Newton's Wake: A Space Opera

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Overview

With visionary epics like The Stone Canal, The Cassini Division, and Cosmonaut Keep, award-winning Scottish author Ken MacLeod has led a revolution in contemporary science fiction, blending cutting edge science and razor-sharp political insights with pure, over-the-top interstellar adventure. Now MacLeod takes this heady mix to a new level with a stunning new SF masterwork—Newton's Wake.

In the aftermath of the Hard Rapture—a cataclysmic war sparked by the explosive evolution of...

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Newton's Wake: A Space Opera

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Overview

With visionary epics like The Stone Canal, The Cassini Division, and Cosmonaut Keep, award-winning Scottish author Ken MacLeod has led a revolution in contemporary science fiction, blending cutting edge science and razor-sharp political insights with pure, over-the-top interstellar adventure. Now MacLeod takes this heady mix to a new level with a stunning new SF masterwork—Newton's Wake.

In the aftermath of the Hard Rapture—a cataclysmic war sparked by the explosive evolution of Earth's artificial intelligences into godlike beings—a few remnants of humanity managed to survive. Some even prospered.

Lucinda Carlyle, head of an ambitious clan of galactic entrepreneurs, had carved out a profitable niche for herself and her kin by taking control of the Skein, a chain of interplanetary star-gates left behind by the posthumans. But on a world called Eurydice, a remote planet at the farthest rim of the galaxy, Lucinda stumbled upon a forgotten relic of the past that could threaten her way of life.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
From Scottish author Ken MacLeod -- renowned for highly politicized science fiction novels like The Stone Canal, The Cassini Division, and The Sky Road -- comes Newton's Wake, a self-proclaimed space opera about humanity's struggle to survive in the aftermath of a war against artificially intelligent post-humans.

After the events of the Hard Rapture, a catastrophic conflict ignited by the sudden evolution of Earth's artificial intelligences into transcendent post-humans, millions of humans were brutally butchered by the post-humans' war machines. Some space-faring humans returned to Earth to heroically fight the war machines while others escaped to distant stars to try and start over again. Then, the ultimately triumphant post-humans inexplicably disappeared and left the remnants of humanity to their own devices.

Now, centuries later, Lucinda Carlyle -- an untested leader in a family of galactic entrepreneurs (a.k.a. crooks) who have taken control of a chain of invaluable wormholes left behind by the post-humans -- stumbles across a gate that leads to a remote planet (Eurydice) inhabited by a colony of isolated humans living in a "closed cornucopian" society. On the planet's surface is a mountainous post-human relic that could mean a fortune for the Carlyles if its secrets can be accessed. But first they must fight off the Eurydician government, competing politically divergent colonies -- and an army of newly manufactured post-human war machines!

Bitingly ironic, thematically complex, and gutsy enough to tackle current highly volatile political issues head-on, this wild and witty space opera will beguile new readers and provide solid enjoyment for fans of MacLeod's earlier works. Paul Goat Allen

Publishers Weekly
Amid the somewhat strident politics there are some outrageously funny patches in this over-packed space opera from Nebula and Hugo finalist MacLeod (Cosmonaut's Keep, etc.). In the 24th century, brash young Lucinda Carlyle takes her first big chance to prove herself to her wheeling-dealing clan who control the skein, a network of "gates" transporting people and equipment instantaneously between planets. In the Hard Rapture war centuries earlier between the United States and united Europe, run-amok American AI took over the brains of humans. Survivors flung into space include the gawkish farmers of America Offline (AO), the straitlaced Oriental Knights of Enlightenment (KE) and the third-world "commies" who strip-mine planets (DK). Lucinda opens a Pandora's box of shifting alliances that turns 20th-century American sensibilities upside down. Keeping the AO, KE and DK straight can be confusing as Lucinda brawls along her barrack-room Glasgow-dialect way. Perhaps MacLeod's most memorably quirky character, Benjamin Ben-Ami, produces epics like Jesus Koresh: Martyred Messiah, with "a mild-mannered and modest but strong-willed hero" and "gloating psychopathic villains, the Emperor Reno and the Empress Hilary." MacLeod slyly entices Americans to see ourselves as others see us-not a flattering picture at all. Agent, Mic Cheetham. (June 22) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
When artificial intelligences (AIs) on Earth suddenly evolved into godlike beings, a war ensued, and the humans who managed to survive were forced to flee to other worlds. Lucinda Carlyle, a galactic entrepreneur, discovers an artifact that could disrupt the way of life that the offworld humans have forged. MacLeod (The Stone Canal) is a master of high-tech sf and political intrigue. Space battles, clever plotting, and an accessible prose style make this space opera a good addition to most sf collections. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780765305039
  • Publisher: Tom Doherty Associates
  • Publication date: 6/1/2004
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 320
  • Product dimensions: 6.34 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 1.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken MacLeod holds a degree in zoology and has worked in the fields of biomechanics and computer programming. His first two novels, The Star Fraction and The Stone Canal, each won the Prometheus Award; The Cassini Division was a finalist for the Nebula Award; The Sky Road won the British Science Fiction Association Award, and it and Cosmonaut Keep were finalists for the Hugo Award. His novella The Human Front won the Sidewise Award. Ken MacLeod lives near Edinburgh, Scotland, with his wife and children.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 28, 2011

    through the gates of amusing paradox

    How can a young woman's first mission of battlefield "archeology" go so wrong?

    In "Newton's Wake", Ken MacLeod takes the reader to a future history grounded in the mystery and folly of our present technological time. As with the best space opera, hard science and satire intermingle in an interesting plot to permit ideas to be made more entertaining by the characters who live them. A technological catastrophe creates a universe in which the people are recognizably human, but the settings as exotic as space itself. The work shapes up into a clash of cultures and of visions of humanity, all told within characters whose behavior is not that far removed from our own time.

    The narrative covers a great deal of ground in a few pages, yet the story never feels rushed or threadbare. The author wisely does not tell us all the details of his universe, but allows an allusion here and a reference there for the benefit of the jigsaw-loving reader. At the end, I was left pleased with the ride, but ready to return to the folly of my own reality.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 20, 2013

    A great Sci-Fi read!

    Finished Newton's Wake yesterday and found the book very entertaining. The book is about the Carlyles, a family (more like a Mob Syndicate) and their control over the worm holes through-out the galaxy. During an expedition through a new work hole, they end up on a new planet and find some pre-human gear but are soon detained by the planets occupants, who are also human.

    How did they get there, well, the earth had a huge fallout and a global war. Everyone migrated into space...almost everyone...and this is where the story begins.

    Is it a Space Opera...yes!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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