Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Interzone 195

Get round to buying Interzone 195 (the second in the new post-Pringle regime) and after perusing the Ansible Link discover an interview with Ken McLeod (sadly can't find it on-line). Ken is a brilliant political-edged SF writer (second only to China Mieville in my affections). The Star Fraction was a revelation, followed up by The Stone Canal, The Cassini Division and The Sky Road: the 'Fall Revolution' quartet of the 1990s. How many other SF novelists have ever mentioned Tony Cliff? I still think the political vision of The Star Fraction, with a Balkanised future Britain, threatened from above by UN nukes, conflict between the imposed Hanoverian regime and Republicans, is the most exciting - deeply informed by a version of Trotskyism that made me think he needed State Capitalism as a better framework; but also clearly moving to an attraction to a libertarian 'anarcho-capitalist' position. I'm not as keen on Ken's later SF books, but he remains interesting.

Check out Ken's got a weblog 'Early Days of a Better Nation' , especially his posting on 'The Strange Death of Socialist Scotland' (November 28th 2004) for a depressed account that combines the ban on smoking in pubs with the resignation of Tommy Sheridan as SSP convenor.


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