The Restoration Game by Ken MacLeod

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Ken MacLeod Restoration Game
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The Restoration Game by Ken MacLeod

Sly humour, deftly drawn characters and intricate plotting … this is a writer at the peak of his powers SFX This is one of the great ironies of contemporary literature: the books that ask the deepest and most profound questions tend to be situated in the most marginalized of genres…

There is no such place as Krassnia. Lucy Stone should know—she was born there. In that tiny, troubled region of the former Soviet Union, revolution is brewing. Its organizers need a safe place to meet, and where better than the virtual spaces of an online game? Lucy, who works for a start-up games company in Edinburgh, has a project that almost seems made for the job: a game inspired by The Krassniad, an epic folk tale concocted by Lucy’s mother, Amanda, who studied there in the 1980s. Lucy knows Amanda is a spook. She knows her great-grandmother Eugenie also visited the country in the 1930s and met the man who originally collected Krassnian folklore, and who perished in Stalin’s terror. As Lucy digs up details about her birthplace to slot into the game, she finds the open secrets of her family’s past, the darker secrets of Krassnia’s past—and hints about the crucial role she is destined to play in The Restoration Game.

Combining international intrigue with cutting-edge philosophical speculation, romance with adventure, and online gaming with real-life consequences, this book delivers as science fiction and as a sharp take on our present world from the viewpoint of a complex, engaging heroine who has to fight her way through a maze of political and family manipulation to take control of her own life.