|The Early Days of a Better Nation|
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Intrusion continues to get good reviews, from newspapers at interestingly different quarters of the political compass.
Here's the Daily Mail:
Dramatising a novel of ideas is the opposite of easy but Ken MacLeod manages it at an apparent stroll. He also conjures up a scarily plausible and cleverly detailed vision of mid-21st-century life - the weather (damp and really cold), computers (with wraparound specs and virtual keyboards), health Nazism (the illicit backyard cafes, where people eat bacon butties and smoke), and the looming brave new world offered by bio-engineering. Excellent.
Well to the Mail's left, a review of this and other books in the weekly Socialist Worker says:
Left wing science fiction author Ken MacLeod brings us a dark vision of a dystopian future in a novel that some have likened to George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.
David Langford, in a round-up of recent SF/F in that fine old Tory daily The Telegraph, writes:
Big Nanny State is watching you. In Ken MacLeod’s near-future Intrusion (Orbit, £18.99), surveillance drones blanket London, all the databases are linked, and routine police torture is followed by trauma counselling. When the pregnant heroine refuses the pill that should correct her unborn child’s genes, she finds such crimethink is no longer tolerated… Thoughtful, plausible and scary.
In a similar round-up for the only English-language socialist daily paper, my comrade and friend Mat Coward writes in the Morning Star:
In Intrusion (Orbit, £18,99) modern SF's leading Cassandra Ken MacLeod turns his fire on nannyism, that moralistic false turn which has contributed so much in the last 20 years to isolating the left from its natural supporters.At (very) different times in my chequered political past, I've sold Socialist Worker and the Morning Star, and I still read both regularly (and buy them when I get the chance) but I'm not entirely sure that I still count as a 'fellow socialist' - as I explained when I was interviewed a couple of years ago by the then up-and-coming and now world-famous radical journalist Laurie Penny for, yes, the Morning Star. I am sure, however, that these two left-wing newspapers have caught something about the book that's been missed by likewise generous reviewers who see it as a 'socialist dystopia'.