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River of Gods

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River of Gods Cover

ISBN13: 9781591024361
ISBN10: 1591024366
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

As Mother India approaches her centenary, nine people are going about their business — a gangster, a cop, his wife, a politician, a stand-up comic, a set designer, a journalist, a scientist, and a dropout. And so is Aj — the waif, the mind reader, the prophet-when she one day finds a man who wants to stay hidden.

In the next few weeks, they will all be swept together to decide the fate of the nation.

River of Gods teems with the life of a country choked with peoples and cultures — one and a half billion people, twelve semi-independent nations, nine million gods. Ian McDonald has written the great Indian novel of the new millennium, in which a war is fought, a love betrayed, a message from a different world decoded, as the great river Ganges flows on.

Review:

"This ambitious portrait of a future India from British author McDonald (Desolation Road) offers multitudes: gods, castes, protagonists, cultures. Nine disparate characters, including a cop, a scientist and a stand-up comic, act out their related dramas — be they personal, political or of the mystery-thriller variety — in successive chapters within each of the book's five sections. In the India of 2047, genetically engineered children comprise a new caste, adults can be surgically transformed into a neutral gender, a water war has broken out as the Ganges threatens to run dry, AIs are violently destroyed if they approach levels akin to human intelligence, and something strange has just appeared in the solar system. The deliberate pace and lack of explanation require patience at the outset, but readers will become increasingly hooked as the pieces of McDonald's richly detailed world fall into place. Already nominated for both Hugo and Arthur C. Clarke awards, this is sure to one of the more talked-about SF novels of the year." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Combining real-life issues such as water shortages, runaway technology, and overpopulation with fantastical complications including a message from another world, McDonald's opus deservedly won the 2004 British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel." Library Journal

Review:

""A staggering achievement, brilliantly imagined and endlessly surprising...a brave, brilliant and wonderful novel." Christopher Priest, The Guardian

Synopsis:

Ian McDonald is the author of Planesrunner, Be My Enemy, and Empress of the Sun, in the Everness series. He has written thirteen science fiction novels--including the 2011 John W. Campbell Memorial Award winner for Best Novel, The Dervish House--as well as Brasyl, River of Gods, Cyberabad Days, Ares Express, Desolation Road, King of Morning, Queen of Day, Out on Blue Six, Chaga, and Kirinya.  He's been nominated for every major science fiction award, and even won some. McDonald also works in television and in program development--all those reality shows have to come from somewhere--and has written for screen as well as print. He lives in Northern Ireland, just outside Belfast, and loves to travel.

Synopsis:

A Hugo and Arthur C. Clarke Award nominee has written the great Indian novel of the new millennium, in which a war is fought, a love betrayed, a message from a different world is decoded, as the great river Ganges flows on.

About the Author

Ian McDonald is the author of many science fiction novels, including Desolation Road, King of the Morning, Queen of the Day, Out on Deep Six, Changa, and Kirinya. He has won the Philip K. Dick Award and the BSFA Award, been nominated for a Hugo Award, and has several nominations for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. He lives in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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Jvstin, August 16, 2009 (view all comments by Jvstin)
Nominated for the 2005 Hugo Award for best novel (losing to Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell), River of Gods is an ambitious look at 2047 India by Ian McDonald.

As India approaches its 100th birthday, it has balkanized into a number of semi independent nations. Technology runs high here, higher than in some parts of the world. Artificial Intelligences reach for above-human sentience even as "Krishna cops" try and prevent them from doing so. The lack of a monsoon for years has caused two of the nations to go to the brink of armed conflict. And in space, the Americans have discovered an asteroid is actually an alien artifact, seven billion years old, which inexplicably has a tie to several of the characters...

As I said, its an ambitious novel, with a large cast and a large canvas upon which McDonald draws. In an almost Bollywood like fashion, all of the plotlines and characters, disparate at first, eventually have their stories draw together.

McDonald pulls no punches and immerses the reader immediately in unfamiliar culture, terms, customs and societies. It takes a lot of work to keep up in this novel, but once the basics are down, the novel starts to sing. (This is definitely not a novel to give to a first time reader of science fiction). In point of fact, with its numerous characters at all sorts of social strata, its social commentary, and its vision of the future, the novel feels to me like McDonald's attempt to re-write Brunner's Stand on Zanzibar (but without the New Wave experimental narrative and textual techniques).

I don't think the novel quite lives up to its ambitions, and a few of the characters did not much appeal to me as much as the main plot did. However, the vision of India's future is wall-to-wall, engrossing and interesting. Throw in some snazzy technology, and even a bit of humor (I dare you not to laugh when you discover the fate of Bill Gates in this timeline)

Mcdonald has a collection of stories set in this world (Cyberdad Days) which, on the strength of this, and my enjoyment of it, I fully intend to buy and read.

Recommended.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781591024361
Author:
Mcdonald, Ian
Publisher:
Pyr
Author:
McDonald, Ian
Subject:
General
Subject:
India
Subject:
Science fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Science / General
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20060331
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Language:
English
Pages:
597
Dimensions:
9.26x6.22x1.92 in. 2.28 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z

River of Gods Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$5.50 In Stock
Product details 597 pages Pyr - English 9781591024361 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "This ambitious portrait of a future India from British author McDonald (Desolation Road) offers multitudes: gods, castes, protagonists, cultures. Nine disparate characters, including a cop, a scientist and a stand-up comic, act out their related dramas — be they personal, political or of the mystery-thriller variety — in successive chapters within each of the book's five sections. In the India of 2047, genetically engineered children comprise a new caste, adults can be surgically transformed into a neutral gender, a water war has broken out as the Ganges threatens to run dry, AIs are violently destroyed if they approach levels akin to human intelligence, and something strange has just appeared in the solar system. The deliberate pace and lack of explanation require patience at the outset, but readers will become increasingly hooked as the pieces of McDonald's richly detailed world fall into place. Already nominated for both Hugo and Arthur C. Clarke awards, this is sure to one of the more talked-about SF novels of the year." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Combining real-life issues such as water shortages, runaway technology, and overpopulation with fantastical complications including a message from another world, McDonald's opus deservedly won the 2004 British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel."
"Review" by , ""A staggering achievement, brilliantly imagined and endlessly surprising...a brave, brilliant and wonderful novel."
"Synopsis" by , Ian McDonald is the author of Planesrunner, Be My Enemy, and Empress of the Sun, in the Everness series. He has written thirteen science fiction novels--including the 2011 John W. Campbell Memorial Award winner for Best Novel, The Dervish House--as well as Brasyl, River of Gods, Cyberabad Days, Ares Express, Desolation Road, King of Morning, Queen of Day, Out on Blue Six, Chaga, and Kirinya.  He's been nominated for every major science fiction award, and even won some. McDonald also works in television and in program development--all those reality shows have to come from somewhere--and has written for screen as well as print. He lives in Northern Ireland, just outside Belfast, and loves to travel.
"Synopsis" by , A Hugo and Arthur C. Clarke Award nominee has written the great Indian novel of the new millennium, in which a war is fought, a love betrayed, a message from a different world is decoded, as the great river Ganges flows on.
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