Ken Macleod

7 views
Skip to first unread message

Simon Kinahan

unread,
Jun 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/24/99
to
I've just discovered Ken Macleod.

Given that he's British maybe many of the Americans here will not have
heard of him, but he writes somewhat political science fiction, set in a
future history that seems to extrapolate nicely from today with a
constant them of left vs right anarchist cooperation and conflict.

Aside from that most of the action is set in Britain, which is kind of
interesting. He seems to know Ian M Banks personally.

Simon

Coyu

unread,
Jun 24, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/24/99
to
Simon Kinahan wrote:

>I've just discovered Ken Macleod.

Cool - he posts here occasionally.

>he writes somewhat political science fiction,

UK understatement?

Facter

unread,
Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
to
the only Ken Mcleod book I've read is Star Fraction . ..which, if thats any
indication of his other works - is a very nice book indeed. .what else has
he done ?

F.

Simon Kinahan wrote:

> I've just discovered Ken Macleod.
>

Tony Quirke

unread,
Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
to
Simon Kinahan <si...@flatnet.demon.co.uk> wrote:

> I've just discovered Ken Macleod.

Did he object when you planted a flag on him ?

- Tony Q.
--
The President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection finds
that a bombing attack on America's electric or water utilities would be an
act of criminal terrorism. A military force doing so would therefore be
liable to be declared guilty of warcrimes. Meanwhile, in Serbia,...

Kennedy, David (EXCHANGE:IRE07:GC42)

unread,
Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
to
Facter wrote:
>
> the only Ken Mcleod book I've read is Star Fraction . ..which, if thats any
> indication of his other works - is a very nice book indeed. .what else has
> he done ?

The Star Fraction is the first one of his books. Followed by
The Stone Canal, then The Cassini Division and the newly
released The Sky Road.

Also the 'Young Adult' Cydonia, part of [some publishers, Orion?] 'Web' series.

--
David Kennedy, | kenn...@nortelnetworks.com
Northern Ireland Telecommunications | ESN: 6 751 2678
Engineering Centre (NITEC), | Phone: 01232 362678
Nortel Networks | Fax: 01232 363170

Charlie Stross

unread,
Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
to
Stoned koala bears drooled eucalyptus spittle in awe
as <si...@flatnet.demon.co.uk> declared:

>I've just discovered Ken Macleod.
>

>Given that he's British maybe many of the Americans here will not have
>heard of him, but he writes somewhat political science fiction, set in a
>future history that seems to extrapolate nicely from today with a
>constant them of left vs right anarchist cooperation and conflict.
>
>Aside from that most of the action is set in Britain, which is kind of
>interesting. He seems to know Ian M Banks personally.

Well yes, seeing they went to the same school and hung out together a
lot, you could say that. It's a bit of an exaggeration to say that most
of the action is set in the UK, though; you could say the same about New
Mars, or high orbit around Jupiter.

Incidentally, his third novel, "The Cassini Division", has been bought by
Tor, IIRC; there are two earlier ones ("The Star Fraction" and "The Stone
Canal") and a subsequent one set in the same universe, but if you want
them and you're in the US you'll need to find a UK bookshop or importer
(such as http://www.dillons.co.uk/).


-- Charlie


Jo Walton

unread,
Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
to
In article <3772CE48...@isg.curtin.edu.au>
fle...@isg.curtin.edu.au "Facter" writes:

> the only Ken Mcleod book I've read is Star Fraction . ..which, if thats any
> indication of his other works - is a very nice book indeed. .what else has
> he done ?

:The Stone Canal:, :The Cassini Division: (just out in hardcover from
Tor) and :The Sky Road: (just out in hardcover in Britain).

I haven't read :The Sky Road: yet, the others are really terrific SF,
exciting, thought-provoking, and fun.

--
Jo - - I kissed a kif at Kefk - - J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk
http://www.bluejo.demon.co.uk - Interstichia; Poetry; RASFW FAQ; etc.


David Given

unread,
Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
to
In article <37729C7D...@flatnet.demon.co.uk>,

Simon Kinahan <si...@flatnet.demon.co.uk> writes:
> I've just discovered Ken Macleod.
>
> Given that he's British maybe many of the Americans here will not have
> heard of him, but he writes somewhat political science fiction, set in a
> future history that seems to extrapolate nicely from today with a
> constant them of left vs right anarchist cooperation and conflict.

Hey, any book where Scotland invades England is all right by me.

BTW, did anyone else get the impression that in _The Star Fraction_ the
wrong people won? The


SPOILERS

Republic conquers all the little, liberal, ultra-tolerant city-states and
subsumes them into one big state. Given the tone of the book, this
surprised me rather.

> Aside from that most of the action is set in Britain, which is kind of
> interesting. He seems to know Ian M Banks personally.

He does. He was the one who suggestted putting the climax of _Use of
Weapons_ at the end rather than the beginning, and so made it publishable.

BTW, it's `Iain', with two I's. `Ian', with one I, is a totally different
name. It's an abbreviation of `Cyclopian', which means of course, to have
only one eye.

--
+- David Given ---------------McQ-+
| Work: d...@tao-group.com | I don't suffer from insanity. I revel in
| Play: dgi...@iname.com | it.
+- http://wired.st-and.ac.uk/~dg -+

ale...@my-deja.com

unread,
Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
to

Facter wrote:
> the only Ken Mcleod book I've read is Star Fraction . ..
> which, if thats any indication of his other works -
> is a very nice book indeed. .what else has he done ?

Someone replied


> The Star Fraction is the first one of his books. Followed by
> The Stone Canal, then The Cassini Division and the newly
> released The Sky Road.

unfortunately I didn't see Sky Road in the local BooksEtc
this lunchtime otherwise I would have it now instead
of Nymphomation by another Brit Jeff Noon.


=============

A review from my web site:

"The Stone Canal" - Ken MacLeod. ()

Wow, wow, oh wow man. Sensawunda. This book has it all. Artificial
Realities. A Vernor Vinge style singularity, post human entities, people
copied into robots, people copied into clones, robot evolution,
colonisation of another star system, and Scottish pubs to boot.

