In The Mouth Of The Whale

After you die, what do you do for the rest of your life?

The posthuman Quick settled the system of the star Fomalhaut long ago, and created garden worldlets and thistledown cities in its vast dust ring. An empire that after centuries of peace fell to a second wave of settlers, the fierce and largely unmodified True People. And now the True are at war with interlopers from another interstellar colony, the Ghosts, for possession of Fomalhaut's gas giant planet, Cthuga.

In the damaged and perilous Amazonian rainforest, the precocious Child is being groomed for her predestined role. But control of her story is fraying, and although she is determined to find her own path into the future, others have different plans.

In the war-torn worldlets of Fomalhaut, a librarian, Isak and his assistant, the Horse, are harrowing hells, punishment for a failure they can never live down, when they are given a new mission. The Library of Worlds has been compromised by a deep, mysterious conspiracy; as Isak and the Horse attempt to unravel it, they're drawn into the final battle for Cthuga.

And aboard a vast scientific project floating in Cthuga's atmosphere, a Quick slave, Ori, is snared in the plans of an eccentric genius. As the Ghosts mount their final assault on Cthuga, she discovers that she hold the key that determines the outcome of the war.

Three lives. Three stories that slowly draw together. And at their intersection is the mystery at the heart of Cthuga. Something dangerous and powerful. Something that may not only shape the future of humanity, but may also give control over the shape of its past.

McAuley is one of Britain's finest exponents of hard SF, and this series is fast becoming essential reading for the enthusiast. The third volume in the Quiet War sequence is set more than 1,000 years after the events of the first two novels and follows humanity's diaspora to the star of Fomalhaut. It's a strange environment whose inhabitants are even stranger, radically altered humans who divide themselves into the Quick and the True – and the Ghosts, an enigmatic race of post-humans whose conflict with the Quick and the True plays itself out over the course of the novel. McAuley expertly handles a complex storyline, burying twists in a narrative that is politically aware and scientifically literate, and balances technological detail with thrilling set-pieces. The Guardian

'A dense, complex, intriguing book that will appeal to fans of Ian M Banks' Culture novels, with as much to say about the battle of the sexes as it does about immortality.' SFX

'Paul McAuley's latest novel is a challenging and ultimately satisfying story, one that will reward close attention and repeat readings... Simply put, this book is science fiction at its very best.' Cosmos Magazine

'THIS is what science fiction is all about.'

'In the Mouth of the Whale ... delivered what I expected and more and shows Paul McAuley at the top of his game. I would love more in this superbly rendered universe as I think there is a lot of scope for stories of humanity's clades and destiny as imagined by a modern master of science fiction.' Fantasy Book Critic

Available in mass-market paperback, hardback, and as an ebook from Amazon and iTunes.

Writing In The Mouth of the Whale


Chaper 1 Chapter 2 Chapter 3 Chapter 4

Chapter 5 Chapter 6 Chapter 7 Chapter 8

Chapter 9 Chapter 10 Chapter 11 Chapter12