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Stories From The Quiet War by Paul McAuley
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Stories From The Quiet War

by Paul McAuley

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201515,329 (3.7)None

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I really enjoyed this collection of short stories set in McAuley's Quiet War future history, during and just after an asymmetrically bloody conflict in which the powers of Earth crush and occupy colonies around Jupiter, Saturn, and the other outer planets. The world building is terrific - the author makes the solar system feel really large, and yet the stories all fit within a coherent future. The main characters are (mostly) appealing as well.

Aspects of the stories reminded me of Arthur C. Clark, especially the hard science and the aesthetic choice to have main characters caught up in larger historical events that they experience rather than shape. A recurring theme is the stories is the nature of oppression, especially colonial power - how it diminishes the humanity of those who govern, and how those who are oppressed respond, with violence, nonviolent resistance, or by following some other personal ethic. There's plenty of brutality in these stories, not for its own sake, but as a critique of power. One could, in fact, read the stories as an exploration of the United States' own projection of military power in other nations (such as Iraq and Afghanistan), although the author offers no such comparison. ( )
  bezoar44 | Jul 10, 2014 |
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