=======

Incidently I only _just_ discovered that the Cassini Division is
a feature of the rings of Saturn. (discovered whilst reading
Paul McAuley's Eternal Light.)
--
Alex McLintock http://www.arcfan.demon.co.uk/sf/books/ SF REVIEWS


Sent via Deja.com http://www.deja.com/
Share what you know. Learn what you don't.

Ron Henry

unread,
Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
to
Simon Kinahan peered at the Rosetta stone and deciphered:

>I've just discovered Ken Macleod.

Isn't it exciting to come across a wonderful writer for the first time?

>Given that he's British maybe many of the Americans here will not have
>heard of him, but he writes somewhat political science fiction, set in a
>future history that seems to extrapolate nicely from today with a
>constant them of left vs right anarchist cooperation and conflict.

Yep. I really admire all four of his novels so far:

The Star Fraction
The Stone Canal
The Cassini Division
The Sky Road

They're quite well-written, thoughtful, political in a way that I found
exciting (and unless I am missing something, somewhat unusual in current SF),
sf'nally inventive, and action-packed.

Only The Cassini Division is available in the US (grrr), and that only in
hardcover last time I looked -- but one can go through Amazon.co.uk or one of
its analogues and get the trade paperbacks of the first three that way if you
really want them (this is what I did -- eager enough to read them to eat the
shipping costs). Note that The Sky Road just came out, and is only in hc
even in the UK.

>Aside from that most of the action is set in Britain, which is kind of
>interesting.

In The Star Fraction, anyhow. But the next two books move off the Earth for
the most part.

>He seems to know Ian M Banks personally.

That seems to be the case. He also posts frequently to this newsgroup. I also
understand, from comments on the Iain Banks newsgroup, that they just did a
reading tour together.

A joyful day was when a recent package arrived with Banks' Inversions, Simon
Ings' Headlong, and Macleod's Cassini Division and The Sky Road all in the
same box. Ah.

Ron Henry

Paul Clarke

unread,
Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
to
On Fri, 25 Jun 1999 14:02:10 +0100, d...@tao.co.uk (David Given) wrote:
>Hey, any book where Scotland invades England is all right by me.
>
>BTW, did anyone else get the impression that in _The Star Fraction_ the
>wrong people won? The
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>SPOILERS
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>Republic conquers all the little, liberal, ultra-tolerant city-states and
>subsumes them into one big state. Given the tone of the book, this
>surprised me rather.

Not all those city-states are liberal (or libertarian) - look at
Beulah City. They're limited in how repressive they can be because
they can't stop people leaving, but they maintain fairly strict
control on behaviour inside the enclave.

Having said that, I don't think it's supposed to be an unqualifed
happy ending. Replacing the Hanoverian regime with the Republic is a
plus (*), but the loss of Norlonto is a minus - how these balance out
is probably impossible to say within the scope of _The Star Fraction_.

(*) I think. I'm half way through rereading _The Star Fraction_,
because I've just read _The Sky Road_ and I had trouble remembering
who all the characters were, so I'm forced to reread all the previous
novels. It's a hard life ;-).


Jo Walton

unread,
Jun 25, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/25/99
to
In article <ikuvk7...@pearl.tao.co.uk> d...@tao.co.uk "David Given" writes:

> Hey, any book where Scotland invades England is all right by me.
>
> BTW, did anyone else get the impression that in _The Star Fraction_ the
> wrong people won? The

Have you read :The Stone Canal:, which might revise the question the
concept of "won" and of "wrong people"?



>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> SPOILERS
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Republic conquers all the little, liberal, ultra-tolerant city-states and
> subsumes them into one big state. Given the tone of the book, this
> surprised me rather.

Go on, your heart didn't thrill to "civis Britannicus sum"? :]

And then unthrill again...?

I think it's actually very clever - there aren't any good guys that
are only good guys, nothing is simple, and that wasn't a happy ending.
I thought :The Star Fraction: was an impressively sophisticated book,
politically - something that shouldn't be unusual in SF, but is.

Simon Kinahan

unread,
Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to
SPOILERS

David Given wrote


> Republic conquers all the little, liberal, ultra-tolerant city-states and
> subsumes them into one big state. Given the tone of the book, this
> surprised me rather.

I don't we're meant to know whether the good guys won or not. Even if
the republic were the good guys, they were pretty mean to the greens.
Having read the Cassini Division as well now, I still don't know who the
good guys were. As a somewhat indecisive anarchist myself (when I'm in
the mood to be one at all), I think the author was trying to illustrate
that politics is complicated - something idealists tend to forget.

I have to say (as someone else said) that 'civis britanicus sum' made me
feel as the right people won back in the 17th century and I was living
in the world as it ought to have been ... but then he went and reminded
me that republics can suck just as badly a monarchies

> BTW, it's `Iain', with two I's. `Ian', with one I, is a totally different
> name.

Umm. Yes. I knew that. Just sloppy typing. Still a deeply politically
incorrect error for someone who lived in Edinburgh for 7 years.

Simon

Simon Kinahan

unread,
Jun 26, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/26/99
to
Tony Quirke wrote:

>
> Simon Kinahan <si...@flatnet.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>
> > I've just discovered Ken Macleod.
>
> Did he object when you planted a flag on him ?

I'm sure he'd have been upset. But I didn't. So he wasn't.

Simon

Loznik

unread,
Jun 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/27/99
to
On Sat, 26 Jun 1999 00:22:28 +0100, Simon Kinahan
<si...@flatnet.demon.co.uk> suggested:

Ken is fairly easy-going. As long as the flag didn't clash with his
shirt, he wouldn't mind.


Loznik {:-)>

"All the lies, all the truth,
All the things that I offer you."

