Monday, 28 December 2009

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Gardens of the Sun - Paul McAuley


The Quiet War is over. The city states of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn have fallen to the Three Powers Alliance of Greater Brazil, the European Union and the Pacific Community. A century of enlightenment, rational utopianism and exploration of new ways of being human has fallen dark. Outers are herded into prison camps and forced to collaborate in the systematic plundering of their great archives of scientific and technical knowledge, while Earth's forces loot their cities, settlements and ships, and plan a final solution to the 'Outer problem'. But Earth's victory is fragile, and riven by vicious internal politics. While seeking out and trying to anatomise the strange gardens abandoned in place by Avernus, the Outers' greatest genius, the gene wizard Sri Hong-Owen is embroiled in the plots and counterplots of the family that employs her. The diplomat Loc Ifrahim soon discovers that profiting from victory isn't as easy as he thought. And in Greater Brazil, the Outers' democratic traditions have infected a population eager to escape the tyranny of the great families who rule them. After a conflict fought to contain the expansionist, posthuman ambitions of the Outers, the future is as uncertain as ever. Only one thing is clear. No one can escape the consequences of war - especially the victors.


What many people have yet to realise about Paul is that his writing it not only gripping but beautifully constructed from the characters he creates to the situations and worlds in which they inhabit. Each word is carefully chosen to fit the situation and whilst it can feel a tad spartan at times it’s a novel that really will remain with you long after the final page it turned. In this, the sequel to The Quiet War, the reader is literally thrust into the struggles after the events in the previous novel unfurled and really won’t be let go until the dawn breaks with you realising you’ve been up all night. A master of Hard Sci-Fi and an author who will be as revered as a number of predecessors in years to come, you really have to try him to see the quality. All in all, this is a great offering and one that left me clamouring for the next novel as I turned the final page. Dammit, its going to be a long wait.

1 comment:

D Swizzle said...

Glad to know you enjoyed it. I'll have to pick this sucker up!