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The Human Front
Ken MacLeod
PS Publishing paperback £8/$14

review by Steven Hampton

This novella is an alternative history of early 20th century Britain in which the grim Cold War prospect of a limited nuclear exchange was not averted (Moscow being among those major cities laid waste), and flying saucers have become the American military's secret weapon against enemy states around the world.
   Against a background of civil unrest in a divergent timeline, 'Area 51' hardware, and the sort of ironic Leftist satire that Ken MacLeod explored so well in The Star Fraction and The Stone Canal, John Matheson is a political idealist turned guerrilla fighter from the Scottish highlands. When his squad of rebels and saboteurs are confronted with the mystery of a stealth aircraft powered by antigravity, John remembers enough about the bomber crash that he witnessed as a child to uncover the truth of what's really going on in the world.
   Poignant, imaginative and ultimately full of appealing wit, The Human Front expertly flips revolutionary hero stereotypes, recycles Roswell clichés and other sci-fi banalities, and delivers a lively tale of adventure and revelation that's compellingly dramatic and thought-provoking, and good fun, too!

Related pages:
tZ - interview with author, Ken MacLeod
tZ - Cosmonaut Keep - book review
The Human Front by Ken MacLeod
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