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Fractions: The First Half of The Fall Revolution Paperback – October 28, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

Review

Should make those who've been crying that British SF can't work for an American audience think twice. This is strong stuff, full of ideas and yet with a hard-driving plot, and readers whose taste extends beyond good-guys/bad-guys adventure stories ought to love it. (Asimov’s SF on The Stone Canal)

Science fiction's freshest new writer…MacLeod is a fiercely intelligent, prodigously well-read author who manages to fill his books with big issues without weighing them down. (Salon)

As much fun as these books provide, it's that fierceness, that seriousness of purpose, that powers their engines and makes me want to read on. (Locus)

About the Author

KEN MACLEOD's SF novels have won the Prometheus Award and the BSFA award, and been shortlisted for the Hugo and Nebula Awards. He lives near Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Product Details

  • Series: Fall Revolution (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books; Reprint edition (October 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765320681
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765320681
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751,499 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Ken MacLeod's SF novels have won the Prometheus Award and the BSFA award, and been shortlisted for the Hugo and Nebula Awards. He lives near Edinburgh, Scotland.

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok HALL OF FAME on January 30, 2009
Format: Paperback
Written towards the end of, and shortly after, the Cold War, Ken MacLeod's "Fractions", is the first half of a four novel series, "The Fall Revolution", exploring humanity's potential political futures. His first novel, "The Star Fraction", is a brilliant near future exploration as to how mankind copes with a fragmented nation state, 21st Century Great Britain, consisting of Marxist societies co-existing uneasily with others, especially with the overarching libertarian ethos of the US/UN world government. Set several decades after a brief World War III which was fought to integrate all of Europe into one state, MacLeod offers an optimistic appraisal of anarchistic rule, as seen through the eyes of his misfit protagonists, most of whom members of an urban terrorist band resisting the rule of the restored British monarchy and its US/UN overlords.

Centuries and many light years later, in MacLeod's second novel, "The Stone Canal", humans and androids share a world - New Mars, still in the midst of terraforming - and struggle to establish equality for both groups, when a mysterious human clone appears, recognizable as the British leader who triggered the Fall Revolution. MacLeod skillfully weaves back and forth between the lives of the original leader in the early 21st Century and his New Mars clone, drawing uneasy social and political parallels between both societies.

There are no real heroes in either half of "Fractions". MacLeod admits that his protagonists are flawed figures, rising occasionally to do memorable, perhaps even heroic, deeds. As characters they seem far more realized than the cyberspace cowboys and other social misfits inhabiting the near future landscape of William Gibson's "Cyberspace Trilogy".
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mark from Bawlmer on July 2, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ken MacLeod is a peerless purveyor of speculative fiction with a bite. An intellectual, fiercely partisan, aggressively funny, British writer, MacLeod gets in your face with his politics -- but makes it palatable by writing about characters you really care about. On top of that, he manages with the Fall Revolution series to create a satisfying puzzle whose pieces all fall together in his final novels of the series (collected as "Divisions"). For the fullest effect, read "Fractions" and "Divisions" together to appreciate how MacLeod spans light years of space and geologic eras of time while stitching together a satisfying yarn about super-long-lived characters linked - and divided - by friendship, love, ideology, and enmity. Oh yeah, and by nanotechnology, steam-punk cybernetics, the Singularity, and rip-roaring space opera.

"Fractions" combines the first two novels of the Fall Revolution series, "The Space Fraction" and "The Stone Canal." MacLeod focuses on a different character in each of his novels, while having the same core personalities appear either in the foreground or background of each of the other. In "The Star Fraction," we are introduced to a war-torn Britain that has been shattered by competing ideologies -- oh, yeah, and by some almost accidental nuclear blasts. We follow some armed-to-the-hilt mercenaries, psychedelic memory researchers, space enthusiasts, and left leaning revolutionaries as England tries to shrug off the latest Restoration. Despite deep discomfort with the notion of artificial intelligence, the protagonists end up unleashing the Black Plan of the Fourth International.

In "The Stone Canal," one of the fringe characters from "The Star Fraction" takes center stage.
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By Ken K on June 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The Fall Revolution is one of my favorite series, and the two books included here are simply outstanding. If you enjoy hard scifi and space opera, this is a series that you shouldn't miss!
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By Steve Bergeron on February 18, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It has been a long time since I read something this Epic. I would put this up against Herbert's Dune. It snuck up on me. The thoughts are big, the plot is deep. Epic.
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