I’m presently reading Ken MacLeod’s newest book, The Execution Channel, and it is outstanding. MacLeod is one of my absolute favorite authors, and this book is one of his best. It hits imediately much closer to home than most of his scifi; it’s a near-future alternate world, where 9/11, 7/7, Iraq, Iran, and all the rest happened. Where the War on Terror has defined our reality for the intervening decades. By fast-forwarding us through the near future, to the start of his book where a nuclear explosion in Scotland may signal the start of something even bigger, MacLeod is able to explore the cultural, technological, and political consequences of the decisions we’ve made since September 11th.

He does it with style, but pulls no punches. This paragraph (referencing detention without charge for purposes of national security), for example, drove me out of my chair to pace about, and eventually write this post:

Tears sprang to her eyes, as they always did when the thought struck her that that particular prerogative was back: the right of the sovereign to condemn, to put to the question, without due process and for reasons of state; that on that sore point all the Revolutions in Britian and America had been for nothing. That America had been for nothing; that dismayed her.

And it’s (so far) a rollicking good story too. How can you beat it!? Thanks, Ken!

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