Martin Wisse

unread,
Jun 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/27/99
to
On Fri, 25 Jun 1999 09:03:26 +0100, "Kennedy, David
(EXCHANGE:IRE07:GC42)" <kenn...@europem01.nt.com> wrote:

>Facter wrote:
>>
>> the only Ken Mcleod book I've read is Star Fraction . ..which, if thats any


>> indication of his other works - is a very nice book indeed. .what else has
>> he done ?
>

>The Star Fraction is the first one of his books. Followed by
>The Stone Canal, then The Cassini Division and the newly
>released The Sky Road.

Is the latter a stand alone book, or do i need to read the first three
to make sense of it?

Martin Wisse

--
"So, you're the Unix guru." At the time Randy was still
stupid enough to be flattered by this attention when
he should have recognized them as bone-chilling words.
-From Cryptonomicon

ryan

unread,
Jun 27, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/27/99
to

P Nielsen Hayden <p...@panix.com> wrote in message
> The Tor edition of THE CASSINI DIVISION is now out. We'll do THE STONE
> CANAL in January 2000 and THE SKY ROAD in August.

Is that August 2000 or August this year?

ryan

P Nielsen Hayden

unread,
Jun 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/28/99
to
Charlie Stross wrote in <slrn7n6v1o....@charlie.ed.datacash.com>:

>Incidentally, his third novel, "The Cassini Division", has been bought by
>Tor, IIRC; there are two earlier ones ("The Star Fraction" and "The Stone
>Canal") and a subsequent one set in the same universe, but if you want
>them and you're in the US you'll need to find a UK bookshop or importer
>(such as http://www.dillons.co.uk/).

The Tor edition of THE CASSINI DIVISION is now out. We'll do THE STONE
CANAL in January 2000 and THE SKY ROAD in August.


--
Patrick Nielsen Hayden : p...@panix.com : http://www.panix.com/~pnh

P Nielsen Hayden

unread,
Jun 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/28/99
to
ryan <ry...@xmission.com> wrote in <7l6o7c$bur$1...@news.xmission.com>:

>
>P Nielsen Hayden <p...@panix.com> wrote in message

>> The Tor edition of THE CASSINI DIVISION is now out. We'll do THE STONE
>> CANAL in January 2000 and THE SKY ROAD in August.
>

>Is that August 2000 or August this year?

August 2000.

Thomas Schoene

unread,
Jun 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/28/99
to
P Nielsen Hayden <p...@panix.com> wrote in article
<8DF2CC6...@news.panix.com>...

> The Tor edition of THE CASSINI DIVISION is now out. We'll do THE
STONE
> CANAL in January 2000 and THE SKY ROAD in August.

What about _The Star Fraction_? I get the sense from the discussion
here and the reviews on Amazon that it would help to read the books
more or less in order. I hate coming in on the middle of a story.

And I assume we'll be seeing paperback about a year after the
hardcover releases?

--
--------------------------------------------------
TomSc...@worldnet.att.net
*Insert pithy quote here*

P Nielsen Hayden

unread,
Jun 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/28/99
to
Thomas Schoene <TomSc...@worldnet.att.net> wrote in
<01bec115$28678720$9c7a4e0c@default>:

>P Nielsen Hayden <p...@panix.com> wrote in article
><8DF2CC6...@news.panix.com>...
>> The Tor edition of THE CASSINI DIVISION is now out. We'll do
>> THE STONE CANAL in January 2000 and THE SKY ROAD in August.
>
>What about _The Star Fraction_? I get the sense from the discussion
>here and the reviews on Amazon that it would help to read the books
>more or less in order. I hate coming in on the middle of a story.

Not for nothing was "Ken MacLeod: Reading Order?" one of the longer-lived
threads on this group earlier this year. (Although it turned into a
freeform political thrash after not too long.) Basically, you don't need
to read the novels in their exact order of publication. In fact, I tend to
recommend Americans start with either THE CASSINI DIVISION or THE STONE
CANAL.

>And I assume we'll be seeing paperback about a year after the
>hardcover releases?

Very likely.

Jo Walton

unread,
Jun 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/28/99
to
In article <377a8734...@news.demon.nl>
mwi...@ad-astra.demon.nl "Martin Wisse" writes:

> On Fri, 25 Jun 1999 09:03:26 +0100, "Kennedy, David
> (EXCHANGE:IRE07:GC42)" <kenn...@europem01.nt.com> wrote:
> >
> >The Star Fraction is the first one of his books. Followed by
> >The Stone Canal, then The Cassini Division and the newly
> >released The Sky Road.
>
> Is the latter a stand alone book, or do i need to read the first three
> to make sense of it?

It's a stand alone book, but if you've read the first three there are
places where you'll say "Yippee!" and "Glurk!" and "Scumball!" where
you wouldn't otherwise have as much information. It would be fine not
to, it would all make sense and be pretty damn terrific, but it wouldn't
be the scintillating experience I had with it this afternoon.

I bought :The Sky Road: because it was raining.

It wasn't raining when I left home, and I had to go to the bank, which
is about a mile, downhill. It started raining when I'd got about half
way, and it was the sort of rain that was clearly going to stop in ten
minutes. So I ducked into Uplands Bookshop, which is a little local
independent bookshop, and I wasn't thinking I'd buy anything, just pass
ten minutes until the rain stopped. But :The Sky Road: was there, and
I've been longing for it for weeks, and I thought the bookshop really
deserved rewarding for being so adventurous as to stock it. So I bought
it, went out into the rapidly drying streets, went to the bank, and came
home again.

It was lunchtime. I thought I'd just start it while I had some lunch. I
sat down and read it straight through, with brief breaks for getting kids
from school and making food for them, finished it about 18.15.

_What_ a good book!

James is quite right that it's easier to say things about flaws in books.

