The Restoration Game by Ken MacLeod

The Restoration Game by Ken MacLeod

Having never read a Ken MacLeod novel before, I found my introduction to him to be a bit rocky. The opening chapters of The Restoration Game were replete with irritants. After that it settled down and started to tell an interesting story, but never quite managed to completely convince. It had the right ingredients for a better tale, but it could not get the doses right and wound up feeling, for all its positive points, out of balance.

The story’s protagonist, Lucy Stone, spent most of her childhood in the fictional Soviet Republic of Krassnia, but now works for a computer game company in Edinburgh. Her company is hired to make a Krassnian version of a popular medieval computer game, and her heritage and lingual abilities, rare to be found in the West, are the reason her company was chosen. There is more to this request for a Krassnian video game than is initially apparent, however. Lucy’s mother is a former CIA operative, and another man who might be her father is mired in the same kind of political intrigue. Through them Lucy gets entangled in an international plot the details of which are murky but the danger in which becomes increasingly apparent. Finally, she finds herself on a mission with consequences so far reaching that “epic” does not seem to do them justice.

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  1. From io9 comes this story of a supermodel brainwashed to work for the CIA:

    In the movie Salt, Angelina Jolie plays a double-agent who is mind-controlled by scary remnants of the USSR secret service. And in real life, the 1940s bombshell Candy Jones was apparently brainwashed with drugs and used as a CIA covert operative. At least, according to testimony that Jones gave while under hypnosis, after her husband realized that she was acting strangely and seemed to have a split personality. Several years ago, the Fortean Times described what Jones reported while hypnotized: More »

  2. To critics of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged who sneeringly intone that her plot and villains are unrealistic, John Stossel observes:

    Joe Biden Railroad

    It’s amazing how modern politics resembles scenes of Ayn Rand’s best-seller Atlas Shrugged.

    Like the one in which a high-ranking government official pumps millions of dollars into a failing railroad company. The grateful railroad CEO rewards the government official by renovating his hometown train station and naming it after the government official. The renovation costs $5,700,000 more than expected.

    Then comes the ribbon cutting ceremony. The CEO gets on one of his trains to go to the ceremony, but it breaks down. No surprise there: One out of every four trains his company runs is late [pdf]. The CEO, chuckling at the irony, abandons the train and takes a car to the ceremony.

    Unfortunately, that wasn’t a scene in Atlas ShruggedIt happened this weekend.

    The government official is Joe Biden.

    By the way,  the first of three Atlas Shrugged movies opens next month, appropriately on April 15th.

Do you know of any other examples?


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