-- first published May 2001.
Having enjoyed Ken MacLeod's previous novels I looked forward to reading Cosmonaut Keep, the first book in his Engines of Light saga. I was disappointed.
First, the book was poorly edited. There are numerous simple mistakes in the writing that should have been caught -- not typos, but glaring inconsistencies. Characters say something on one page, then seem totally unaware of it on the next. Disconcerting and annoying.
Second, MacLeod throws in many commercial references to today that are simply gratuitous; Windows, MS-DOS, Linux, etc. Whether there will be a need for programmers for these products 50 years from now is not the point, this book will date quickly. The same image could have been created with a more generic approach.
Thirdly, the romantic interactions in this book leave me cold. The thoughts and actions of the characters when dealing with the opposite sex just aren't very believable.
All of this is especially disappointing because MacLeod has a decent story here. It involves first contact, human colonization of space, neurobiology, and ufology.
Hopefully the next book in the series will have a little more time put into it and an editor with a more caring eye to look it over.