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Cosmonaut Keep (Engines of Light) by Ken…
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Cosmonaut Keep (Engines of Light) (original 2001; edition 2000)

by Ken MacLeod

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955159,086 (3.35)11
Member:SystemicPlural
Title:Cosmonaut Keep (Engines of Light)
Authors:Ken MacLeod
Info:Orbit (2000), Hardcover, 308 pages
Collections:Ebooks, Fiction, My Recommendations
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Cosmonaut Keep by Ken MacLeod (2001)

  1. 00
    Dark Light by Ken MacLeod (pgmcc)
    pgmcc: Sames series. The trilogy is more than the sum of the parts.
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» See also 11 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
I'm rereading this book and it's actually more interesting the second time around. ( )
  fabooj | Feb 3, 2015 |
Didn't finish - found it dull,confused and implausible. ( )
  SChant | Apr 27, 2013 |
I love the way this starts out, which is in second person POV -- only very briefly, though. After that, the chapters alternate between a world that is not Earth, and a world that is Earth but way in the future. It took me a while to realise how the stories were linked -- Ken MacLeod once again threw me in at the deepend about the socio-political situation, but in this trilogy I picked it up quickly -- and I didn't care for the alternation of first person and third person, which happened every chapter.

I did get to care for the characters, but I definitely felt thrown in at the deep end. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
A god stood in the sky high above the summer horizon, his long white hair streaming in the solar wind. Later, when the sky's colour had shifted from green to black, the white glow would reach almost to the zenith, its light outshining the Foamy Wake, the broad band of the Galaxy.

Two linked stories are told in alternate chapters. One is a first contact story about the meeting between between humans and aliens, while the later story involves the descendants of some of the characters now living on another planet in the Second Sphere, thousands of light years from Earth.

It took me a while to work out that the gods were the microbial aliens who first contacted earth, and to realise that the god with the long white hair in the quotation above must be a comet inhabited by a colony of the aliens.

I also wonder why the gods have populated the Second Sphere with animals and intelligent species from Earth over such a long period, first the Krakens, intelligent giant squid which fly the star ships that trade between the planets, then the dinosaur-like Saurs and two races of pre-humans. And finally humans, snatched from Earth over thousands of years and dumped on the planets of the Second Sphere; lost legions, the inhabitants of cities hidden in the jungles, atlantic fishermen. And finally the cosmonauts who arrived in a ship they had built themselves, from plans supplied by the gods. Maybe all will become clear in the other books of the trilogy. ( )
  isabelx | Mar 30, 2011 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ken MacLeodprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Gibbons, LeeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Martiniere, StephanCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0765340739, Mass Market Paperback)

Like a British--specifically, Scottish--counterpart of Bruce Sterling, Ken MacLeod is an SF author who has thought hard about politics and delights in making unlikely alternatives plausible, grippingly readable, and often downright funny.

Cosmonaut Keep swaps between two timelines whose characters share the ultimate goal of interstellar travel. In an uncertain future on the far world of Mingulay, human colonists live in the title's ancient, alien-built Keep--coexisting with reptilian "saurs," trading with visiting ships piloted by krakens, and hiding their laborious "Great Work" of developing human-guided navigation between the stars.

Meanwhile, alternate chapters present a mid-21st-century Earth whose EU is (to America's horror) Russian-dominated with a big red star in the middle of its flag. Rumors of alien contact abound, and computer whiz kid Matt Cairns finds himself carrying a data disk of unknown origin that offers antigravity and a space drive.

Clearly, the later storyline's Gregor Cairns is Matt's descendant. There are ingenious connections and surprises, with witty resonances between their wild careers, their travels, and their bumpy love lives. The foreground action adventure points to a bigger picture and a master plan known only to the godlike hive-minds who built the "Second Sphere" of interstellar culture, and who regard traditional SF dreams of unlimited human expansion through space as precisely equivalent to floods of e-mail spam polluting the tranquil galactic net.

Cosmonaut Keep opens MacLeod's new SF sequence, Engines of Light. It's highly entertaining and intelligent, promising more good things to come. --David Langford

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:48 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

When Alexander Cairns made his fortune, he did some gambling - financing interstallar probes to look for other life forms. Now his son has discovered that one of them has sent back evidence of alien intelligence, and a space ark financed by a rival family is obliviously approaching the area.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

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