What can I say about a book with not one but two superbly realised futures,
fascinating and rounded characters, sophisticated and plausible politics,
unutterably cool tech, new and exciting SFnal ideas, and which made me
roll around laughing half a dozen times, one of them _at the name of
my own ISP_?!? As far as I can make out, the only flaw in :The Sky Road:
is that one of the characters listens to the wrong Leonard Cohen song -
not that there's anything wrong with the one she listens to, it's just
there's another that would have been better. This is maybe half a line
in a 291 page novel. And thinking of that as a flaw is stretching it,
really, just to have something to niggle at. All I can say is my reaction,
which is an incoherent "wow".

This is a wonderful book, this is what grown-up SF is supposed to be
like.

I wondered if Ken MacLeod would ever be able to surpass :The Stone Canal:.
He has.

I'm just stunned by it. When I'd finished it the only question I had was
whether to start reading it again straight away (which I did...) or to
re-read :The Star Fraction:. I can do that next.

I want to quote a bit to show how good it is, but there are too many
good bits and I can't decide on one.

Worth buying in British hardback, everyone.

Avram Grumer

unread,
Jun 28, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/28/99
to
In article <930598...@bluejo.demon.co.uk>, J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk said
that _The Sky Road_ was...:

> Worth buying in British hardback, everyone.

I've got the paperback on order from Amazon.co.uk. The site claims it was
supposed to have come out two or three weeks ago, but also says that it
hasn't been published yet.

Very odd. I search for "sky road ken macleod" and get three results (the
first is the one I ordered):

Sky Road
Ken Macleod / Paperback / Published 1999
Our Price: £5.99 (Not Yet Published)
Paperback - 320 pages ( 3 June, 1999)
Legend; ISBN: 0099240521

The Sky Road
Ken Macleod / Hardcover / Published 1999
Our Price: £13.59 ~ You Save: £3.40 (20%)
(Temporarily out of stock)
Hardcover - 291 pages ( 3 June, 1999)
Orbit; ISBN: 1857237552

The Sky Road
Ken Macleod / Paperback / Published 2000
Our Price: £5.99 (Not Yet Published)
Paperback ( 4 May, 2000)
Orbit; ISBN: 1857239679

--
Avram Grumer | Any sufficiently advanced
Home: av...@bigfoot.com | technology is indistinguishable
http://www.bigfoot.com/~avram/ | from an error message.

P Nielsen Hayden

unread,
Jun 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/29/99
to
Jo Walton <J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk> wrote in
<930598...@bluejo.demon.co.uk>:

>It's a stand alone book, but if you've read the first three there are
>places where you'll say "Yippee!" and "Glurk!" and "Scumball!" where
>you wouldn't otherwise have as much information.

Indeed, I believe I said "Yippee!" and "Glurk!" and "Scumball!" in roughly
equal measure, _passim_.

>This is a wonderful book, this is what grown-up SF is supposed to be
>like.

I may quote you to that effect.

Richard Horton

unread,
Jun 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/29/99
to
On Mon, 28 Jun 99 19:36:01 GMT, J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk (Jo Walton)
wrote:

>Worth buying in British hardback, everyone.

I ordered a British Paperback that amazon.co.uk claimed would be
released 3 June 1999. It hasn't come yet, and their site still calls
it "Not Yet Published" with a release date of 3 June 1999. Am I
pursuing a chimera?

But my Tor copy of _The Cassini Division_ should arrive from Book
Stacks any day now. So at least I'll get my long awaited new MacLeod
fix.

--
Rich Horton | Stable Email: richard...@sff.net
Home Page: www.sff.net/people/richard.horton
Also visit SF Site (www.sfsite.com) and Tangent Online (www.sfsite.com/tangent)

Scott C. Beeler

unread,
Jun 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/29/99
to
av...@grumer.org (Avram Grumer) wrote:
> In article <930598...@bluejo.demon.co.uk>, J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk said
> that _The Sky Road_ was...:
>
> > Worth buying in British hardback, everyone.
>
> I've got the paperback on order from Amazon.co.uk. The site claims it was
> supposed to have come out two or three weeks ago, but also says that it
> hasn't been published yet.

Sometimes they (and Amazon.com) have listings in there that are
erroneous, or are very out of date and for things which don't exist
any more, or exist but they won't let you buy...

That last one is the weirdest. I tried ordering an Iain Banks
paperback which was listed on Amazon.co.uk, very soon after the
hardback had come out. (I was surprised, expecting to have to wait a
year or so, but it was listed, so...) And I was told that it was "out
of print". Which was surprising, considering that the hardback had
just been out a month or so. So I inquired further, and was informed
the paperback listed was some special version that was only sold
through airport bookstores (and it was listed there *why?*), or some
similarly silly thing.

So anyway, Not All Is As It Seems there. You have been warned.
:-)

--
Scott Beeler scbe...@mindspring.com

Chris Williams

unread,
Jun 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/29/99
to

> Worth buying in British hardback, everyone.

I have a policy of only ever buying new books from the local
leftie co-op shop. So it's still on order. Auugh! A couple of times
I've considered buying it from somewhere else anyway: the logic
being that I ended up with 2 copies of TSC and TSF, because I
bought them, read them, lent them to my mates in a frenzy of
missionary zeal, then bought other copies to re-read while my
mates read them.

It's tempting and I might yet crack.

Chris

Jo Walton

unread,
Jun 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/29/99
to
In article <avram-28069...@manhattan.crossover.com>
av...@grumer.org "Avram Grumer" writes:

> In article <930598...@bluejo.demon.co.uk>, J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk said
> that _The Sky Road_ was...:
>

> > Worth buying in British hardback, everyone.
>

> I've got the paperback on order from Amazon.co.uk. The site claims it was
> supposed to have come out two or three weeks ago, but also says that it
> hasn't been published yet.
>

> Very odd. I search for "sky road ken macleod" and get three results (the
> first is the one I ordered):
>
> Sky Road
> Ken Macleod / Paperback / Published 1999
> Our Price: £5.99 (Not Yet Published)
> Paperback - 320 pages ( 3 June, 1999)
> Legend; ISBN: 0099240521

I think that's a mistake. A fantasy. Oh, unless it's one of those odd
"international edition" thingies? But I don't believe in it for a minute,
it just came out in hardback, people! I know I say rude things about
British publishers but they're not quite _that_ stupid.



