also is far more subtle in its handling of the politics. ( )
3 vota RobertDay | Sep 8, 2017 |
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- we have the certainty that matter remains eternally the same in all its transformations, that none of its attributes can ever be lost, and therefore, also, that with the same iron necessity that it will exterminate on the earth its highest creation, the thinking mind, it must somewhere else and at another time again produce it.

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This book contains selected papers from the E-Commerce and E-Business (SIGeBIZ) track at the 15th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2009, held in San Francisco, CA, USA, August 6-9, 2009. The 25 papers presented address emerging e-business issues and have been organized into four research lines: business models for the digital economy, electronic and mobile commerce behavioral and global issues, IS in financial markets and institutions, Web 2.0 and e-commerce and collaborative value creation.

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