The Early Days of a Better Nation

Thursday, December 29, 2016



The Corporation Wars: Reviews

The second novel, and/or the first two, of my space opera trilogy have had some good reviews by well-respected reviewers: from Stuart Kelly in the Scotsman; from Joe Gordon at Forbidden Planet; and from Paul Di Filippo in Locus.

And there's more!

Joe Gordon also wrote generously about the first book and about my event at the Edinburgh Book Festival this summer. The lively and incredibly prolific blog MyLifeMyBooksMyEscape interviewed me about the series.



The third volume, Emergence, is due to be published by Orbit in September 2017.
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Saturday, December 24, 2016



What I've (not) been doing

Yesterday morning I finished a long short story for an interesting project I've been collaborating in: imagining and designing Heijplaat, a small community in Rotterdam, seventy years from now. I started work on this more or less as I finished writing Emergence, so this is the first time in a couple of years in which I haven't a deadline to meet.

What I've not been doing lately is blogging. The last time I put any effort into blogging and tweeting was in 2014, around the Scottish independence referendum. The time and effort would have been better spent on researching, outlining, planning and above all writing The Corporation Wars, for which I already had a contract. The two years since the end of 2014 have been a bit of a slog.

In the wider world it's been a rocky couple of years, 2016 in particular. I've refrained from commenting on events because I didn't want to get into arguments that would take up too much of my time.

But of course, getting into arguments is a choice. I could just write opinionated screeds and not bother to defend them. This works for actual columnists, after all.

Merry Christmas!
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Thursday, December 01, 2016



The Corporation Wars: Insurgence



The second book of my robot-revolt-in-space trilogy, The Corporation Wars: Insurgence is now available from Orbit, Amazon UK / US, and all good booksellers including Transreal Fiction, from which you can order signed and (if you like) personalised copies. Thanks to all who've already ordered -- I had an encouragingly high stack to deal with this afternoon.

The book has already received one two enthusiastic reviews.
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Friday, September 09, 2016



A Glasgow Saturday Night

Tomorrow evening, Saturday 10 September 2016, I'll be reading and talking at this event in the lively Glasgow arts venue The Old Hairdresser's:



Details here.

Suggested donation £5.
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Saturday, August 13, 2016



The Realm of the Sentients

Not a bad title, eh? I wish I'd thought of it.

In fact it's for the Edinburgh International Book Festival event where I'll be talking about my latest book, The Corporation Wars: Dissidence tomorrow, Sunday 14 August, 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm.



The book has had some great reviews: in the Scotsman, the Guardian, and from the perceptive Edinburgh blogger Tychy, among others.

One of those others, very gratifyingly, is Warren Ellis:
Edinburgh SF axis. Charlie Stross somewhere in town, Iain Banks in North Queensferry, Ken MacLeod in South Queensferry. All very interested in culture and politics to differing degrees. Ken McLeod is the most outwardly political of the three, as a writer, being an old Trot. He's been playing with different genre models of late, and, in this first book of a trilogy, I wonder if he hasn't decided to try and play a more commercial game.

No more old political forms in this one. Brilliantly, he sets up a world war between Accelerationism and Neoreaction. He starts it in the near future and projects it into the far future and tangles it up with artificial conscious intelligence and a kind of Permanent Late Capitalism and it feels right up to the minute. He's hit the main vein of conversation about locks on artificial intelligence and living in simulations and exoplanetary exploitation and drone warfare and wraps it all into a remarkably human, funny and smartly-designed yarn.

It is, in fact, a king-hell commercial entertainment. It's not a small book, but it rips along on rockets - and makes you feel bad for a guy called Carlos The Terrorist into the bargain. And, yes, it is about politics, framed in a way that is science fictional in that it also speaks to the science-fictional condition we currently live in where such things actually exist as part of the fabric of our slightly insane world. If that makes any sense. Anyway. It's smart and very Edinburgh SF Axis and you will probably like it if you're in the mood for science fiction.


What more can I say? Be there or be square, that's what.
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Sunday, July 31, 2016



Another free evening of SF in Edinburgh

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016



Is Science Fiction Past Its Sell-By Date?

This announcement is itself almost past its sell-by date, I know -- but here it is: tomorrow evening, Wednesday 18 May at 7.30, I'll be making a short introduction to a discussion of the above topic for Weegie Wednesday, Glasgow's writing network, at The Terrace Bar, CCA Glasgow, 350 Sauchiehall Street.

(Spoilers: no, it isn't, but not for the reasons you may think!)

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