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Child of the River: Child of the River (HB) (Confluence) Paperback – 24 Sep 1998

6 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; New edition edition (24 Sept. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057560168X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575601680
  • Product Dimensions: 11.2 x 2.1 x 17.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,257,273 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm the author of more than twenty books, including science-fiction, thriller, and crime novels, several collections of short stories, a Doctor Who novella, and an anthology of stories about popular music, which I co-edited with Kim Newman. My fiction has won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the John W. Campbell award, the Sidewise Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, and the British Fantasy Award for best short story.

Before I went over to the dark side and became a full-time writer, I worked as a research biologist in various universities, including Oxford and UCLA, and for six years was a lecturer in botany at St Andrews University. My chief research interest was symbioses between unicellular algae and coelenterates, including green hydra, sea anemones, and reef-forming corals. I'm still a huge fan of all things to do with science, and spend too much time tweeting about weird and wonderful stuff as UnlikelyWorlds; Time magazine listed me as one of their top 140 most interesting tweeters in 2013.

I live in North London, and haven't yet walked down every street in the A-Z. But I'm trying.

Product Description

Book Description

The first volume of the classic trilogy of hard SF from PHILIP K. DICK and ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD-winning author, Paul McAuley.

About the Author

Paul McAuley (Born 1955) Paul James McAuley was born in Gloucestershire on St George's Day, 1955. He has a Ph.D in Botany and worked as a researcher in biology at various universities, including Oxford and UCLA, and for six years was a lecturer in botany at St Andrews University, before leaving academia to write full time. He started publishing science fiction with the short story "Wagon, Passing" for Asimov's Science Fiction in 1984. His first novel, 400 Billion Stars won the Philip K. Dick Award in 1988, and 1995's Fairyland won the Arthur C. Clarke and John W. Campbell Awards. He has also won the British Fantasy, Sidewise and Theodore Sturgeon Awards. He lives in London. You can find his blog at: http://www.unlikelyworlds.blogspot.com

Customer Reviews

3.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Kipper Sandwich on 29 Dec. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Nice, visual style of writing. The characters were fairly mediocre and there wasn't anything groundbreaking about the science, with this being more of a 'future fantasy' than a real science-fiction book. It's the first part of a trilogy, but unfortunately the plot doesn't reach any resolution by the end of the book, so it's probably best read as part of a whole. I've not read the other books and it now seems as though this book is out of print. This is a pity because the style of writing was very visual and the world the author has created, if not particularly original, was beautifully visualised. I would definitely keep an eye open for other books by this author.
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Format: Paperback
Child of the River is the first in a trilogy of novels set on the planetoid Confluence, a setting first introduced in McAuley’s short story Recording Angel (see the collection The Invisible Country) and though it’s not necessary to read this story to enjoy the novel, if you’re having difficulty getting your head round the background it may help.
One of the features of McAuley’s earlier works was to present science fiction as fantasy – this is something he repeats explicitly here: not only is this the first of a trilogy, we also have a hero who is blessed with ‘magic’ powers (the ability to control machines), seems fated to save the world, and even has a ‘magic’ sword! Dig beneath the surface however and you’ll find the hard-sf underpinnings used to prop up the fantasy tropes. Confluence itself appears to be an artificial construct of far future humanity where the animals have been gengineered to human status (hence we have people who resemble anthropomorphic cats, rodents, etc), only for it’s creators to turn their back on it and disappear into another universe. The lead character Yama is a genetic throwback to these creators, and as the only recognisable human on Confluence is trying to unravel the mystery of his birth and destiny.
While the genre tropes may be fairly routine the pleasure here is in the intricate society of Confluence itself, as the old religious order is under threat from a heresy spread by a previous visit from humanities ancestors.
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Format: Hardcover
Every now and again an author manages to strike the right level between giving enough clues to make the readers feel more intelligent than the protaganists, and leaving us wondering what the hell is going on. This is just about right, though perhaps those brighter than me will feel it is too easy. The pages just kept on turning and, while I never actually missed my station on the way home, it was, 'a damned close run thing', on a couple of occasions. I'm looking forward to the next volume coming out.
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