6 Jun 2006

Mark Atwood wrote:
> (Damien Sullivan) writes:
>> It's only weird if you expect Ken to be a simple Communist apologist
>I agree, he's not a simple Communist apologist.
>He's a complicated Communist apologist.

I think he calls himself Communist (or communist), but he also uses "free
market", as in "free market communist", so I'm not sure anyone else thinking
of him as Communist is more useful than thinking of an elephant as an animal
with big ears.  Of all his fictional societies I think the one he endorsed
most ex cathedra was the mutualism of far-future _The Sky Road_.  Otherwise he
writes a working Solar Union (anarcho-communist, allegedly) but implies it'll
lose out to the New Mars invasion, or at least change a lot.  He writes an
okay new-USSR Eurocommunism but shows big flaws, and gives us that line about
freedom.  Volkov is a manipulative villain, and then he isn't so much.  The
Multipliers are a menace, a gift from God, and maybe a menace again.  He
writes sympathetically about AIs but keeps killing them off.  David Reid is a
villain, and then not so much.

And the Star Fraction, ow.  The Stasi are thugs... protecting us from the
apocalyptic intervention of Space Command.  Which is a munch of idealistic
American farmboys who don't like Stasi thugs acting out of line and are too
naive to think of how to use a killer laser cannon to support themselves, but
are also ready to burn down Earth if an AI breaks loose.  Which, given other
books, may or may not be an extreme reaction.  The heroes running around are
racing directly into Space Command's apocalyptic scenario, the crank fanatic
trying to stop them may have saved humanity.

I'd say he's professionally ambiguous, and very comfortable with, or
interested in, or fascinated by, grey areas and different POVs.

Ken MacLeod page