Twenty-third century Earth, ravaged by climate change, looks backwards to the holy ideal of a pre-industrial Eden. Political power has been grabbed by a few powerful families and their green saints. Millions of people are imprisoned in teeming cities; millions more labour on pharaonic projects to rebuild ruined ecosystems.
On the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, the Outers, descendants of refugees from Earth's repressive regimes, have constructed a wild variety of self-sufficient cities and settlements: scientific utopias crammed with exuberant creations of the genetic arts; the last outposts of every kind of democratic tradition.
The fragile detente between the Outer cities and the dynasties of Earth is threatened by the ambitions of the rising generation of Outers, who want to break free of their cosy, inward-looking pocket paradises, colonise the rest of the Solar System, and drive human evolution in a hundred new directions. On Earth, many demand pre-emptive action against the Outers before it's too late; others want to exploit the talents of their scientists and gene wizards. Amid campaigns for peace and reconciliation, political machinations, crude displays of military might, and espionage by cunningly wrought agents, the two branches of humanity edge towards war . . .
From the prison cities of Earth to the scrupulously realised landscapes of the moons of Jupiter and Saturn, The Quiet War's exotic, fast-paced space opera turns on a single question: who decides what it means to be human?
'This book is quietly brilliant. It will probably prove to bequietlythe best science fiction novel of the year; certainly it's the best I've yet read. ' Adam Roberts
'A deft fusion of modern-as-tomorrow hard SF space opera, slam-bang thriller (with cutting-edge science and some breathlessly cool action sequences) and a superbly intelligent and timely examination of society sliding over the brink into war. Heroes and villains aplenty populate this teeming, multifaceted novel, and in Macy Minnot - a small fish caught up in the flow of massive, world-shaking events - McAuley gives us his most engaging and likable heroine to date.' Alastair Reynolds
'An impressively realised tale of competing ideologies that tackles pertinent questions. This is big, clever science fiction.' BBC Focus Magazine
'The author creates a magnificent sense of gravitas and wonder as he describes conflict. The ideas expounded are genuinely fascinating and well thought out. The stage is set for war and it is beautifully handled.' Sci-Fi Now
'THE QUIET WAR is an epic of hard science, politics, econimics and human evolution, driven by a pacy narrative and vivid characters.' Stephen Baxter
'Few writers conjure the future as convincingly as McAuley: his latest novel deftly combines bold characterisation, a thorough understanding of political complexity, and excellent science.' The Guardian
The Quiet War is available in trade paperback and hardback.
Extracts: Chapter One, Chapter Two,Chapter Three, Chapter Four(i), Chapter Four(ii), Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8, Chapter 9