In the Mouth of the Whale
by Paul McAuley
Gollancz Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780575100732
Date: 19 January 2012 List Price £18.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK /
Uncorrected Proof Copy: Paul McAuley, is a prolific British an author whose work - which has covered a number of genre areas - I have admired for many years. (See these links for my reviews of his previous novels Mind's Eye, The Secret of Life and Whole Wide World)
Next January he offers up a new SF novel set in the same world as his previous two releases,The Quiet War and Gardens of the Sun. In the Mouth of the Whale however, can be read as a stand-alone. Due from Gollancz in hard cover and trade paperback.
"Fomalhaut was first colonised by the posthuman Quick, who established an archipelago of thistledown cities and edenic worldlets within the star's vast dust belt. Their peaceful, decadent civilisation was swiftly conquered by a band of ruthless, aggressive, unreconstructed humans who call themselves the True, then, a century before, the True beat back an advance party of Ghosts, a posthuman cult which colonised the nearby system of Beta Hydri after being driven from the Solar System a thousand years ago. Now the Ghosts have returned to Fomalhaut, to begin their end game: the conquest of its single gas giant planet, a captured interstellar wanderer far older than the rest of Fomalhaut's system. At its core is a sphere of hot metallic hydrogen with strange and powerful properties based on exotic quantum physics. The Quick believe it is inhabited by an ancient alien Mind; the True believe it can be developed into a weapon, and the Ghosts believe it can be transformed into a computational system so powerful it can reach into their past, collapse timelines, and fulfil the ancient prophecies of their founder."