Ken MacLeod


Ken MacLeod

Infobox Writer
name = Ken MacLeod


imagesize = 200px
caption = Ken MacLeod at the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention in Glasgow, August 2005
birthdate = Birth date and age|1954|08|02|df=yes
birthplace = Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland
deathdate =
occupation = Writer
nationality =
period =
genre = science fiction
subject =
movement =
influences = J. G. Ballard, Iain Banks, John Brunner,
William Gibson,
Bruce Sterling
influenced =


website = http://kenmacleod.blogspot.com

Ken MacLeod (born 2 August 1954), an award-winning Scottish science fiction writer, lives in South Queensferry near Edinburgh. He graduated from Glasgow University with a degree in zoology and has worked as a computer programmer and written a masters thesis on biomechanics. [http://www.orbitbooks.co.uk/orbit/macleod-ken.asp?TAG=&CID=orbit Ken MacLeod's official page at Orbit Books] ] His novels often explore socialist, communist and anarchist political ideas, most particularly the variants of Trotskyism and anarcho-capitalism or extreme economic libertarianism. Technical themes encompass singularities, divergent human cultural evolution and post-human cyborg-resurrection. MacLeod's general outlook can be best described as techno-utopian socialist, [http://www.zone-sf.com/kenmacleod.html SF Zone interview with MacLeod] ]

cite book
last = Butler
first = Andrew M.
coauthors = Mendlesohn, Farah
editor = (eds.)
title = The True Knowledge Of Ken MacLeod
year = 2003
ISBN = 0-903007-02-9
publisher = SF Foundation

] though unlike a majority of techno-utopians, he has expressed great scepticism over the possibility and especially over the desirability of Strong AI.

He is known for his constant in-joking and punning on the intersection between socialist ideologies and computer programming, as well as other fields. For example, his chapter titles such as "Trusted Third Parties" or "Revolutionary Platform" usually have double (or multiple) meanings. A future programmers union is called "International Workers of the World Wide Web", or the "Webblies", a reference to the Industrial Workers of the World, who are nicknamed the "Wobblies".

He is part of a new generation of British science fiction writers, who specialise in hard science fiction and space opera. His contemporaries include Stephen Baxter, Iain M. Banks, Alastair Reynolds, Adam Roberts, Charles Stross, Richard Morgan and Liz Williams.

Bibliography

Fall Revolution series

# "The Star Fraction" (1995; US paperback ISBN 0-7653-0156-3, winner 1996 Prometheus Award)
# "The Stone Canal" (1996; US paperback ISBN 0-8125-6864-8, winner 1998 Prometheus Award)
# "The Cassini Division" (1998; US paperback ISBN 0-312-87044-2)
#* "The Sky Road" (1999; US paperback ISBN 0-8125-7759-0) (Winner of the 1999 BSFA award for Best Novel) – represents an 'alternate future' to the second two books, as its events diverge sharply due to a choice made differently by one of the protagonists in the middle of "The Stone Canal" ["The Falling Rate of Profit, Red Hordes and Green Slime: What the Fall Revolution Books Are About" – "Nova Express, Volume 6, Spring/Summer 2001, pp 19-21]

Engines of Light Trilogy

A series which begins with a first contact story in a speculative mid-21st century where a resurgently socialist USSR (incorporating the European Union) is once again in opposition with the capitalist United States, then diverges into a story told on the other side of the galaxy of Earth-descended colonists trying to establish trade and relations within an interstellar empire of several species who travel from world to world at the speed of light.
# "Cosmonaut Keep" (2000; US paperback ISBN 0-7653-4073-9)
# "Dark Light" (2001; US paperback ISBN 0-7653-4496-3)
# "Engine City" (2002; US paperback ISBN 0-7653-4421-1)

Other work

* "" (2004; US paperback edition ISBN 0-7653-4422-X)
* "Learning the World: A Novel of First Contact" (2005; UK hardback edition ISBN 1-84149-343-0, winner 2006 Prometheus Award)
* "The Highway Men" (2006; UK edition ISBN 1-905207-06-9)
* "The Execution Channel" (2007; UK hardback edition ISBN-10: 1841493481 ISBN-13: 978-1841493480)
* "The Night Sessions" (2008; UK hardback edition ISBN-10: 1841496510 ISBN-13: 978-1841496511)

