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Eyes of the Calculor (Greatwinter Series) [Hardcover]

Sean McMullen
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

27 Mar 2002 Greatwinter Series (Book 3)
In Sean McMullen's glittering, dynamic world, two thousand years in the future, there is no electricity, librarians fight duels and internal combustion engines are banned by every major religion in Australica. Humarity has split into two species, and intelligent cetezoids rule the oceans. In space, Mirrorsun has begun to spin. Immense solar sails are pushing vast amounts of energy into the ancient orbital band, energy that could tear it apart - or be directed down at Earth. The hypnotic Call has ceased, and all electrical machines have been reduced to molten metal. A religious prophet has risen and is attempting to bring the entire continent of Australica under her rule. Fundamentally, unexpectedly, things are changing everywhere. As catastrophe looms and civilisation begins to crumble, the Dragon Librarians of Australica have just one means left to hold their world together: kidnap every numerate person on the continent and rebuild their out-of-date human-powered computer - the Calculor.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press (27 Mar 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312877366
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312877361
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 16.7 x 4.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,264,856 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"A stunning idea--the Calculor's as real as if McMullen had built it in his backyard--with an utterly convincing setting, breathtaking developments, and a captivating narrative." --"Kirkus Reviews "(pointer review)"A comprehensively imagined future...Vivid imagery...creations both bizarre and believable. McMullen's word of Greatwinter is both tangibly present and beautifully imagined." --"The New York Review of Science Fiction""Gives a new moral dimension to the old SF theme of power and knowledge and the power that can be gained by those with secret knowledge of the working of the world." --"Foundation"

About the Author

Sean McMullen is one of the leading Australian SF authors to emerge during the 1990s, having won more than a dozen national awards in his homeland. In addition, he has sold several dozen short stories to magazines such as "Analog, Interzone," and "Fantasy & Science Fiction," and was co-author of "Strange Constellations, a History of Australian SF." He established himself in the American market with the publication of the "Greatwinter trilogy" (comprised of" Souls in the Great Machine, The Miocene Arrow, "and" Eyes of the Calculor)." His fiction has been translated into Polish, French, and Japanese. The settings for Sean's work range from the Roman Empire, through Medieval Europe, to cities of the distant future. He has bachelor's and master's degrees from Melbourne University, and post-graduate diplomas in computer science, information science and business management. He is currently doing a PhD in Medieval Fantasy Literature at Melbourne University, where he is also the deputy instructor at the campus karate club, and a member of the fencing club. Before he began writing, Sean spent several years in student reviews and theatre, and was lead singer in three rock and folk bands. After singing in several early music groups and choirs, he spent two years in the Victorian State Opera before he began writing. He lives in Melbourne with his wife Trish and daughter Catherine.