> The Sky Road
> Ken Macleod / Hardcover / Published 1999
> Our Price: £13.59 ~ You Save: £3.40 (20%)
> (Temporarily out of stock)
> Hardcover - 291 pages ( 3 June, 1999)
> Orbit; ISBN: 1857237552

That's what I have. That's real. It has heft.



> The Sky Road
> Ken Macleod / Paperback / Published 2000
> Our Price: £5.99 (Not Yet Published)
> Paperback ( 4 May, 2000)
> Orbit; ISBN: 1857239679

I believe that one will exist too. I hope there'll be another new hardback
out then to go with it.

And of course there'll be a Tor edition next summer too. I do hope they
keep the boiler-plate spaceship cover illustration.

Paul Clarke

unread,
Jun 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/29/99
to
On Tue, 29 Jun 1999 03:47:15 GMT, rrho...@prodigy.net (Richard
Horton) wrote:

>On Mon, 28 Jun 99 19:36:01 GMT, J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk (Jo Walton)
>wrote:
>

>>Worth buying in British hardback, everyone.
>

>I ordered a British Paperback that amazon.co.uk claimed would be
>released 3 June 1999. It hasn't come yet, and their site still calls
>it "Not Yet Published" with a release date of 3 June 1999. Am I
>pursuing a chimera?

I don't have a definite answer, but I've only seen the hardback so
far.


Paul Clarke

unread,
Jun 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/29/99
to
On Mon, 28 Jun 99 19:36:01 GMT, J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk (Jo Walton)
wrote:
[snip]

>What can I say about a book with not one but two superbly realised futures,
>fascinating and rounded characters, sophisticated and plausible politics,
>unutterably cool tech, new and exciting SFnal ideas, and which made me
>roll around laughing half a dozen times, one of them _at the name of
>my own ISP_?!?

This is something worth mentioning about McLeod's novels, and
particularly _The Sky Road_: they're serious and not always cheerful
books that make me smile or laugh once every few pages.

[snip]


>I want to quote a bit to show how good it is, but there are too many
>good bits and I can't decide on one.

There's one line near the end that I though was absolutely wonderful,
but it's a spoiler, so...

(SPOILER SPACE)


"Behind the statue Mars was rising, a blue-green dot in the East."

Jo Walton

unread,
Jun 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/29/99
to
In article <CAW4-29069...@mac242.orange8.le.ac.uk>
CA...@le.ac.uk "Chris Williams" writes:

> In article <930598...@bluejo.demon.co.uk>, J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk wrote:
>
> > Worth buying in British hardback, everyone.
>

> I have a policy of only ever buying new books from the local
> leftie co-op shop. So it's still on order. Auugh! A couple of times
> I've considered buying it from somewhere else anyway:

I'm sorry, but I find these three lines, in the context of Ken MacLeod
and politics to be remarkably funny.

That's what killed the Soviet Union, you know, couldn't compete with
Waterstones. :]

the logic
> being that I ended up with 2 copies of TSC and TSF, because I
> bought them, read them, lent them to my mates in a frenzy of
> missionary zeal, then bought other copies to re-read while my
> mates read them.

What value of missionary is that?

I kept grinning all through the first half of :The Sky Road: because
I thought before starting it well, he's done a libertarian utopia,
he's done a communist utopia, how's he going to top that?

I think you'll really like it. I'm not sure all your mates will by
any means, but I think you will.

I want to lend Ken MacLeod :Platform For Change: and see what he comes
up with.

Oh, and people aren't going to be wondering about the happy ending of
:The Star Fraction: any more either.



> It's tempting and I might yet crack.

You know it makes sense.

Coyu

unread,
Jun 29, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/29/99
to
Jo Walton wrote:

>I kept grinning all through the first half of :The Sky Road: because
>I thought before starting it well, he's done a libertarian utopia,
>he's done a communist utopia, how's he going to top that?

Please, spoil me!

Richard Horton

unread,
Jun 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/30/99
to
On Tue, 29 Jun 1999 12:20:44 GMT, pau...@ctxuk.citrix.com (Paul
Clarke) wrote:

>I don't have a definite answer, but I've only seen the hardback so
>far.

I emailed Amazon.co.uk, and they responded with puzzlement, and
promised to send me the book when they get it.

I suspect it's that "airport edition" someone mentioned, and that
Amazon won't be getting any copies. This whole concept of "airport
edition" is really strange. I don't think we have such a thing in the
US.

Pete McCutchen

unread,
Jun 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/30/99
to
On Mon, 28 Jun 99 19:36:01 GMT, J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk (Jo Walton)
wrote:

>It was lunchtime. I thought I'd just start it while I had some lunch. I
>sat down and read it straight through, with brief breaks for getting kids
>from school and making food for them, finished it about 18.15.

I didn't notice when I was in England last (years ago, alas). Do you
have 24 hour clocks, or do you see 6:15 on the clock, and think, oh,
it's after noon, so it must be 18.15? In the states, the "18 hundred
hours" thing has military connotations.

Pete McCutchen

unread,
Jun 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/30/99
to
On 29 Jun 1999 01:17:04 GMT, P Nielsen Hayden <p...@panix.com> wrote:

>Jo Walton <J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk> wrote in
><930598...@bluejo.demon.co.uk>:
>
>>It's a stand alone book, but if you've read the first three there are
>>places where you'll say "Yippee!" and "Glurk!" and "Scumball!" where
>>you wouldn't otherwise have as much information.
>
>Indeed, I believe I said "Yippee!" and "Glurk!" and "Scumball!" in roughly
>equal measure, _passim_.
>
>>This is a wonderful book, this is what grown-up SF is supposed to be
>>like.
>
>I may quote you to that effect.
>

Congratulations, Jo. You've made your first blurb.


