Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Some Remarks on In The Mouth of the Whale

It’s a stand-alone novel that’s set 1500 years after The Quiet War and Gardens of the Sun and picks up the story of one of the players in the old drama: Sri Hong-Owen, a gene wizard who is her own greatest experimental subject.

Sri wants to live forever.  After a treatment that went badly wrong left her confined to a vat, she created a strange family from her own flesh and set off for the star Fomalhaut, to found her own empire in its great planetary ring. But history has overtaken her, as history always overtakes people who live too long. Her starship was damaged; she died; those of her children who survived have rebooted her by recreating her childhood.

Meanwhile, a posthuman group, the Quick, has reached Fomalhaut ahead of Sri and founded a new civilisation which fell to another group, the fierce and largely unmodified True, who enslaved the Quick and set up their own empire.  And now, as Sri’s starship approaches Fomalhaut, the True are fighting interlopers from another interstellar colony for control of the gas giant Cthuga, whose core may be the home of a vast strange intellect.

What else? There’s an outcast librarian who, with the help of his Quick servant, fights demons in fragments of a vast data base. The disappearance of one of the scions of a powerful family. Thistledown cities and an archipelago of engineered worldlets. A big dumb object floating in atmosphere of a gas giant planet, probing for signs of life. War in the air. A vivid dream of childhood that begins to unravel. A secret hidden in the cityscapes of a virtual library. The termitarial mindset of a cult that’s lasted 1500 years. Visions of cul-de-sacs in human evolution. The utility of intelligence. The cost of longevity, and that perennial problem of what to do for the rest of your life after you die . . .

Coming soon, as they say.


Blogger Mark said...

Thank you for including a librarian character. Have you sold this to Pyr in the US as well?

August 23, 2011 10:14 pm  
Anonymous Philip said...

I very much enjoyed The Quiet War and Gardens of the Sun and this one looks like it will be even more fun. I'm looking forward to it. Any thoughts about a major novel set in the Jackeroo universe?

August 24, 2011 2:39 pm  
Blogger Paul Weimer said...

Indeed...Will there be a US edition?

August 24, 2011 5:47 pm  
Blogger PeteY said...


August 24, 2011 10:03 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cthuga?? A wee bit of a Lovecraftian vibe going on here?

August 25, 2011 9:43 pm  
Anonymous Sergey said...

Congratulations, Paul!
It seems that new novel is epic space opera.

August 28, 2011 8:25 pm  
Blogger Mad Hatter Review said...

Will Pyr being doing a US edition?

September 02, 2011 4:42 pm  
Blogger Paul McAuley said...

I hope there will be an American edition. Gollancz bought world rights and usually (in my case at least) start selling them when the book approaches physical form.

I'm thinking about doing three novels (not a trilogy)in the Jackaroo universe, but whether my publisher will like the idea... And I have to write another novel before then. A new story, Bruce Springsteen, will be published in the January Asimovs. Have just done the proofs for that.

September 07, 2011 9:14 am  

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