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Relations between Earth's intelligent species had been less than satisfactory for a very long time. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart-pounding excitement. 16 Sep 2001
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Sean McMullen is an entertaining, intelligent and amusing writer. He's definitely my favourite science fiction author. A literary genius that created this wonderful Greatwinter series, "Eyes of the Calculor" is third in this series, and is simply heart-pounding! Medieval, beautifully imagined, simply magic! No writer stretches the boundaries of science fiction like Sean McMullen does. His skills in world building and his brilliant use of elements from our own various mythologies lend a strange familiarity to the tone of the book. Instead of relying upon the tried and true stereotypes of traditional science fiction to tell his story, he has created something utterly new and utterly bold.
The characters he has peopled are neither all good nor all bad. They are complex, emotional, real and we understand them. They are us! This novel even enhances diplomatic and trade relationships between America and Australia. This acclaimed SF author has crafted his most wildly ambitious and stunning original tale yet, an unforgettable tale set in the wondrous future in Australica, where all electrical machines are inoperative, the domain of the Dragon Librarians and their computer, the Calculor, have assisted in making their continent, Australica run astray. Desert barriers, which kept all pure humans out of vast areas of land previously, have now disappeared as the birdlike aviads flee from their previous safe havens. John Glasken is back again. We have amazing avionics, daring pilots, sinister monks, harassed bird people, vicious amnesiac personalities coming together from different lands. An Airlord from across the sea needs Australica assistance in order to keep her homeland ahead of its enemies in the race for land.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding conclusion to a highly entertaining series 24 May 2002
By Michael Scott - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I'm slightly perplexed as to why Sean McMullen's excellent Greatwinter series hasn't achieved wider acclaim. I never hear fans speaking of McMullen. As of today, there are only 3 reader reviews on Amazon for a book that was released nearly a year ago. This lack of attention is especially frustrating given that McMullen is writing some of the most entertaining novels I've encountered in quite some time.
McMullen's series is set in the far future after a cataclysmic war that resulted in the abolition of all technology. The Earth returns to an 1800s level of technology. The main action in McMullen's novels occurs in Australia (or Australica) where a half-human, half-bird hybrid (aviads) have revolted against humanity. The underlying reasons and plots of books 1 & 2 are too complex to go into here.
Book 3 picks up where Book 2 left off. The aviads are increasing their campaign against the humans. But it seems as though the Aviad-Human conflict is only a backdrop for McMullen's larger human stories. McMullen focuses on about 5 or 6 characters throughout the novel. He has a deft touch for bringing subtle character issues to the forefront of the story. The combination of good characters and entertaining story make this novel a winner. _Eyes of the Calculor_ has all the flavor of the best space operas.
I've eagerly devoured each of McMullen's novels that has found print thus far. I've even gone so far as to track down copies of his earlier Australian novels (essentially Book 1 in the series). I eagerly look forward to each of his new releases. He is without question one of my favorite authors and one that I can highly recommend to you.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Perfect Finale To A Wonderful Series 10 Jan 2002
By Francis Frisina - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
In "Souls of the Great Machine," McMullen exposed his readers to a world full of complex cities on the future Australian continent, and in "The Miocene Arrow," McMullen went a step further and took us around to the other side of the world, in a future Denver, USA society, full of chivalry and aircraft. Different sets of characters were introduced to us in each book - far too many to begin listing here - and each brings with him or her a unique contribution to the story that unfolds in "Eyes of the Calculor." Zarvora Cybeline, former Highliber of Libris is replaced by Dramoren, an astute and altruistic man of great worth must organize a new calculor, and Jemli Miderellen, the new prophet of Woomera Confederation speaks out against all fueled machines. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, American forces, after finally recovering from a disasterous war, fomented by the Aviads of Austrailia, begin island hopping to gather horses from Austrailia. Samondel, Airlord of American Bartolica executes her sound plan, using pilots Serjon and Bronlar Feydamor as her most important and trusted crew members. Things go awry, however, and the fates of all parties involved, as well as a great number of innocent and ignorant civilians, are forever changed.
At the same time, McMullen revives his older, once departed characters, only to have them inhabit bodies of the near-dead, catatonic characters found in Austrailia. This blend of old and new, as well as foreign and domestic, makes this fantasitc tale of future Earth both captivating and engrossing on very deep levels. Don't miss this adventure-romance, pregnant with lies, love, truth, mystery, faith and knowedlge. Buy this book, and read it!
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hurray for Librarians!! 12 Jan 2004
By David - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Another wonderful story in the Greatwinter Trilogy, but unfortunately, it's the last one. McMullen is one of the freshest, most original authors to come along in a long time. All three of these books were written for the intelligent Sci-Fi fan who was looking for something more then the usual space opera junk and war novels that seem to dominate the market right now. Please don't read "Eyes of the Calculor" first, as it is the last book of a series that began with "Souls in the Great Machine" and continued with "The Miocene Arrow". These novels tell an original story of a futuristic earth in which machines are forbidden, librarians rule and death is a daily occurence. However, such a simple sentence does not do justice to the fascinating and imaginative world that McMullen created, from the deserts of Australia, to the isolation of the Rocky Mountains, McMullen has created cultures and personalities that are wholly original. Best of all, the tale does not take itself too seriously, and the author writes with a wonderful sense of humor which brings his characters alive in a way that only the best science fiction books can.
If you are like me and have been longing to read an innovative work that brings you back to that time in your life when Science Fiction was new and exciting, then this is the series for you. Why this series did not get more attention is only indicative of the sorry state that Science Fiction currently finds itself. I believe part of the problem stems from McMullen's Australian origins, but the real reason is that most book stores would rather carry yet another Star Trek Novel, or a Robert Jordan prequel then look for exciting, original material. I look forward to reading other works by McMullen (also only found on Amazon, if I may plug this website) and hope that more authors like McMullen are inspired by his effort. Keep up the good work.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but confused 10 Aug 2005
By Max Robitzsch - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I really wanted to like this book. The American airlord society that McMullen introduced in the second book was a fascinating read, and the connection with the Australian cultures was sure to be interesting as well.

But then it all went crazy. The cetaceans apparently evolved into a superior civilization in a couple weeks and then subjugated humanity via the sexual fantasies of a geek programmer (I'm not kidding). Then the two main characters become certifiably crazy and in the end, evil (fascinating in itself, but only barely believable). The worst thing though is that the story at times becomes totally unreadable because everyone seems to betray everyone at least once - and often in the space of a single paragraph without much further explanation.

At times you really have to read things several times over to make out whats hapening, and while this might be praise in some cases, it ain't here.

As it is, you won't regret reading it - it still is a great book - if you liked the ones before it. But you sure wish he had restrained himself in some cases or edited some areas more.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stands Alone 30 Mar 2004
By Victoria - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
For some reason, I didn't discover this was actually the last in a trilogy until halfway through the book, when it became clear that there was a complicated plot that had occured earlier. However, this did not at all stunt my enjoyment of Eyes of the Calculor, but perhaps it did limit it.
McMullen definately has his own magnificent and very readable style, combining a sense of humour with wonderfully endearing yet complex characters, politics, religion and society, magic, technology and science, all set just under two thousand years in the future. The plot is complicated enough to allow an immediate re-reading, and many "Oh!" moments, where everything clicks into place.
Although Eyes of the Calculor was fabulous as a stand alone book, I recommend it be read in sequence, in order to clean up issues of history and organisation of the society (which is quite complicated and worth understanding).
If you're looking for something light and funny and completely new and unlike most other science fiction, this is the book (and series) for you. 4.5 stars.
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