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The Quiet War (2008)

af Paul McAuley

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Serier: Quiet War (1)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
5292434,661 (3.5)58
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 labour 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, colonise 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 . . .… (mere)
  1. 10
    Heart of the Comet af Gregory Benford (tetrachromat)
    tetrachromat: Both tell stories of how humanity uses genetic engineering to construct habitats and survive in space.
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» Se også 58 omtaler

Engelsk (22)  Polsk (1)  Alle sprog (23)
Viser 1-5 af 23 (næste | vis alle)
Brilliant example of Hard SF. Uses the weirdness of the solar system, rather than breaking the laws of physics to make up stuff further away.

This seems descended from some of the very best SF ancestors--Gibson, Herbert, Cherryh all strongly on my mind as I read this.

Recommended if you like space opera or military SF but want something a little more grounded, or if you like Kim Stanley Robinson but want something with some more action.

One thing worth noting is that the novel feels fairly grim overall. I highly recommend his collection [b:Stories from the Quiet War|13305970|Stories from the Quiet War|Paul McAuley|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1353413072s/13305970.jpg|18511558] to round out this universe a bit.

Notes from the Chicago Speculative Fiction discussion:
http://positronchicago.blogspot.com/2015/09/chi-sf-quiet-war.html ( )
  jakecasella | Sep 21, 2020 |
Book set in the near future (23rd century) when Earth passed trough a ecological cataclysm but humanity has spread through the planets (and more precisely satellites) of the Solar system. Has several separate sub-plots and characters followed through the book all involved in a conflict between Earth people and the Outers. Overall the book was very disappointing and suffered from major issues: too much description on some topics while others are explained in 2-3 lines and unclear/or useless characters. For example the Outers seem to have extremely advanced infrastructure, ships, computers, but no description about that except a lot of talk about ecosystems and genomics - which even that does not seem to be descriptive except "they make nice things" and "ecosystems are complex". No insight into how their economy works or if they need one - the kudos system seems more like a copy of the current social networks than an economic system. But if everything is can/be automated then why Earth does not have it?... Many characters are observed but for the important ones (Sri, Avernus) the behaviour does not seem to be connected with what they say they want and while some discrepancy could be accepted, feels more like they decide to do things to advance the plot. The whole world seems non-consistent and does not have a common style except people acting irrationally (both individuals and mobs). Would not recommend at all. ( )
  vladmihaisima | Jul 27, 2020 |
Doesn't quite work, but sort of fun space opera - hard sf. Limited by technology to the solar system, mainstream humanity remains fearful of those emigrants to the far moons of Saturn who's adapted gene-splicing technology to cope with the rigours of life out there.

There's an odd romance as the backdrop to all this, but mostly we follow the careers of a significant earth based gene-splicer - working with plants and agriculture rather than humans. Her career is mostly determined by the loyalty to the greater Family she belongs too. There are two factions, those who think a war with outer space is inevitable and Earth should get the first blow in; and those who'd rather make peace. The politics swings between the two. Likewise out in the greater solar system there are those who think war is inevitable and essentially foregone conclusion that they will win - destructive power of orbital mechanics is overwhelming; and those who would rather the cradle of humanity isn't destroyed.

There's a lot of exposition, quite a bit of description of technology, and long dry passages as people move around. But ti's also quite neat in places, some clever thoughts about how we could live in the solar system, a thorough understanding of just how much space and material is present. Likewise the constraints on such lives are fully realised. I was less certain about the political hooks that were used to provide motivation for the characters. ( )
  reading_fox | Jan 7, 2018 |
THE QUIET WAR is set in the 23rd century in a fully colonised solar system. War is brewing between conservative Earth and the solar system colonists called Outers, who push the envelope on what it means to be human constantly. The protagonists of the book are very different, but they are caught in this building momentum - an ambitious geneticist whose star is rising, a genetically-engineered clone soldier, a junior scientist whose curiosity makes her a liability, a pilot who volunteers to test a dangerous new technology, and a power-hungry diplomat.

