The Corporation Wars: Dissidence by Ken Macleod

Rating: 7.9 (out of 10)

Macleod ventures into Charles Stross territory with the launch of this new series, emphasizing action and satire while mixing in some hard SF and hard-left politics. The story is sort of a reverse Matrix – long dead mercenaries are digitally revived a thousand or so years in the future and placed in what they are told is a simulated reality, then are uploaded into mechanical bodies in the “real” world to fight space battles against rebellious, newly sentient robots. Along the way they are forced to question which version of reality is the genuine one, along with whether the parent company that conscripted them can be trusted, or if they are now working for the same entity they were fighting against a millennium ago.

A nice set up with engaging characters and some good twists to keep things humming along. The end result feels a little slight, though, even with the usual political and philosophical musings from this author. I plan on reading the rest of the series, though, and I trust Macleod to keep delivering the goods.


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