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400 Billion Stars Paperback – 3 Sep 2009
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A superb SF novel from one of the genre's most accomplished writers.
About the Author
Paul McAuley's first novel won the PHILIP K. DICK AWARD and he has gone on to win almost all of the major awards in the field. For many years a research biologist, he now writes full-time. He lives in London. You can find his blog at: http://www.unlikelyworlds.blogspot.com.
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I have read only one other novel by this author (The Quiet War) which, I have to say, I did not enjoy as much. 400 Billion Stars is far more engaging and involves the reader more closely with the main characters. The arrival of humans, and one in particular, triggers a sequence of changes in the native fauna on a planet human leaders believe is key to a war they are in danger of losing. The plot is satisfyingly anti-establishment and anti-military.
The internal conflict in the mind of the telepath Dorothy is realistically and sympathetically portrayed, as she moves forward in both solving the riddle of the alien planet and towards her own self-realisation. Over the last 45 years I have read a great deal of science fiction and I found this to be a very enjoyable and compelling read.
To find out you need to read the sequel, 'Eternal Light'. (Not on Kindle!)