For my money, Ken MacLeod is the current champion of the very smartest kind of New Space Opera... every variation on his themes produces something worth re-reading.
[The Corporation Wars] is a tasty broth of ideas taking in virtual reality, artificial intelligence, the philosophy of law and disquisitions on military ethics.
"[The Corporation Wars] hits the main vein of conversation about locks on artificial intelligence and living in simulations and exoplanetary exploitation and drone warfare and wraps it all into a remarkably human, funny, and smartly-designed yarn. It is, in fact, a king-hell commercial entertainment... It rips along on rockets.
[The Corporation Wars] is a kind of action-packed Dirty Dozen or Suicide Squad scenario . . . . MacLeod does many astonishing things here. He creates viable, believable multiplex interactions among so many different sets of characters, human and robot. His detailing of the non-human way of thinking and speaking employed by the freebots is fun and exemplary . . . . He shows a keen hand with action sequences. And there is a generous amount of humor to leaven the otherwise dire and deadly consequences of the multi-front war.
MacLeod manages big Ideas (political and futurological) and propulsive action without short-changing either side of that classic science-fictional tension-of-opposites.