I admit that I finished Ken MacLeod’s “The Cassini Division” a few weeks ago. It has taken me a bit of time to wrap my mind around the idea of “justifiable genocide”.
No, I’m not giving anything away, that much is revealed in the opening paragraphs of the book.
The thing which strikes me as somewhat bizarre about “The Cassini Division”, as compared to the other novels in the Fall Revolution cycle is this: MacLeod normally spends a great deal of time and energy informing his readers about economic and sociological environment his characters inhabit. Except for the “Fast Folk”.
They’re left pretty much as incomprehensible bogeymen. We don’t understand their motives and therefore they must be destroyed.
I guess that is MacLeod’s basic point: Because we cannot possibly understand their motives, and because their actions so far have been detrimental, it is us or them, the universe ain’t’ big enough for the two of us. MacLeod’s “True Knowledge”.
Perhaps they are simply too alien for non-accelerated, pre-singularity humans to understand, and therefore write about. It can be argued, however, that in order for us to comprehend and support genocide, perhaps we should understand a bit more about what we’re wiping out.
I need to re-read this book. I want to understand, though I don’t think I’ll agree.
I still can’t understand why the “Fast Folk” didn’t simply pack up Jupiter and leave with it. The Cassini Division was tasked with destroying anything that arose from the Jovian surface.
How would they have reacted if Jupiter itself left orbit?