This is less a review of Ken MacLeod’s new novel, _Intrusion_ than a response to it. Ken is famous for having said that history is the trade secret of science fiction (also: for describing the Singularity as the “Rapture for nerds”) – but I can’t help wondering whether history is being overtaken by the cognitive and social sciences. Since Cosma Shalizi and I are both thinking and starting to write about some of the arguments that Ken takes on in his book, I’ll focus on drawing out the ideas. This is obviously dangerous if you do it naively – good novels of ideas play with their subject matter rather than expound it, and take care to leave a lot of space for ambiguity, counter-perspectives, the awkwardness of real human beings with human motivations and so on. And _Intrusion_ is a good novel of ideas. Even so, there may be value in drawing out the ideas that Ken is engaging with – I don’t think that the book mentions the names of Thaler and Sunstein once, but one significant skein of the book argues against them. NB that while I don’t _think_ that there are any major spoilers below the fold, some possible readers may reasonably want to preserve their reading experience from my conceptions and misconceptions of what the book is about. Certainly, people who have already read the book will get a lot more from this essay than people who haven’t. NB also that while I don’t know whether the book will have a US edition anytime soon, it can be ordered from the usual UK sources by US readers, who will also soon be treated to his robots-meet-Calvinism-and-contractarianism-and-the-illusion-of-free-will near future thriller, _The Night Sessions._

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