cover image Gardens of the Sun

Gardens of the Sun

Paul McAuley, Author Pyr $16 (411p) ISBN 978-1-61614-196-7

In the outstanding second half of 2009’s The Quiet War , McAuley shows humans forced past their limitations. Armies from feudalistic, eco-fanatic Earth have overwhelmed freethinking settlements on the moons of Saturn and Jupiter, forcing refugees to flee to the outskirts of the solar system. Vistas of wonderful, desolate new worlds are populated by familiar, driven characters: Sri Hong-Owen, the brilliant but cold-blooded researcher obsessed with Outer genetic manipulation; a cloned, nameless spy seeking identity and love; hotshot space pilot Cash Baker, brainwashed and betrayed by his commanding officers; unscrupulous diplomat Loc Ifrahim, who will exploit any situation for personal profit; and renegade Earth ecologist Macy Minnot, who joins the Free Outers’ pilgrimage. Their interactions, struggles, and choices sketch a grand and sometimes appalling picture of human possibility. Together, these two books tell a magnificent story. (Mar.)