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By Paul J. McAuley

Twenty-third century Earth, ravaged by way of weather swap, appears to be like backwards to the holy perfect of a pre-industrial Eden. Political strength has been grabbed through a number of strong households and their eco-friendly saints. thousands of individuals are imprisoned in teeming towns; thousands extra labour on Pharaonic tasks to rebuild ruined ecosystems. at the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, the Outers, descendants of refugees from Earth's repressive regimes, have developed a wild number of self-sufficient towns and settlements: clinical utopias full of exuberant creations of the genetic arts; the final outposts of each form of democratic culture. the delicate detente among the Outer towns and the dynasties of Earth is threatened via the pursuits of the emerging iteration of Outers, who are looking to become independent from in their snug, inward-looking pocket paradises, colonise the remainder of the sunlight approach, and force human evolution in 100 new instructions. in the world, many call for pre-emptive motion opposed to the Outers earlier than it is too past due; others are looking to make the most the skills in their scientists and gene wizards. Amid campaigns for peace and reconciliation, political machinations, crude monitors of army may perhaps, and espionage by way of cunningly wrought brokers, the 2 branches of humanity side in the direction of conflict ...

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Additional resources for The Quiet War. Paul McAuley (Gollancz S.F.)

Sample text

She didn’t feel in the least bit intimidated. Compared to the brawling streets of Pittsburgh, the zone seemed as artificial and safe as a children’s playground. She passed body-mod shops, wireshops, smokehouses, meat markets where citizens bought or sold or gave away all kinds of sex. Even on the main drag, at least half the places were no more than recessed doors that gave away nothing about what went on inside. Others stood under gaudy and elaborate signs. The Gilded Palace of Sin. Fight Club.

Even that was too much of a risk under the Peixotos. Anyone caught criticising the people who owned their hides could be accused of treason, there were spies and snitches everywhere, and the punishments for disloyalty were severe, so everyone owned by the Peixotos kept their opinions to themselves. Macy was pretty sure that not even Ernest Galpa, now the most senior member of the crew, a decent old fellow who had worked with Emmanuel Vargo for twenty years, who had openly wept at the news of Manny’s death, would dare challenge Euclides Peixoto if he decided on some course of action that threatened the success of the project.

Whatever you’re doing here is your business,’ she said. ‘And as long as it stays here I’d have no reason to tell Mr Peixoto or anyone else about it. ’ Macy hesitated for only a moment. She had decided to be candid, and as long as she could keep Ursula talking she might learn something. ‘There was a boy once. ’ ‘I wanted to do better than scuffling a living in the streets, looked into joining the R&R Corps. Jax said no way he was going to leave Pittsburgh. It was where he grew up. It was all he knew.

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