Short fiction

"(incomplete selection)"
* "The Web Cydonia" (1998; UK paperback edition ISBN 1-85881-640-8) "collected in Giant Lizards from Another Star"
* "The Human Front" (2002) (Winner of Short-form Sidewise Award for Alternate History 2002) collected in "Giant Lizards from Another Star"
* Who's Afraid of Wolf 359? ("The New Space Opera", 2007) – nominated for Hugo Award for Best Short Story

Collections

* "Poems & Polemics" (2001; Rune Press: Minneapolis, MN) Chapbook of non-fiction and poetry.
* "Giant Lizards From Another Star" (2006; US trade hardcover ISBN 1-886778-62-0) Collected fiction and nonfiction.

Analysis

The Science Fiction Foundation have published an analysis of MacLeod's work [http://www.sf-foundation.org/publications/kenmacleod.html "The True Knowledge Of Ken MacLeod"] (2003; ISBN 0-903007-02-9) edited by Andrew M. Butler and Farah Mendlesohn. As well as critical essays it contains material by MacLeod himself, including his introduction to the German edition of Banks' "Consider Phlebas".

Quotes

* (On technological singularity): "...the rapture for nerds..." – "The Cassini Division"
* "The uploads replicate and develop relationships. Most of them go very bad. You sometimes get an entire virtual planet of four billion people devoted to building prayer wheels in an attempt at a denial of service attack on God." – "Newton's Wake"
* (On Strong AI): "...he (Kevin Warwick) writes cheerful little books about how the machines are going to take over.... Well, it's possible, but I still tend to think of that as the lights going out. I don't like Hans Moravec's vision of the future at all. I don't see why we should stand for it actually... I greatly admired Greg Egan's book "Diaspora" but I hated that world. It's not a world I want to see, or to live in for that matter.... The thing is, I remain to be convinced that it's even possible." – Sci-Fi Zone interview
* "... a faded black T-shirt with a soaring penguin and the slogan 'Where do you want to come from today?'" – "Newton's Wake"
* "What if capitalism is unsustainable, and socialism is impossible? We're fucked, that's what." – "The Falling Rate of Profit, Red Hordes and Green Slime: What the Fall Revolution Books Are About" – "Nova Express", Volume 6, Spring/Summer 2001, pp 19-21
* (8 hours after the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster:)::"Husband, McCool, Anderson, Brown, Chawla, Clark, Ramon.:: Komarov, Grissom, White, Chaffee, Dobrovolsky, Volkov, Patsayev,:: Resnick, Scobee, Smith, McNair, McAuliffe, Jarvis, Onizuka.:: These names will be written under other skies.":: Usenet [http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.sf.fandom/browse_thread/thread/3a0c6ecb1cf54161/e23dd84437ea2491 posting to rec.arts.sf.fandom] , 1 February 2003
* "Hey, this is Europe. We took it from nobody; we won it from the bare soil that the ice left. The bones of our ancestors, and the stones of their works, are everywhere. Our liberties were won in wars and revolutions so terrible that we do not fear our governors: they fear us. Our children giggle and eat ice-cream in the palaces of past rulers. We snap our fingers at kings. We laugh at popes. When we have built up tyrants, we have brought them down. And we have nuclear "*fucking*" weapons." – [http://groups.google.com/group/rec.arts.sf.fandom/browse_frm/thread/303b0da0ab25aee/b12adceacd343279 "USENET posting to rec.sf.arts.fandom"] 28 September 2000, in the discussion of Robert A. Heinlein's quote "The cowards never started and the weaklings died on the way." ("Expanded Universe", How to be a Survivor in the Atomic Age)
* (on "The Hamburg Cell"): "It shows them as weak, alienated individuals being recruited by the classic methods of any campus cult. Young men without a strong sense of self are a Microsoft for mind viruses, and these were no exception." [http://kenmacleod.blogspot.com/2004/09/hamburg-cell-antonia-birds-hamburg.html weblog post] , 3 September 2004

References

External links

* [http://us.macmillan.com/author/kenmacleod Ken MacLeod's page at Macmillan.com]
* [http://www.sffworld.com/interview/177p0.html Interview with Ken Macleod] at [http://www.sffworld.com SFFWorld.com]
*
* [http://www.zone-sf.com/kenmacleod.html SF Zone interview with MacLeod]
* [http://kenmacleod.blogspot.com Ken MacLeod's Weblog]


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