The Quiet War: Book summary and reviews of The Quiet War by Paul J. McAuley

The Quiet War

by Paul J. McAuley

The Quiet War by Paul J. McAuley X
The Quiet War by Paul J. McAuley
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Book Summary

Twenty-third century Earth, ravaged by climate change, looks backwards to the holy ideal of a pre-industrial Eden. Political power has been grabbed by a few powerful families and their green saints. Millions of people are imprisoned in teeming cities; millions more labor on Pharaonic projects to rebuild ruined ecosystems.

On the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, the Outers, descendants of refugees from Earth's repressive regimes, have constructed a wild variety of self-sufficient cities and settlements: scientific utopias crammed with exuberant creations of the genetic arts; the last outposts of every kind of democratic tradition. The fragile detente between the Outer cities and the dynasties of Earth is threatened by the ambitions of the rising generation of Outers, who want to break free of their cosy, inward-looking pocket paradises, colonize the rest of the Solar System, and drive human evolution in a hundred new directions.

On Earth, many demand pre-emptive action against the Outers before it's too late; others want to exploit the talents of their scientists and gene wizards. Amid campaigns for peace and reconciliation, political machinations, crude displays of military might, and espionage by cunningly wrought agents, the two branches of humanity edge towards war ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. This compelling tale opens vast panoramas while confronting believable people with significant choices." - Publishers Weekly

"An impressively realised tale of competing ideologies that tackles pertinent questions. This is big, clever science fiction." - BBC Focus

"Few writers conjure futures as convincingly as McAuley: his latest novel deftly combines bold characterisation, a thorough understanding of political complexity, and excellent science." - The Guardian

"It's a complex, multilayered novel, almost an SF version of Bleak House or Bonfire of the Vanities. It's packed with great characters, breathtaking set pieces and intriguing SF ideas." - SFX

"Combines the damn-the-torpedoes, full speed ahead narrative impetus of a Peter F Hamilton, with the detailed, even meticulous attention to world-building and character development that distinguished Kim Stanley Robinson's classic Mars sequence. McAuley has always been a stylish writer, but he outdoes himself here. The Quiet War marks Paul McAuley's triumphant return to full-bore space opera." - Locus

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More Information

Paul McAuley's first novel won the Philip K. Dick Award and he has gone on to win almost all of the major awards in the field. For many years a research biologist, he now writes full-time. He lives in London.

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