Thursday, November 13, 2008

History Not Quite Repeating Itself

In the comments section of the previous post, Petey writes: ‘I've been meaning to ask you what the full list of Quiet War universe stories is.’

Glad you asked! There are ten of them, and here are their titles and where and when they first appeared.

‘Second Skin’ (Asimov's Science Fiction, 1997)
‘Sea Change, With Monsters’ (Asimov's Science Fiction, 1998)
‘The Gardens of Saturn' (Interzone, 1998)
‘Reef’ (Sky Life ed Gregory Benford and George Zebrowski Harcourt Brace, 2000)
‘Making History’ (PS Publishing, 2000)
‘The Passenger’ (Asimov's Science Fiction, 2002)
‘The Assassination of Faustino Malarte’ (Asimov's Science Fiction,2002)
Dead Men Walking’(Asimov’s Science Fiction, 2006)
‘Incomers’ (The Starry Rift, edited by Jonathan Strahan, Viking, 2008)

So I’ve been working on this for about a dozen years now. Good grief. How times flies when you’re having fun.

I’ve mentioned this before, but I think it’s worth pointing out again: the history and universe of the Quiet War in the stories is not exactly congruent with the history and universe in The Quiet War. By the time I got around to thinking very hard about the novels, I realised that it would be very difficult toreconcile events and situations and backgrounds in a bunch of disparate stories written in fits and starts over a decade. Also, Cassini had started beaming back hundreds of detailed pictures and reams of information about Saturn and its moons that, while it didn’t exactly invalidate the stories, inspired a new take on them. (One reason I took so long to get around to writing the novels was because I wanted to find out what Cassini discovered, and I’m glad I did.) So I rewrote history in The Quiet War, and Gardens of the Sun, and although parts of the latter are based on heavily modified characters and situations that first appeared in a few of the stories, the events in the stories and the events in the novels are from closely related but different alternate histories.

[Addendum: two idiotic howlers. Thanks to a spot by Peter Holo, I corrected the title of 'The Assassination of Faustino Malarte' (not Augustin Malarte, as my mind keeps insisting), and when I cut and pasted the list I wrongly included 'The Secret of My Success', which isn't part of the Quiet War canon. Clearly, I need a longer holiday.]


Blogger PeteY said...

Wow, there's lots. Enough for a book, in fact. Might Gollancz be interested, do you think? I doubt if many people would be in a position to read them all, otherwise.

November 13, 2008 5:53 pm  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...

Hi Petey,

Unless I win a Hugo or start selling a lot more copies of my books, I don't think Gollancz would be too interested (and quite right too: short-story collections are hard sells). And they've already published two of those stories. 'Making History' was in their Futures anthology (and one-half of a binary, with Steve Baxter's 'Reality Dust' on the flip side). And 'Raft' can be downloaded from my Orion author's page.

Maybe an e-book, though. One day.

November 13, 2008 8:45 pm  
Blogger PeteY said...

Well, that's my problem. I already have Making History in the back-to-back edition, and I've read Reef (sic) online. I want the other ones. Do you have the rights to put one or two more online, on your site perhaps? Pleease?

November 13, 2008 10:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Paul,
Peter-not-Petey here...
I hate to correct The Author here, but shouldn't that be "The Assassination of Faustino Malarte"?
For some reason, one of my favourite of your stories :)

November 14, 2008 2:43 am  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...


You're right - it should be Faustino, not August. I must have migrated an earlier title or something. How embarassing. Come to think of it, he appears in Gardens of the Sun, and a couple of times I wrote his name as August. Perhaps it is his secret identity.


At some point I'll probably put up another story; it'll have to be one that doesn't conflict with the novels. Meanwhile, the YA anthology, The Starry Rift, is not only in print but will soon be going into paperback. Has some fine stuff in it (and would make an excellent Christmas present for teenage sons, daughters, nephews, nieces...).

November 14, 2008 8:35 am  

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