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An excellent merging of numerous MacLeod themes, shaken and stirred to produce a thought-provoking result. The book is set in a relatively near-future independent Scotland, after the victory of secularism against religion throughout the English-speaking world, but is nothing like as polemical as that summary might make it sound; it is told from the point of view of the policeman investigating the murder of a Catholic priest, a crime which leads him into the underground world of the surviving Christian churches and the existential and political problems of intelligent robots, built for a war which is now over. (In general, I hate cute anthromorphic robots, but these are not cute and only optionally anthroporphic, and I was entirely satisfied by their psychology.) I wished the ending had been unpacked a bit, but I also know that MacLeod sometimes expects a bit of brain-work from his readers.

Although this is a stand-alone book, and so is MacLeod's forthcoming The Restoration Game, astute readers will note that both feature U.S. intelligence, computer games, and New Zealand, though to differing extents.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
inulro
Aug. 3rd, 2009 08:16 am (UTC)
Glad to hear good things about that - I've got it on my pile, and I'm going to read it as soon as I get through the Cosmonaut Keep trilogy.
nickbarnes
Aug. 3rd, 2009 10:39 am (UTC)
I'm reading "Learning the World". I thought I was enjoying it but then I noticed I was consistently choosing to put it down in favour of other things. It's a bit too much like "A Deepness in the Sky". Curiously the latest "other thing" is "Rainbows End". Which I enjoyed although I think it was too singularitarian, and maybe it reminded me too much of "Iron Sunrise". Sigh. Too many books, not enough time; I might retire my library card for a month or two.
nwhyte
Aug. 4th, 2009 06:04 am (UTC)
I enjoyed both Learning the World and Rainbows End, with reservations.

(As for the too many books, not enough time problem - get shorter books!)
nickbarnes
Apr. 3rd, 2012 10:17 am (UTC)
Having rehabilitated my library card, I just inhaled 'The Restoration Game'. Seeing your name in the acknowledgements, I imagine that you provided some guidance on the geography?
nwhyte
Apr. 3rd, 2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
Heh. You have mail.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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