io9 Book Club Meeting: Let's Discuss "The Quiet War"

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Welcome to the first-ever installment of the io9 Book Club. This month, we've read Paul McAuley's The Quiet War, which I reviewed here, and now it's time to start talking about what you thought of it.


The io9 Book Club will meet about 10 times per year, meaning roughly every 5-6 weeks. So if you didn't have time to participate this time, there's always next time - and the time after that. We're proud to have the io9 Book Club co-sponsored by the science fiction crew Borders.

A couple of ground rules for discussion. I'll start us out with a general question, but this is your book club. You should feel free to talk about what you want, start us off on new topics, criticize/praise the book (without insulting the author or your fellow book club members), and recommend related books for people to read. I'll link back to this post for the next four days, so we can keep discussion going and get as many people as possible involved.

Also, as a special treat, we're going to have Paul McAuley drop in next week to answer some of your questions. Look for a post about that on Monday, Oct. 12, in the morning. You'll be able to post questions for him in comments, and McAuley will pop in on Tuesday to answer the ones he likes!

Without further ado, let's begin.

One of the things I liked the most about this novel was the way McAuley described the geoengineering projects on all the outer planets and their moons. The descriptions were vivid and felt realistic; and I liked watching Macy at work in the lab. What did you guys think about the science in the book? Too much? Too little? Relevant or irrelevant to the plot?



Dr Emilio Lizardo

Evrybody is complaining about the two dimensional characters and I agree, how about if we try to switch gears and concentrate on what we liked? I'll repost some stuff I said to try to start a discussion.

I really liked the way he used the hypocrisy of propaganda. I enjoyed how the Greater Brazillian Empire used the outers post humanism to rile up support for the war, but they seemed to be doing far more serious changes to the human genome in secret. Conversely, the outers complained that earthlings were never as free as they were, yet Macy ended up in jail or on the run from the law three or four different times for no good reason

I liked the contrast between Sri and Macy. Both wanted to be left alone to do their (similar) work, but Macy was blunt and apolitic while Sri was devious and in it up to her eyeballs. Both saw it as the best way to survive and get what they wanted. Which was better?

I liked the BSG-esque style where America and western europe has lost the war and this is what comes after. it was a little different in that America had been assimilated int Brazil. Although the EU was mentioned as still surviving, they were clearly a non entity. I think this is a function of a post-9/11 and anti-Bush world.