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Gardens of the Sun (Gollancz) Paperback – 26 Aug 2010

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Frequently Bought Together

Gardens of the Sun (Gollancz) + In the Mouth of the Whale (Quiet War) + The Quiet War (Gollancz)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (26 Aug. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575084480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575084483
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.6 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 154,645 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


Few writers conjure futures as convincingly as McAuley; his latest novel deftly combines bold characterization, a thorough understanding of political complexity, and excellent science. --Guardian --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

'A writer of dazzling range, luminous intelligence and great humanity' Alastair Reynolds

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Oxfordaspiringwriter on 12 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover
Paul McAuley is surely one of our best writers. This is intelligent, world creating, thrilling and optimistic space opera - without the naivety of much American SF. The world building goes on against a back drop of flawed humanity, full of politicking, jealousies and the small cruelties we all love to inflict on each other. So it is, so it will be. The context is biodiversity but this time its human biodiversity and the opportunity to build a post human experience as well as human one, a technological fueled optimism that resonates so much in 2009 . We can build and mitigate anthropogenic climate change. There are no hero's as such, just people muddling on doing there stuff not always well or even nicely .

It really must be read after the Quiet War though as i do not think it stands well alone

As an aspiring writer it makes insanely jealous . Nuff said
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Poulter on 29 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is the second of a pair. The first was The Quiet War. See its reviews for the background to this one.

After the Quiet War, many of the Outers are rounded up into prison camps. The ones that escape capture, the Free Outers, flee to Miranda, a moon of Uranus, to recover and rebuild. They are forced to flee again to Triton, a moon of Neptune, after Greater Brazil sends ships after them. Again they are moved on, this time by Ghosts, fellow Outers who follow a reclusive leader who in turn follows orders from a future version of himself, who is supposedly on an extra-Solar planet. Orbiting remote Nephele, the Free Outers, now wary of permanent habitats, build the "Gardens of the Sun", detached bubble habitats that are closed eco-systems drawing extra energy from the Sun.

The Gardens of the Sun are but one of many types of long-term closed habitats, ranging from the many scattered emergency self-regenerating survival cabins Outers need in case of suit or major habitat failure to the artistic creations of the Outer 'gene wizard' Avernus, who delights in creating hidden 'gardens', each one following a completely different design in its combinations of 'tweaked' living organisms, based on archetypal animal and plant patterns. A more utilitarian approach is taken by Sri Hong-Owen, who creates 'cut' humans for various purposes, not all pleasant. Both women come to very different ends which signal how their approaches differ.

The Outers draw their strength as a community of individuals working together. The three Earth blocs against them, united under the banner of the Three Powers Alliance, soon start squabbling over the spoils of war.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By L. Richards on 5 Aug. 2010
Format: Hardcover
This is the sequel to The Quiet War (Gollancz), which is among the best and most thought-provoking science fictions published in recent years. McAuley is a writer of awesome skill, and his books reflect this in their scope, elegance and humanity. This novel captures realism in its characters, bringing to life its fictional universe, and making both its science and its fiction perfectly believable.

McAuley is one of the best science fiction writers at work today. He deserves more attention than he receives, and Gardens of the Sun is one of his best books to date. (Another fine example of his work is Fairyland.) I will spill no beans, and reveal nothing of the plot. I will only add my name to the list of discriminating, hard-to-impress, hard-core science fiction fans who loved this book. This is a great science fiction author at his best, writing for people who love science fiction. Its mass-market paperback edition is coming out on the 26th of August. It's well worth a read.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover
What many people have yet to realise about Paul is that his writing it not only gripping but beautifully constructed from the characters he creates to the situations and worlds in which they inhabit. Each word is carefully chosen to fit the situation and whilst it can feel a tad spartan at times it's a novel that really will remain with you long after the final page it turned. In this, the sequel to The Quiet War, the reader is literally thrust into the struggles after the events in the previous novel unfurled and really won't be let go until the dawn breaks with you realising you've been up all night. A master of Hard Sci-Fi and an author who will be as revered as a number of predecessors in years to come, you really have to try him to see the quality. All in all, this is a great offering and one that left me clamouring for the next novel as I turned the final page. Dammit, its going to be a long wait.
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Format: Paperback
This book is the sequel to The Quiet War. Having thoroughly enjoyed that book I expected great things from this novel. And I wasn't disappointed.

There's a smooth transition from the first book to the second. In fact, there are so many references to Quiet War characters, events and story lines, I can only encourage everyone to read that novel first. After all, it's an excellent book.

Once again, I found my imagination stimulated by the richly described gene-engineered gardens. Spectacular habitats created by gene wizard Avernus and Sri Hong-Owen (Sri is Avernus's biggest admirer and would-be successor). These passages endow a convincing sense of realism, no doubt greatly helped by McAuley's Botany Ph.D, research activities and lecturing experience.

Yet I'm also impressed by McAuley's ability to craft a rich collection of three-dimensional characters, high-quality dialogue and any number of fully believable scenes - whether they be on Earth, the Moon or within the gas giant systems of Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune. When combined with its great sense of pace and fast moving plot, I found the 439 pages simply whizz by.

The only low point for me was the weak penultimate chapter. It exhibited such a different voice, style and pace, I had to wonder if it was written by the same person. But it couldn't spoil my enjoyment of the book as a whole.

There are more of Paul McAuley's words at his 'unlikely worlds' blog site.
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