Synopses & Reviews
The great Calculor of Libris was forced to watch as Overmayor Zarvora had four of its components lined up against a wall and shot for negligence. Thereafter, its calculations were free from errors, and that was just as well-for only this strangest of calculating machines and its two thousand enslaved components could save the world from a new ice age.
And all the while a faint mirrorsun hangs in the night sky, warning of the cold to come.
In Sean McMullen's glittering, dynamic, and exotic world two millennia from now, there is no more electricity, wind engines are leading-edge technology, librarians fight duels to settle disputes, steam power is banned by every major religion, and a mysterious siren "Call" lures people to their death. Nevertheless, the brilliant and ruthless Zarvora intends to start a war in space against inconceivably ancient nuclear battle stations.
Unbeknownst to Zarvora, however, the greatest threat to humanity is neither a machine nor a force but her demented and implacable enemy Lemorel, who has resurrected an obscene and evil concept from the distant past: Total War.
Souls in the Great Machine is the first volume of Sean McMullen's brilliant future history of the world of Greatwinter
"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, this is a genuine tour de force." Booklist (starred review)
"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
In the 40th century, librarians fight duels for the honor of their computers, railway captains die for the honor of their galley engines, and technology is limited to biplanes and wind trains. McMullen is a three-time winner of the Ditmar Award in his native Australia.
About the Author
is one of the leading Australian SF authors to emerge during the 1990s, having won more than a dozen national awards in his homeland. In addition, he has sold several dozen short stories to magazines such as Analog, Interzone
, and Fantasy & Science Fiction
, and was co-author of Strange Constellations, a History of Australian SF
. 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)
. His fiction has been translated into Polish, French, and Japanese. The settings for Sean's work range from the Roman Empire, through Medieval Europe, to cities of the distant future.
He has bachelor's and master's degrees from Melbourne University, and post-graduate diplomas in computer science, information science and business management. He is currently doing a PhD in Medieval Fantasy Literature at Melbourne University, where he is also the deputy instructor at the campus karate club, and a member of the fencing club. Before he began writing, Sean spent several years in student reviews and theatre, and was lead singer in three rock and folk bands. After singing in several early music groups and choirs, he spent two years in the Victorian State Opera before he began writing.
He lives in Melbourne with his wife Trish and daughter Catherine.