2011-07-12 · in Books · 317 words

I was not preaching, said Salasso. I was conveying the results of a scientific investigation.

It was pretty clear by the time I was halfway through the first book that I was going to enjoy this series, so I wound up reading all three back to back. (I bought the first because it was nominated for a Hugo and sounded interesting; I'm glad in retrospect that I didn't go looking for other reviews, since many reviewers completely savage this series.)

Cosmonaut Keep: a near-alternate-future BOFH becomes embroiled in a data-smuggling plan, revealing information about space exploration that both world governments were trying to keep quiet; meanwhile, his far-alternate-future descendants work to rediscover the FTL technology they need to start trading between the worlds of their civilisation without help from aliens.

Dark Light: the traders arrive on a new world, with Entertaining Consequences. Stone and his society of hang-glider-manufacturing primitives: nicely done. Good musical bit in the middle; I wonder if he's got a tune in mind for A Lass in Rawley's Toun?

Engine City: more along the same lines; immortality, revolution, and fractal aliens.

General impressions: neat universe with lots of interesting, unconventional details, and plenty of potential for telling other stories should MacLeod decide to revisit it (please!). Brilliant aliens. I would have said that even if it'd just had the saurs — for that matter, even if it'd just had Salasso — but then there are the Multipliers, and of course the gods...

The third is darker and more political than the first two, which put me off a bit, but it's still good stuff. MacLeod consistently manages to avoid taking himself too seriously, and it's frequently laugh-out-loud funny (Guerrilla ontology!). I'll buying more of his work...