Pete McCutchen

unread,
Jun 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/30/99
to
On 28 Jun 1999 04:08:38 GMT, P Nielsen Hayden <p...@panix.com> wrote:

>Thomas Schoene <TomSc...@worldnet.att.net> wrote in
><01bec115$28678720$9c7a4e0c@default>:
>
>>P Nielsen Hayden <p...@panix.com> wrote in article
>><8DF2CC6...@news.panix.com>...
>>> The Tor edition of THE CASSINI DIVISION is now out. We'll do
>>> THE STONE CANAL in January 2000 and THE SKY ROAD in August.
>>
>>What about _The Star Fraction_? I get the sense from the discussion
>>here and the reviews on Amazon that it would help to read the books
>>more or less in order. I hate coming in on the middle of a story.
>
>Not for nothing was "Ken MacLeod: Reading Order?" one of the longer-lived
>threads on this group earlier this year. (Although it turned into a
>freeform political thrash after not too long.) Basically, you don't need
>to read the novels in their exact order of publication. In fact, I tend to
>recommend Americans start with either THE CASSINI DIVISION or THE STONE
>CANAL.
>

In the interest of completeness, I would like to add that _The Star
Fraction_ is available in the US from Laissez Faire books. Their URL
is www.laissaizfaire.org. Note the "org," not "com." Though if type
in "com" by accident, the nice objectivist couple who have
www.laissezfaire.com as their web page have helpfully provided a link
to the Laissez Faire books, so you can get there anyway.

Yes, Jo, I have it, and no I've not yet read it. It arrived just
before I went on trial, and I haven't had a good time yet. (Well, it
wasn't _me_ on trial, but you get the point.) This weekend, I hope.


John Boston

unread,
Jun 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/30/99
to
In article <3778356b...@news.mindspring.com>, scbe...@mindspring.com
says...

>
>av...@grumer.org (Avram Grumer) wrote:
>> In article <930598...@bluejo.demon.co.uk>, J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk said
>> that _The Sky Road_ was...:
>>
>> > Worth buying in British hardback, everyone.
>>
>> I've got the paperback on order from Amazon.co.uk. The site claims it was
>> supposed to have come out two or three weeks ago, but also says that it
>> hasn't been published yet.
>
>Sometimes they (and Amazon.com) have listings in there that are
>erroneous, or are very out of date and for things which don't exist
>any more, or exist but they won't let you buy...
[snip]

I once looked up a book on Amazon.com and found it had
three separate entries: out of print, out of stock at the publisher,
and not yet published. These were all for the same edition. There
is a great deal of junk data about books, which is not surprising
given the frequency with which titles are rescheduled, cancelled,
have their titles changed, etc., before publication.

John Boston


Del Cotter

unread,
Jun 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/30/99
to

Here, it has railway connotations, since that's what the 2400 system was
invented for.

(my bedside alarm clock has a 2400 display, for some reason)

--
Del Cotter | "Top-of-the-range Peugeot 205 Diesel Turbot"
d...@branta.demon.co.uk | --For Sale notice at work

Del Cotter

unread,
Jun 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/30/99
to
On Wed, 30 Jun 1999, in rec.arts.sf.written
Pete McCutchen (AT&T WorldNet Services) wrote:

>On 29 Jun 1999 01:17:04 GMT, P Nielsen Hayden <p...@panix.com> wrote:
>
>>Jo Walton <J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk> wrote (of _The Sky Road_):


>>
>>>This is a wonderful book, this is what grown-up SF is supposed to be
>>>like.
>>
>>I may quote you to that effect.
>
>Congratulations, Jo. You've made your first blurb.

It's a good blurb. Comparable to "Comparable to Tolkien at his best" :-)

Jo Walton

unread,
Jun 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/30/99
to
In article <377993d3...@netnews.worldnet.att.net>
p.mcc...@worldnet.att.net "Pete McCutchen" writes:

> On Mon, 28 Jun 99 19:36:01 GMT, J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk (Jo Walton)
> wrote:
>
> >It was lunchtime. I thought I'd just start it while I had some lunch. I
> >sat down and read it straight through, with brief breaks for getting kids
> >from school and making food for them, finished it about 18.15.
>
> I didn't notice when I was in England last (years ago, alas). Do you
> have 24 hour clocks, or do you see 6:15 on the clock, and think, oh,
> it's after noon, so it must be 18.15? In the states, the "18 hundred
> hours" thing has military connotations.

Err...

Both my digital watches (the one on my wrist and the one by the puter)
and the clock in my puter are 24 hour.

Sasha's clock with hands isn't.

Timetables always are.

I think if I were speaking I'd have said "quarter past six" but as I
was writing I did it in numbers so it would be shorter. So actually
I'd be doing the opposite of what you said and looking at the watch
propped up by the tower and reading "18.15" and translating that to
"six". But it isn't translation, I don't have to think.

No military connotations AFAIK.

ObSF: They're still on 12 hour time in :The Sky Road:, but everything
else seems to be metric.

Jo Walton

unread,
Jun 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/30/99
to
In article <19990629144414...@ng-ff1.aol.com>
co...@aol.com "Coyu" writes:

First, a quote from :The Sky Road:, p.126

"We British are beginning to get the hang of this civilization game.
When the Romans left, there wasn't a public library or a flush toilet
or a decent road or a postman to be seen for a thousand years. When
the American Empire fell, I think we can honestly say we did a damn
sight better, and indeed better than most. We lost the electronic
libraries, of course, and a great deal of knowledge, but the
infrastructure of civilization pulled through the troubled times
reasonably intact. In some respects, even improved. A great deal of
that we owe to the very fact that the electronic records were lost -
and along with them the chains of usury and rent and the other... dark
powers which held the world in what they even then had the gall to
call 'The Net'"

SPOILERS - horrible thematic spoilers, and if you'd rather have the
pleasure of working it out yourself, which I regard as the sort of
joy not to be frittered away on usenet, then please skip.