I expected THE QUIET WAR to be focused on the military, but instead it's a slow burning political book that portrays the inevitability of conflict, despite almost nobody actually wanting one. It does this rather well, hampered only by the frequent and long passages on the technical details of ecosystem building (which are fascinating, but don't add much to the story - atmosphere can be overdone).

McAuley's descriptive abilities are put to good use when he describes the colonised solar system, though - the Outers' colonies are vividly beautiful and inspire awe. It seems like a doable near-future vision of space colonisation, which is something I would love to see happen in my lifetime.

The protagonists are not terribly sympathetic, but they do a good job of illustrating how people from pretty much every walk of life are drawn into the war. Some of the protagonists' quirks (Sri's odd relationship with her son, for example) seemed like attempts to make the character multidimensional, but instead ended up feeling pointlessly uncomfortable. I think one particular viewpoint (Cash) could've been totally cut - I didn't really get what he added to the story, since Dave 8 had had the whole "engineered soldier PoV" covered.

This book is fairly standalone, but I think it could use a little closure on the war, so I'm looking forward to reading the next installment, Gardens of the Sun. ( )
  kgodey | Apr 11, 2017 |
By the 23rd century, humanity had managed to populate most of the moons and planets in the Solar system. But it had not managed to stop the petty squabbles - some time in the past a group of humans threw a comet at another group; Mars's colonies had been obliterated to teach everyone else a lesson and the humanity had split into Outers and the ones from Earth (and even that is not completely true because the different nations on Earth are still around and in disagreement). Climate changes had not help matters and as a result of a really bad event a few decades earlier, Earth had lost most of its bioforms. And now the gene wizards are working to restore what was lost on Earth and to build anew in the new worlds. And you would have thought that this would keep the world busy. But it being humanity, nothing is that easy.

The Greater Brazil is controlled by the families and it wants world domination. But the families, especially the one that seems to be in charge (Peixoto) are divided between wanting a war and wanting a coalition with the Outers. Things get a bit worrisome when the people that support the alliance start dying and when one of the biggest projects, a biodome that was supposed to be built as a sign of the cooperation, is targeted and sabotaged. Add to this some clones (although they spent 3/4th of the book doing pretty much nothing and barely being mentioned, the book opens with them and they become pretty important later on), pilots that had been changed to feel their spaceships, genetic and other cuts (anything from genetic manipulation to plastic surgery) and a diplomat who seems to be always getting in the right place at the right time to cause mischief.

The book moves from very technical to character driven and back and the sections are uneven. Most of the technical parts are dry - the style is getting better as the book is going (or maybe I got used to it). It drags a bit during the big battle at the end and then it ends... with all the major characters either dead (or are they?) or running or spinning their own stories. It feels like a part one of a book, not as a complete book.

It takes a while to start caring about any of the characters - any time you think you know on what side everyone is, thing shift. Betrayal and second chances run through the story and change the idea of what is really going on. And in some cases the motives are a bit unbelievable - a man starved for love risks everything he had worked for a woman, a woman almost sacrifices her child chasing a professional success. And the whole war starts because an overreaction. But once it starts, there isn't too much anyone can do about that.

It is a dark novel about the future. But there is also hope somewhere there. I will be reading the next novel to see what happens to everyone and I will be interested to see any other stories in this world. I just hope that the technical parts will be a little less dry. ( )
1 stem AnnieMod | May 1, 2016 |
Viser 1-5 af 23 (næste | vis alle)
This novel is one of the best SF novels of the past couple of years. It is fullthroatedly SFnal, distinctly "hard."
tilføjet af sdobie | RedigerSF Site, Rich Horton (Dec 1, 2009)
 
Though flawed, The Quiet War makes you want more precisely because there's so much promise in its primary characters and settings. McAuley makes science incredibly exciting, and you'll have his weird images and ideas in your brain for days after you put the book down. War may not have been the best plot device to get this story in motion, but the vacuum organisms and communes on Uranus make this a novel well worth your time.
tilføjet af PhoenixTerran | Redigerio9, Annalee Newitz (May 6, 2009)
 

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Paul McAuleyprimær forfatteralle udgaverberegnet
Cooke, Jacqueline NassoOmslagsdesignermedforfatternogle udgaverbekræftet
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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 labour 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, colonise 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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