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Topic: The Star Fraction, anyone read this?

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Subject: The Star Fraction, anyone read this?
Date Posted: 3/31/2008 11:03 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2006
Posts: 102
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I'm currently reading this book and am half way through.  I'm having a really hard time getting into this story.  Please tell me things get better with the series.  I have heard alot of good things about Ken Macleod's novels and I am wondering if maybe I shouldn't have started with this one.  Anyone have any opinions on this novel?

Thanks for the input,


Current read--Obviously--The Star Fraction

Recently finished--Thirteen-RK. Morgan, Traveling Music and Ghost Rider--Neil Peart

Coming soon-Whatever grabs me next(not the name of a novel ; ) )

Subject: Ken MacLeod's The Star Fraction
Date Posted: 4/29/2008 9:36 PM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2006
Posts: 723
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This was Ken MacLeod's first novel in 1995, and is the beginning of his Fall Revolution sequence, as well as establishes the Earth setting from which his Engines of Light series launches.

This is a very complicated book, set in a highly balkanized future Britain. As an American unfamiliar with any major or minor British political movements he may be extrapolating on (such as libertarian socialism), I found it somewhat difficult to keep track of the possible alignments between the mini-states, factions, and movements - although I'm not sure if being British would have helped. In this world, mercenaries of the militias and militant factions, as well as of the mini-governments operate in a system regulated under US/UN hegemony. The action surrounding the four main characters, and mysterious artificial intelligence(s), rolls from zone to zone, with good time to learn about each. I feel that the book could have used a more consistent character focus, as it seemed to drift from one to another. But for pure world-building, this is an amazing book.

I've already read the Engines of Light books (Cosmonaut Keep, Dark Light, Engine City), and will be looking for the rest of the Fall Revolution books (The Stone Canal, The Cassini Division, The Sky Road).

Last Edited on: 4/30/08 7:36 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 5/5/2008 10:09 AM ET
Member Since: 3/20/2006
Posts: 102
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Hey Tom,

I'm still struggling through this one.  I set it aside to read some of the dune series and I have to say that Dune for me is far more interesting than this one.  Not to make any comparisons about the content but just on the way both are written the Dune series has me finishing one book and grabbing the next.  I'm up to book 4 in the series now.  I want to finish The Star Fraction but I have to admit I probably won't read the next novel for quite some time and if it is like the 1st one I will probably just stop reading the series all together.  I hate giving up a series but I have way too many books waiting to be read to spend time one I'm just not getting into.

Thanks for your input on the topic.


Date Posted: 5/25/2008 9:01 PM ET
Member Since: 8/15/2007
Posts: 201
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I liked The Star Fraction the second time I read it.  ;)  It was a loan from a friend who loved it and I felt bad admitting that I was mostly lost the first time through.  I even went as far as pulling out the encyclopedia and reading up on the First, Second and Third Internationals, thinking it would help.   Once I decided not to worry about the details of the political systems and just go with it, I ended up really enjoying whole Fall Revolution series.  

I read the Engines of Light series later and was a bit disappointed.  The characters were less appealing to me and I found myself a lot less invested in what happened to them.  Of course, maybe I just need to give that one a second try, too!