Posted on | January 13, 2013 | 1 Comment
Most of you will not like Paul McAuley’s The Quiet War, and probably shouldn’t even try to read it. I am not aiming for condescension, but simply the mindset when I say there is a lot of science in his fiction and most of it well and truly fictional. This opinion is borne out by a number of reviews online, but there is, as a vocal minority of reviewers indicates, a slice of the reading public that will truly, fully, enjoy what he provides, and I am smack dab in the middle of it.
The Quiet War is not a true eganesque mathematical fandango where if the reader can’t keep up with the math and/or physics, they are reduced to skimming pages and assuming things happen by “magic”. This novel is relatively easy to follow, its several points of view speaking with distinct voices and perspectives as we follow our heroes trying to halt, mitigate or initiate an interplanetary war with Earth’s colonies on and around the satellites of Saturn. However, McAuley does enjoy stopping every now and then to describe, in minute detail, the fictional biomechemistry or construction of surface domes or, even, as boring as it may sound, soil composition and layering. To me, most of these longwinded description passages were fascinating, serving as breaks between brief and frequently violent outbursts of action.
Apart from these digressions, McAuley also occasionally stumbles in style and even, as if lacking a good editor, grammar, however, these minor issues were overshadowed by the very believable universe he created, along with the all-too-familiar atmosphere of societies gearing up for, psyching up for, and initiating a pointless, aimless, ideologically driven war, and individuals caught in the web of History breaking right across their shoulders.
Powered by Facebook Comments