» paul mcauley ¦ What You Can Get Away With

And a majority that aren’t election-related.

Electoral Services: I know they’re only doing their job, but… – Jennie Rigg on the last-minute rush to get nomination papers in, which many people who’ve been candidate and/or agents will read with a few knowing nods.
How to write a generic SF novel - Paul McAuley provides some useful advice: “No matter how technologically advanced your future society might be, its sociology and economics are basically those of the seventeenth century. Also its battle tactics.”
BNP Candidates 2011 – Lancaster Unity has discovered there’s a dramatic fall in the number of candidates the BNP are standing in local elections this year, though there is a rise in former BNP candidates standing for other nationalist parties.
Russian bloggers accuse authorities of cyberwar – Twenty years ago, which of these things would have seemed the most weird: the existence of sites like LiveJournal, Russian democracy or DDOS attacks?
72 mandatory pitstops per race – Duncan Stephen has a sneak preview of the latest plans to improve Formula 1

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The concluding part of the story McAuley began in The Quiet War, Gardens Of The Sun is a Solar System-spanning tale of politics and genetics. It picks up all the plot threads and characters from the first novel and then follows them over several years as the repercussions of the Quiet War play out on the personal and societal level.

It’s not one to pick up if you haven’t read and enjoyed The Quiet War, as you’ll likely get completely lost in the number of different characters and settings, especially as many of the sub-plots don’t interact with each other until the conclusion. McAuley’s created an interesting future history, where Greater Brazil, the Pacific Community and the European Union are the main powers on a post-catastrophic Earth and posthuman Outers spread through various niches of the Solar System, but I felt sometimes that he was trying to tell a story across too vast a canvas. The obvious comparison is with Robinson’s Mars trilogy, and while that did move about the different planets and moons – especially in Blue Mars – the focus always remained on the key Martian story. Here, the story jumps about between the different characters and locations and all seem to jostle for prominence and importance.

It’s a decent read, but the lack of focus weakens it for me, though the ideas inside it are very interesting.

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