'Distinctive, politically challenging, both tantalizing and satisfying.' - Kirkus Reviews
'This man's going to be a major writer.' - Iain Banks
Fighting has spread across the Middle East and Central Asia to the borders of China. In the US, refugees from climate-change disaster subsist in FEMA camps. Images of official executions circulate on the Internet like al Qaeda videos. State agencies sponsor conspiracy theories as cover-ups.
As the troops of the last superpower stand astride the last of the oil, China and Russia aren't the only states considering their options: certain nations of Old Europe are quietly preparing for the worst.
James Travis is a middle-aged middle manager in a software company.
He has a son in the army, a daughter in a peace-protest camp outside a USAF base, and a compromising relationship with a foreign intelligence service. When his cover is blown hours before a nuclear explosion destroys the base, Travis, his son, and his daughter are all in serious trouble. And as the spooks and disinformation specialists focus their efforts on his capture, Travis knows that all it will take is one mistake and his only memorial will be another grainy video on . . . The Execution Channel.
Ken MacLeod's most relevant and accessible novel to date.
Books by Ken MacLeod:
The Star Fraction
The Stone Canal
The Cassini Division
The Sky Road
Engines of Light
Corporation Wars Trilogy
The Human Front
Learning the World
The Execution Channel
The Restoration Game
With an adroit combination of paranoid spy thriller tricks and SF gadgetry, MacLeod (Learning the World) depicts a near future that may or may not be our own, when 9/11 and the Iraq war were followed by war with Iran, a flu pandemic and terrorist attacks, and the West teeters on the brink of an all-out nuclear exchange. James Travis, a Scottish software engineer whose hatred for the U.S. has driven him to spy for France, and his daughter, Roisin, a young peace activist, have both witnessed horrendous acts of terrorism, most recently the apparent nuclear bombing of an airbase in Scotland. Nothing is what it seems, however. Government agents use the Internet to spread sophisticated disinformation, but are still perfectly willing to fall back on torture when necessary. Meanwhile, the Execution Channel, a rogue media outlet, broadcasts actual footage of various murders and executions 24-7. Dizzying plot twists and a variety of fascinating, believable technological breakthroughs make this perhaps MacLeod's most compulsively readable novel to date.