Wednesday, 22 February 2012

SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: In the Mouth of the Whale - Paul McAuley

Release Date: 19/01/12


Fomalhaut was first colonised by the posthuman Quick, who established an archipelago of thistledown cities and edenic worldlets within the star's vast dust belt. Their peaceful, decadent civilisation was swiftly conquered by a band of ruthless, aggressive, unreconstructed humans who call themselves the True, then, a century before, the True beat back an advance party of Ghosts, a posthuman cult which colonised the nearby system of Beta Hydri after being driven from the Solar System a thousand years ago. Now the Ghosts have returned to Fomalhaut, to begin their end game: the conquest of its single gas giant planet, a captured interstellar wanderer far older than the rest of Fomalhaut's system. At its core is a sphere of hot metallic hydrogen with strange and powerful properties based on exotic quantum physics. The Quick believe it is inhabited by an ancient alien Mind; the True believe it can be developed into a weapon, and the Ghosts believe it can be transformed into a computational system so powerful it can reach into their past, collapse timelines, and fulfil the ancient prophecies of their founder.


If you love a story that is dependent upon characters with a wonderful spacey twist and a plotline that moves at a decent pace then this title by Paul McAuley is a tale that you really will have to spend your time with. Its got top notch prose, some decent dialogue and an overall arc, which when blended with the author’s unique writing style makes this a story that kicks the Science Fiction genre off to a cracking beginning this year.

All in a wonderful read and one that I had a lot of fun with. Hopefully you will too.

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