Ian McDonald 2015. Luna. New moon. London: Gollancz. 395 pp.

Gritty near future science fiction centred on clan wars on a recently colonised Moon where five families rule the economy as powerful cartels and contracts and commerce replace law-keeping and government. For adherents of the right wing agenda where government is small or absent and markets rule, this is your future, I hope you enjoy it. Ian McDonald’s Moon has 1.7 million inhabitants and keeps Earth supplied with metals and with Helium for fusion power, with the poor keeping the engines of industry and society running near the radiation-bathed surface while the wealthy live more safely, screened from harmful wavelengths in deep cavern and tunnel habitats. It is an entirely believable imagined future. This Moon is a mining frontier settlement where violence and power rule and where the various human frailties and faults are expressed as pathological extremes of behaviour, further exagerated by the diverging cultural differences between the five clans. Heterosexuality and homosexuality are so yesterday; here there is just a spectrum of behaviours, freely indulged (by those wealthy enough to keep good health and who have free time). If a future with these elements prevails then clearly free markets and small government are not conducive to the conservative sexual mores preached (but often not practised) by the hypocritical right.

And it is a cracking read.