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Souls in the Great Machine


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About the Author

Sean McMullen is one of Australia's leading science fiction authors. He established himself in the American market with the publication of the Greatwinter trilogy (comprised of Souls in the Great Machine, The Miocene Arrow, and Eyes of the Calculor), and is also the author of The Moonworlds Saga and The Centurion's Empire. The settings for Sean's work range from the Roman Empire, through Medieval Europe, to cities of the distant future. Sean spent several years in student reviews and theatre, and was lead singer in three rock and folk bands, and spent two years in the Victorian State Opera before he began writing.


Fast-paced and amusing, McMullen's latest novel (after The Centurion's Empire) is an action-packed adventure in the tradition of world-building SF. Set 20 centuries in the future, in a postnuclear winter society, the tale centers on the Calculor, a fantastic calculating machine powered by nameless human components who remain imprisoned within its workings. As the Highliber of LibrisÄaka head librarianÄZavora is the de facto ruler of the Calculor, and thus of all Confederation society, packing more political clout than the mayor himself. Through the Calculor's number crunching, Zavora has discovered that the world will be plunged into another "Greatwinter," or ice age, unless she can gain control of a satellite in Earth's orbit, which seems nearly impossible given her society's limited technology. Aiding Zavora in her mission are the Abbess Theresla, who has an innate ability to resist "the Call," a psychic phenomena that forces all humans to follow its deadly beckoning; Lemorel, a spirited young street fighter and librarian within the Libris; and Johnny Glasken, a rogue and former prisoner of the Calculor. McMullen's dramatic pacing and believable characters ensure that readers will enjoy Zavora's quest through a well-wrought, richly imagined multidimensional world. (June) Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.

"A stunning idea--the Calculator's as real as if McMullen had built it in his backyard--with an utterly convincing setting, breathtaking developments, and a captivating narrative." --Kirkus Reviews (pointer review)"Decidedly original, sometimes whimsical, and captivating, this is a genuine tour de force." --Booklist (starred review)"Fast-paced and amusing, McMullen's latest novel is an action-packed adventure in the tradition of world-building SF." --Publishers Weekly"I don't know how many years of practice Sean McMullen has had, but he writes like his own expert....A great machine in concept, and a great book in the reading. Highly recommended." --San Diego Union-Tribune"This book gives us one of the most distinctive and unforgettable Down Under futures ever created." --The Bulletin

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