That's clearly spoken by someone who doesn't understand what civilization
_is_. MacLeod has taken "socialism or barbarism" and done a _barbarian
utopia_!

And it is a utopia, it's pretty much a best case for the world inherited
by the barbarians within our gates.

Coyu

unread,
Jun 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/30/99
to
Jo Walton wrote:

>SPOILERS - horrible thematic spoilers, and if you'd rather have the
>pleasure of working it out yourself, which I regard as the sort of
>joy not to be frittered away on usenet, then please skip.

[spoilers clipped]

My reading temperament is such that I can separate the surprise
from the implementation - thank you. (Guessed right! woo-hoo!)

ppint.

unread,
Jun 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/30/99
to
- hi; in rasfwr article, <930649...@bluejo.demon.co.uk>,

J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk "Jo Walton" wrote:
> In article <avram-28069...@manhattan.crossover.com>
> av...@grumer.org "Avram Grumer" writes:
>>In article <930598...@bluejo.demon.co.uk>, J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk said
>>that _The Sky Road_ was...:
>>
>>> Worth buying in British hardback, everyone.
>>
>>I've got the paperback on order from Amazon.co.uk. The site claims it was
>>supposed to have come out two or three weeks ago, but also says that it
>>hasn't been published yet.
[..]
>(jo)
>
- sorry, don't know yet - but ken might...?

- no, it wasn't a mistake [1], it isn't an open market
(international) edition, sfaik, and it isn't true <g>:

- what has happened is that random house uk sold their
legend list off to warner (little, brown uk ltd.) and
books previously scheduled as legend titles are being
rebadged as orbit, as are reprints of titles warner're
keeping in print, and rescheduled to fit into warner's
publishing programme.

- as random house uk had previously bought mandarin
(formerly methuen) paperbacks as a major part of reed-
elsevier's consumer publishing division, and closed its
sf and fantasy list, this represents a significant loss
of publishing "slots" for sf & fantasy in the uk :-(((

- love, ppint.
[please drop the anti-uce "v", to reply to me in person]
--
"With blue cheese, there's no guilt."
- tamar on afp, 10/16/98 (16/10/98 for non-merkins)


Dave O'Neill

unread,
Jun 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/30/99
to

Del Cotter wrote in message ...

>>I didn't notice when I was in England last (years ago, alas). Do you
>>have 24 hour clocks, or do you see 6:15 on the clock, and think, oh,
>>it's after noon, so it must be 18.15? In the states, the "18 hundred
>>hours" thing has military connotations.
>

>Here, it has railway connotations, since that's what the 2400 system was
>invented for.
>
>(my bedside alarm clock has a 2400 display, for some reason)

Del, this is a terribly easy and sensible thing. My alarm clock is 24 hour
I have never set it for 6pm instead of 6am (for example), OTOH, my
girlfriends alarm is AM and PM and we both manage to mis-set that with
un-nerving regularity.

Fortunately double redundancy is a good thing! :-)

Dave

Dave O'Neill

unread,
Jun 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/30/99
to

Martin Sutherland

unread,
Jun 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/30/99
to

P Nielsen Hayden wrote in message <8DF2CC6...@news.panix.com>...
>Charlie Stross wrote in <slrn7n6v1o....@charlie.ed.datacash.com>:

>
>The Tor edition of THE CASSINI DIVISION is now out. We'll do THE STONE
>CANAL in January 2000 and THE SKY ROAD in August.

Drat. More editions I'm going to have to buy...

-Martin Sutherland.
mar...@compuserve.com
http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/martian

Scott C. Beeler

unread,
Jun 30, 1999, 3:00:00 AM6/30/99
to
vafp...@i-m-t.demon.co.uk ("ppint.") wrote:
> J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk "Jo Walton" wrote:
> - what has happened is that random house uk sold their
> legend list off to warner (little, brown uk ltd.) and
> books previously scheduled as legend titles are being
> rebadged as orbit, as are reprints of titles warner're
> keeping in print, and rescheduled to fit into warner's
> publishing programme.

So did Legend normally put out their paperbacks at the same time as
the hardbacks? That seems kind of weird. I think the previous Ken
MacLeod books had the ~1 year delay most books get.

--
Scott Beeler scbe...@mindspring.com

Jo Walton

unread,
Jul 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/1/99
to
In article <377aa5a2...@news.mindspring.com>

scbe...@mindspring.com "Scott C. Beeler" writes:

> So did Legend normally put out their paperbacks at the same time as
> the hardbacks? That seems kind of weird. I think the previous Ken
> MacLeod books had the ~1 year delay most books get.

No, of course they didn't.

Simon Kinahan

unread,
Jul 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/1/99
to
Pete McCutchen wrote:
>
> I didn't notice when I was in England last (years ago, alas). Do you
> have 24 hour clocks, or do you see 6:15 on the clock, and think, oh,
> it's after noon, so it must be 18.15? In the states, the "18 hundred
> hours" thing has military connotations.

The clocks I see tend to be about fifty fifty I think. I mentally
translate anyway to such an extet, I'm not sure I'd remember whether it
was in 24 or 12 hour the instant after looking. When I tell someone the
time though, I do it in 12 hour.

I laughed for several days at an American girl I met somewhere between
Barcelona and Venice during a French train strike, who claimed to not
understand the rail timetables "because they were in military time".

Simon

Bill Higgins-- Beam Jockey

unread,
Jul 1, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/1/99
to
On 28 Jun 1999, P Nielsen Hayden wrote:

> Thomas Schoene <TomSc...@worldnet.att.net> wrote in
> <01bec115$28678720$9c7a4e0c@default>:
>

> >P Nielsen Hayden <p...@panix.com> wrote in article
> ><8DF2CC6...@news.panix.com>...


