Gerhard's Reviews > Intrusion

Intrusion by Ken MacLeod
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really liked it
bookshelves: 2013, sf-f

Ken MacLeod may have moved away from the SF novels of his earlier career to (more lucrative?) mainstream techno thrillers, but his interest in politics and sociology remains as urgent as ever. This makes Intrusion a superb example of extrapolative SF, a sort of 1984 for the modern world.

Except in this extrapolation of 1984, everyone is fed, schooled, employed and safe; all the infrastructure necessary for civilisation is in place. And what culminated in the institutionalisation of the ultimate police state? Why, that old bugbear, political correctness, of course.

There is a lot of angry humour in this novel, which is typical of MacLeod. A problem with this sort of polemical novel is that the characters can simply become different viewpoints, but Macleod is careful enough to make Hugh and Hope a viable enough family that their plight is genuinely moving.

Intriguingly, the description of the Scottish countryside reveals another facet to MacLeod, as a nature writer. A lot of reviews have complained about these sections; I thought them a welcome addition to the fascinating descriptions of the future London urbanscape.

MacLeod is at pains to make his near-future scenario feel as lived-in as possible, which means that Intrusion is crammed with projections, scenarios and really cool technology and ideas. A fantastic novel from one of the genre’s most committed political theorists.
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Quotes Gerhard Liked

Ken MacLeod
“She read it over, decided it was too complicated for Memo, and ran it through an app called MyTxt4Dummies.”
Ken MacLeod, Intrusion

Ken MacLeod
“Green humanism? What's that? Humanism for little green men?”
Ken MacLeod, Intrusion

Ken MacLeod
“...syn bio tech had come on stream, springing full-grown from the bench like the Incredible Hulk bursting his lab coat, a great green monster that sucked carbon dioxide from the air and sprouted wood, pissed oil, and shat diamonds.”
Ken MacLeod, Intrusion

Ken MacLeod
“...on the one hand faith kids and nature kids and on the other the rest, those you might call, under your breath of course, New Kids? Were these a centimetre taller than others of their age, a glimmer brighter of eye, a syllable more articulate? A step ahead in the race, a pace more sure-footed? A decibel less loud?”
Ken MacLeod, Intrusion

Ken MacLeod
“Change the problem by changing your mind.”
Ken MacLeod, Intrusion

Ken MacLeod
“That there was no God was a given, as far as Hope was concerned, and being nice to people and making the most of your life struck her as a reasonable enough conclusion to draw from it, and in any case what she wanted to do. But besides the spires of theology and the watch-towers of ideology, it seemed a very shaky hut indeed, and not one that offered her much shelter or would stand up in court.
She couldn't see a way to make her objection to the fix a deduction from any body of thought. It came from a body of flesh, her own, and that was enough for her. She doubted that this would be enough for anyone else.”
Ken MacLeod, Intrusion
tags: body

Ken MacLeod
“But isn't it enough that I just don't want it?"
"No," said Fiona. "It isn't enough."
"Why not?"
"Well, if that was enough, if just saying no and not giving a reason was enough, where would we be? It would just be chaos.”
Ken MacLeod, Intrusion
tags: chaos

Ken MacLeod
“That evening, Hope wrote a letter to her MP, Jack Crow. She found no difficulty at all in composing it, but quite a bit in writing it. She hadn't hand-written an entire page since primary school. In the end she found an app on her glasses that sampled her handwriting and turned it into a font that looked like her handwriting would if it had been regular, and printed it off. There was even an app for the printer that indented the paper a little, and an ink that looked like ballpoint ink.”
Ken MacLeod, Intrusion

Ken MacLeod
“Oh, no," Hope said. "I'm not. No, I don't believe in all that, but it's - well, it's two things. One is my job, you know? In China? So I'm all for that side of it, the war and so on; we really have to, you know, defeat those people. And the other is, uh, my husband. He's from the Highlands and he's half native, as he puts it, and I don't know if you know what the people up there are like, but I swear if he even thought I was going to vote any other way he'd walk out on me.”
Ken MacLeod, Intrusion
tags: vote


Reading Progress

August 4, 2013 – Started Reading
August 4, 2013 – Shelved
August 4, 2013 –
12.0%
August 4, 2013 –
26.0%
August 9, 2013 –
61.0%
August 9, 2013 – Shelved as: 2013
August 9, 2013 – Finished Reading
January 1, 2019 – Shelved as: sf-f

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