Synopses & Reviews
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.
"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.)
"One of the best SF books I've read this year." Iain M. Banks, The Algebraist
"A staggering achievement, brilliantly imagined and endlessly surprising...a brave, brilliant and wonderful novel." Christopher Priest, Guardian
"I will read anything that man writes-he is the most under appreciated genius working in the field today." Cory Doctorow, author of Someone Comes to Town, Someone Leaves Town; coeditor, boingboing.net
"Hugely adventurous and entertaining, sumptuously inventive and full of heart...it is likely to rank as Ian McDonald's finest creative achievement." Nick Gevers, Locus
"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
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.