> >> The Tor edition of THE CASSINI DIVISION is now out. We'll do
> >> THE STONE CANAL in January 2000 and THE SKY ROAD in August.
> >

> >What about _The Star Fraction_? I get the sense from the discussion
> >here and the reviews on Amazon that it would help to read the books
> >more or less in order. I hate coming in on the middle of a story.
>
> Not for nothing was "Ken MacLeod: Reading Order?" one of the longer-lived
> threads on this group earlier this year. (Although it turned into a
> freeform political thrash after not too long.) Basically, you don't need
> to read the novels in their exact order of publication. In fact, I tend to
> recommend Americans start with either THE CASSINI DIVISION or THE STONE
> CANAL.

In fact, Patrick is in a position to control the order in which many
Americans read MacLeod's novels...

I must say that, after reading all the enthusiasm displayed here, I'm
looking forward to reading these books. And I will probably read them in
the order dictated by Patrick and his colleagues.

--
I only have the vaguest concept of how Net | Bill Higgins
News works. I envision it as sort of a |
perpetually orbiting cluster of data, | Fermilab
somewhat in the nature of the Phoenix |
Asteroids in *Dark Star*. --Jacque Marshall | hig...@fnal.fnal.gov


Bill Woods

unread,
Jul 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/2/99
to
Richard Horton wrote:

> On Tue, 29 Jun 1999 12:20:44 GMT, pau...@ctxuk.citrix.com (Paul
> Clarke) wrote:
>
> >I don't have a definite answer, but I've only seen the hardback so
> >far.
>
> I emailed Amazon.co.uk, and they responded with puzzlement, and
> promised to send me the book when they get it.
>
> I suspect it's that "airport edition" someone mentioned, and that
> Amazon won't be getting any copies. This whole concept of "airport
> edition" is really strange. I don't think we have such a thing in the
> US.

Do you have to have a ticket to get these, or do you just have to go
out to the airport bookstore? Or are they in the duty-free shop?

--
Bill Woods

"Instructions to Mariners Who Discover Themselves Dismasted
Off a Lee Shore.

1. Do not allow your ship to be found in this situation."

Jo Walton

unread,
Jul 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/2/99
to
In article <377C6672...@ix.netcom.com>
wwo...@ix.netcom.com "Bill Woods" writes:

> Do you have to have a ticket to get these, or do you just have to go
> out to the airport bookstore? Or are they in the duty-free shop?

They're in the duty free shop. You need a ticket and a passport.

The duty free shop in Athens airport used to be the only place I
ever saw US books. I bought :The Compass Rose: and :The Beginning
Place: and :The Number of the Beast: and :The Guns of Avalon: there,
among other things.

GCU Cultural Attache

unread,
Jul 2, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/2/99
to
Bitstring <377C6672...@ix.netcom.com> from the wonderful Bill
Woods <wwo...@ix.netcom.com> asserted
<snip>

>>
>> I suspect it's that "airport edition" someone mentioned, and that
>> Amazon won't be getting any copies. This whole concept of "airport
>> edition" is really strange. I don't think we have such a thing in the
>> US.
>
>Do you have to have a ticket to get these, or do you just have to go
>out to the airport bookstore? Or are they in the duty-free shop?
<Snip>

These are the ones you can only buy in the departure lounge I think.
Usually found in WH Smith's departure lounge bookstore under a huge sign
saying 'not yet available in UK'. You have to be pseudo-out of the UK to
buy one.

GCU Cultural Attache:

Richard Horton

unread,
Jul 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/3/99
to
On Fri, 02 Jul 99 18:15:20 GMT, J...@bluejo.demon.co.uk (Jo Walton)
wrote:

>In article <377C6672...@ix.netcom.com>


> wwo...@ix.netcom.com "Bill Woods" writes:
>
>> Do you have to have a ticket to get these, or do you just have to go
>> out to the airport bookstore? Or are they in the duty-free shop?
>

>They're in the duty free shop. You need a ticket and a passport.
>

That's more or less what I figured. What annoys me is that
amazon.co.uk keeps listing these books, and doesn't seem to realize
that they can't sell them. But I guess I should have known better
anyway, on the "If it's too good to be true, it probably isn't true"
principle.

Justin Bacon

unread,
Jul 3, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/3/99
to
In article <7ldob0$3c7$1...@nclient1-gui.server.virgin.net>, "Dave O'Neill"
<dav...@hotmXXl.com> writes:

>Del, this is a terribly easy and sensible thing. My alarm clock is 24 hour
>I have never set it for 6pm instead of 6am (for example), OTOH, my
>girlfriends alarm is AM and PM and we both manage to mis-set that with
>un-nerving regularity.
>
>Fortunately double redundancy is a good thing! :-)

Was the fact this message was posted twice a deliberate pun, or merely lucky
circumstance? ;-)

Justin Bacon
tr...@prairie.lakes.com

Lynn Calvin

unread,
Jul 12, 1999, 3:00:00 AM7/12/99
to
On 28 Jun 1999 00:22:55 GMT, P Nielsen Hayden <p...@panix.com> wrote:

>Charlie Stross wrote in <slrn7n6v1o....@charlie.ed.datacash.com>:
>

>>Incidentally, his third novel, "The Cassini Division", has been bought by
>>Tor, IIRC; there are two earlier ones ("The Star Fraction" and "The Stone
>>Canal") and a subsequent one set in the same universe, but if you want
>>them and you're in the US you'll need to find a UK bookshop or importer
>>(such as http://www.dillons.co.uk/).


>
>
>The Tor edition of THE CASSINI DIVISION is now out. We'll do THE STONE
>CANAL in January 2000 and THE SKY ROAD in August.

You realize that you have created a monster. I had read your admiration
of this author and gone "yeah, yeah." (Not that I don't trust you
implicitly, but . . .)

You were right. It is *very* good.

Lynn Calvin
lca...@interaccess.com
UU Discussion also available on:
news://alt.religion.unitarian-univ for unmoderated discussion
UU-Community email list for moderated discussion on uua.org
UUS-L mailing list
Holding Rich Puchalsky, Gene Douglas, Richard Kulisz in my thoughts.

Reply all
Reply to author
Forward
0 new messages