Ken MacLeod

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Ken MacLeod
Ken McLeod 2005.JPG
Addressing the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention, Glasgow, August 2005
Born Kenneth Macrae MacLeod
(1954-08-02) 2 August 1954 (age 65)
Stornoway, Isle of Lewis, Scotland
Occupation Writer
Genre science fiction
Website
kenmacleod.blogspot.com
Ken & Carol MacLeod, Boskone 43, 2006

Kenneth Macrae "Ken" MacLeod (born 2 August 1954), is a Scottish science fiction writer.

Biography

MacLeod was born in Stornoway, Scotland on 2 August 1954.[1] He graduated from Glasgow University with a degree in zoology and has worked as a computer programmer and written a masters thesis on biomechanics.[2] He was a Trotskyist activist in the 1970s and early 1980s[3] and is married and has two children.[1] He lives in South Queensferry near Edinburgh.

MacLeod is opposed to Scottish independence.[4]

Writing

He is part of a group of British science fiction writers who specialise in hard science fiction and space opera. His contemporaries include Stephen Baxter, Iain M. Banks, Paul J. McAuley, Alastair Reynolds, Adam Roberts, Charles Stross, Richard Morgan, and Liz Williams.

His science fiction novels often explore socialist, communist, and anarchist political ideas, most particularly the variants of Trotskyism and anarcho-capitalism or extreme economic libertarianism. Technical themes encompass singularities, divergent human cultural evolution, and post-human cyborg-resurrection. MacLeod's general outlook can be best described as techno-utopian socialist,[5][6] though unlike a majority of techno-utopians, he has expressed great scepticism over the possibility and especially over the desirability of strong AI.[5]

He is known for his constant in-joking and punning on the intersection between socialist ideologies and computer programming, as well as other fields. For example, his chapter titles such as "Trusted Third Parties" or "Revolutionary Platform" usually have double (or multiple) meanings. A future programmers union is called "Information Workers of the World Wide Web", or the Webblies, a reference to the Industrial Workers of the World, who are nicknamed the Wobblies. The Webblies idea formed a central part of the novel For the Win by Cory Doctorow and MacLeod is acknowledged as coining the term.[7] Doctorow has also used one of MacLeod's references to the singularity as "the rapture for nerds" as the title for his book Rapture of the Nerds. There are also many references to, or puns on, zoology and palaeontology. For example in The Stone Canal the title of the book, and many places described in it, are named after anatomical features of marine invertebrates such as starfish.

Bibliography

Series

Other work

Short fiction

Collections

Books about MacLeod

The Science Fiction Foundation have published an analysis of MacLeod's work The True Knowledge Of Ken MacLeod (2003; ISBN 0-903007-02-9) edited by Andrew M. Butler and Farah Mendlesohn. As well as critical essays it contains material by MacLeod himself, including his introduction to the German edition of Banks' Consider Phlebas.

Awards

Preceded by
James White
ESFS award for Best Author
2000
Succeeded by
Valerio Evangelisti

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Rodger Turner, Webmaster (7 July 2005). "A Conversation With Ken MacLeod". The SF Site. Retrieved 20 March 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Ken MacLeod's official page at Orbit Books". Orbitbooks.co.uk. Archived from the original on 17 December 2006. Retrieved 20 March 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. Jesse Walker from the November 2000 issue. "Anarchies, States, and Utopias – Reason Magazine". Reason.com. Retrieved 20 March 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Of the 27, I counted 15 who would give a definite Yes to independence. Only two of the others – Jenni Calder and myself – give a definite No." " Never knowingly understated". The Early Days of A Better Nation. 19 December 2012. Retrieved 27 February 2014.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "SF Zone interview with MacLeod". Zone-sf.com. Retrieved 20 March 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Butler, Andrew M.; Mendlesohn, Farah (2003). (eds.), ed. The True Knowledge Of Ken MacLeod. SF Foundation. ISBN 0-903007-02-9. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Cory Doctorow (2010). For the Win. HarperVoyager. ISBN 978-0765322166.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> MacLeod is thanked in the Acknowledgements section: "Many thanks to Ken MacLeod for letting me use IWWWW and 'Webbly.'"
  8. 8.0 8.1 "1996 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 11 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "1998 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 11 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1 "1999 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 11 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. 11.0 11.1 "2001 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 11 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "The Falling Rate of Profit, Red Hordes and Green Slime: What the Fall Revolution Books Are About" – Nova Express, Volume 6, Spring/Summer 2001, pp 19–21
  13. 13.0 13.1 "2002 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 11 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "2004 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 11 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. 15.0 15.1 "2005 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 11 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "2006 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 11 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "2007 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 11 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. 18.0 18.1 "2008 Award Winners & Nominees | Science Fiction & Fantasy Books by Award | WWEnd". Worldswithoutend.com. Retrieved 11 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Interview of Macleod at Los Angeles Review of Books, 24 February 2014
  20. "Ken MacLeod - Descent". Upcoming4.me. Retrieved 18 August 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. Alexander, Niall (12 June 2014). "Step into the Stars: Reach for Infinity, ed. Jonathan Strahan". Tor.com. Retrieved 13 December 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links

Interviews