Fiction Reviews

The Cassini Division

(1998) Ken Macleod, Orbit, 15.99, hrdbk, 240pp, ISBN 1-85723-603-3


Taking up more-or-less from where The Stone Canal left off, this book has the socialist collective from our side of the Jupiter wormhole making contact with the bastard capitalists on the other side. The Cassini Division guard the wormhole against the return of the Fast Folk (AIs that don't mind enslaving humans), and also Jupiter itself, where some of the Fast Folk fled. Humans start to wonder about trying to contact the Fast folk in Jupiter, when they call us; meanwhile, the capitalists are on their way back to try and sell us something (or, indeed, everything).

Blackly humorous, this is everything you'd expect from Macleod, and if you're enjoying his stuff, then this is another one for the shelf. If you haven't stumbled across him yet, it's probably better if you read The Stone Canal before attempting this book (though that's not essential), and you could do worse than go back and start at The Star Fraction. Recommended.

Tony Chester

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