There are two books of short stories during the period of The Quiet War and after: 1. The only low point for me was the weak penultimate chapter. The Quiet War is over. And yes, I am curious to see where McAuley takes the story next. The political and military complexities are neatly drawn, and the main characters are not the usual heroic types.
For more of my reviews please visit Gardens of the Sun by Paul McAuley This book is a sequel to the science fiction novel, The Quiet War. It is composed of ideas from several short stories, expanded and linked together, which explains some of the disjointed feeling. The plot was decent, although it must be noted that since it was a space opera, there wasn't a cohesive linear plot but rather ju While there have been some complaints that characterization was flat and lacking, I disagree. Gardens of the Sun is slow to start. The characters must cope physically, emotionally, economically, and politically. The one problem I had was that this focus somewhat limited the presentation of the story. And on Earth, in Greater Brazil, the democratic traditions preserved and elaborated by the Outers have infected a population eager to escape the tyranny of the great families who rule them.
It exhibited such a different voice, style and pace, I had to wonder if it was written by the same person. After the Quiet War was over. You knew a war was coming in the first, but with Gardens you are left with more of a sense of the unexpected, which McAuley delivers in spades. He picks up all the threads from that novel, although there is some shift in emphasis — while Macy Minnot is still very much in the foreground, Sri Hong-Owen makes only a few appearances, instead we get a lot of chapters with pilot Cash Baker who point of view is mostly used to show us what is happening in Greater Brazil while the rest of the characters are spread out all over the Solar system. The events of recent years have shown how much of an oversight that is, and Gardens of the Sun takes that lesson very much to heart, with McAuley spinning out the parallels to contemporary events even more distinctly than he did in The Quiet War. I've not been a sci-fi guy for awhile so my rating and thoughts about this books should be taken with a grain of salt.
Their interactions, struggles, and choices sketch a grand and sometimes appalling picture of human possibility. The characters were, while in a few cases one-dimensional, usually believable and complex. A sense of tension and inevitably that was present in War is missing though. A fascinating political future history of humanity spreading out into space. Paul McAuley does a good job of dealing with the psychology of people who are living out on the frontier far from home, he really sells just how far away from Earth these people are and gives the book a real sense of adventure. The city states of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, founded by descendants of refugees from Earth's repressive regimes, the Outers, have fallen to the Three Powers Alliance of Greater Brazil, the European Union, and the Pacific Community. In fact the setting of the story seems more important than any of the characters with the geological characteristics of distant moons described in such specific detail that you would think that the author had actually been there.
It is composed of ideas from several short stories, expanded and linked together, which explains some of the disjointed feeling. All in all, I'm not sorry I read these two books but I really don't think I'll bother with the third. All the multiple plot lines of the previous book are picked up where they left off and at first it feels like some of them should have been left alone Gardens of the Sun is slow to start. The Quiet War is over. It is a case of a less advanced society taking over a more advanced society.
Sri-Hong's final project was consistent with her meglomania, and her misplaced sense of worth. Dick Award and he has gone on to win almost all of the major awards in the field. If you let your mind build a picture, you can have a pleasant surreal moment. This is very big picture, take a step back storytelling, with only a few individuals to attach to and who feel as though they matter. Paul McAuley is still a great futurist and the possibilities he dreams of are mind-opening. 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.
For the majority of the book I couldn't see how all the principles were going to come together in the end as well as they did in The Quiet War, but to McAuley's credit he finesses things just so to give you the unexpected. The author mostly describes the details of the places or the character. Macy has always struggled to fit in wherever she went and now in exile with the other free outers, including her now husband, she still is pushed aside despite all she has left behind to be among them. Especially in regards to Avernus and Sri. And yet, I keep reading them.
However the over all of this book is astonishing and exciting. And on Triton, fanatical members of a cabal prepare for a final battle that threatens to shatter the future of the human species. They devise organisms that extract basic, edible chemical compounds from rock that contains carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen, using only sunlight, and dim sunlight at that, as energy. Highly recommended if you like The Martian and wished it had been a whole civilization instead of just one person, and extended over decades and generations instead of just. Only the ending of Book 2, perhaps 5% of the book, is a bit saccharine and unengaging, as if McAuley ran out of interest, or his editor wanted a finished book to sell. In The Quiet War, all plot lines ran towards and finally converged in the title-giving war as their focus. The offbeat choice of characters and their less-than-predictable destinies also add to the realism and gives us a sense of respect for the story and the broad themes which could fuel a whole graduate course.
The vivid and detailed descriptions of the Solar System remain a candy, and I'm pretty sure I will not see our system the same way as before. The speculative science is very nice but the fleshing of the characters is lost. There's a smooth transition from the first book to the second. The plot of these two books is very well constructed with each character playing an important role in gradually moving the story along without any one of them becoming more important than the overall plot. There is a lot of interesting technology in the story. When Enjoyed this one as much as the first one. Meanwhile, in the outer reaches of the Solar System, a rag-taggle group of refugees struggle to preserve the last of the old ideals.
McAuley acknowledges that humanity is flawed but clearly still believes that we are capable of great things. At the very end of the book, however, McAuley allows a secondary character take center stage for a chapter, even though that character is interacting with one of his main view-point characters. I don't know enough about any of the sciences to know how much of the geology, biology, engineering, etc. In The Quiet War, all plot lines ran towards and finally converged in the title-giving war as their focus. And on Triton, fanatical members of a cabal prepare for a final battle that threatens to shatter the future of the human species. He also crafts his work on a beleivable if fantasic sounding science.