July 09, 2003

Books: Ken MacLeod: The Cassini Division

Ken MacLeod (1998), The Cassini Division (New York: Tor: 0812568583).

Posted by DeLong at July 9, 2003 05:22 PM | TrackBack

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If there's any award out there for "most gratuitous reference to 'The Cassini Division' in a purportedly serious academic paper," I've laid claim to it for this ( http://users.rcn.com/erbnico/distrust.pdf ). It's a chapter in a book on the theory of trust edited by Russell Hardin, which has been forthcoming for, oh, two or three years now. Russell likes high culture, and quotes opera and 19th century fiction in order to underpin his arguments. My tastes are a little less high-falutin'. (End of semi-relevant anecdote).

Posted by: Henry Farrell on July 9, 2003 08:21 PM

I would challenge your assertion that that dear little shrinking violet Ellen May Ngwethu is the *heroine* of the novel. Protagonist, yes. Viewpoint character, yes. But heroine? Is Lady Macbeth the heroine of Macbeth?

Posted by: Brad DeLong on July 9, 2003 08:55 PM

OK - she's a wee bit of a monomaniacal psychopath. But she does save the human race.

Posted by: Henry on July 10, 2003 10:22 AM

Am I alone in finding the Cassini Division unreadable? Maybe it's a result of too much infighting in the UK Labour Party in the 1980s, but I find the Trotskyist politics laid on with a trowel too much to take.

Posted by: Tom on July 10, 2003 11:05 AM

>>she's a wee bit of a monomaniacal psychopath. But she does save the human race.<<

Does she? I suppose that depends on what your definition of "human race" is--what your reference tribe is.

And the ultimate intentions of the fast folk toward the emergent properties of carbon are unclear. All we see is that the Cassini Division meets up with its Jovian counterpart.

I'm not entirely clear what the authorial intentions are here...

Posted by: Brad DeLong on July 10, 2003 11:08 AM

Tom asks:

Am I alone in finding the Cassini Division unreadable? Maybe it's a result of too much infighting in the UK Labour Party in the 1980s, but I find the Trotskyist politics laid on with a trowel too much to take.

And I ask: what Trotskyist politics?

Posted by: Ken MacLeod on July 15, 2003 02:01 AM
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