The Star Fraction, Paperback
4.5 out of 5 (3 ratings)


In a newer world order where the peace process is deadlier than the wars ...Moh Kohn is a security mercenary with a smart gun, reflexes to die for and memories he doesn't want to reach. Jamis Taine is a scientist with a new line in memory drugs, anti-tech terrorists on her case and the STASIS cops on her trail. Jordan Brown is a teenage atheist with a guilty conscience, a wad of illicit cash and an urgent need to get a life. Between them they've started the countdown to the final confrontation, as the cryptic Star Fraction assembles its codes, the Army of the New Republic prepares its offensive and Space Defence lines up its laser weapons for the hour of the Watchmaker ...


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Science fiction
  • ISBN: 9781857238334



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Showing 1 - 3 of 3 reviews.

Review by

An excellent novel - Ken MacLeod is generally very good and this is his best, without a shadow of a doubt. A politics and action packed thriller set in a dystopian near future, and with some utterly unpredictable twists and turns. The sory is gripping enough, but the questions it raises about technology and politics are just as fascinating. Brilliant.

Review by

Superb. Politically fairly complex unless you are a historian of communism. Centred fairly loosely around three main characters: Moh a mercenary milita captain, defending institutions against attacks from both antitechnologists and prolife groups. Jaine is a researcher looking into pharamceutical neural modification in one of those facilities, and Jorden is a teenage athiest in a religious cult, employed as a sharebroker. The society is mid 21st century reflection of the 70s power struggles betwen east and west. The UK sided with the US in an anti EU position following an EU response to a Eastern european invasion. The limited Israeli nuclear response caused the UK government to fragment into FreeStates - community enclaves. Internally self policing, the US/UN Space Defense force ensures that limits on disruptive technology are maintained. Revolution is in the air, as Moh realises he's made a costly mistake in a dealing with another militia, and the ever present rumour / threat of finally having found a sentient AI makes life that much more complicated.Apart from the odd bursts of political rambling which don't make much sense in today's geopolitical scene it is all very enjoyable. The society as a serie sof enclaves is well imagined and internally consistant the raised but not extreme level of technological penetration is well described without infodumps. The ending is somewhat sudden and slightly naive - which is curious considering the sophisticated political machinations of the other parts. What would be today's question: What about the influence of MegaCorps is not discussed at all, but it is an insightful look at how a technological progressive socialist UK might end up. Not likely perhaps, but possible.

Review by

an ambitious and interesting book, about factionalism in political ideas, chaotic structures, the care and feeding of AIs, and suchlike stuff in the near future. first of a series. i wouldn't say it quite comes off: the author's reach in style sometimes seems to exceed his grasp, and some of his political projections on political factions seem to me a bit glib and even shaky. also his characters never really come to life. nevertheless i read in it echoes of Banks, and echoes of Dhalgren-period Delany, which is pretty good company to keep. plus it's an early book (1995), with a central concept that could be developed further into some fruitful territory, and so i quite look forward to reading the next one in the series.

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