enhanced] DD-B

Book Note: Ken MacLeod, The Execution Channel

I read this book about 22-Apr-2007. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2007. This note was last modified Tuesday, 01-May-2007 22:38:29 PDT.

This note contains spoilers for the book.


Due out in June 2007, so very soon now. This is an advanced reading copy, courtesy of Tor books (at the Minicon dead dog, to be precise).

It's strange alternate history, among other things. That background isn't important, but bits are amusing. I believe Bush wasn't elected, but we ended up in Iraq anyway, even though Clinton killed bin Laden with that cruise missile, which he's still getting grief for. And it's overrun with tasty conspiracy goodness (which I'm actually not very fond of).

A coordinated attack on a bunch of oil refineries and motorway interchanges, combined with what appears to be a nuclear detonation at an "RAF" base (actually being used by the Americans) looks like the start of the next Big One. Some French agents have additional knowledge, and the children of one of them have additional knowledge, and bloggers have interesting knowledge. And agents are actively working to spread disinformation, especially to the bloggers. Overall it's actually kind of a fun romp.

What actually blew up was an experimental physics device captured from the Chinese. And at the end of the book, they send a batch of cities to the moon and back on their spindizzies (called that in the novel, with a formal nod to James Blish).

The titular "execution channel" is a worldwide satellite TV channel, actually run by the Chinese by way of artificial intelligence chips in surveillance cameras which send copies of execution videos to headquarters. And nobody has ever caught them at this. The viewpoint would identify the camera it was taken with, and every security organization would go apeshit over the security violation. Also would probably have good enough procedures in place that the camera couldn't actually phone home. And it's not that important to the book. So that was a bit of a disbelief dis-suspender.

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David Dyer-Bennet