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A 1995 novel of the near future which won the Arthur C. Clarke Award (and I think also the BSFA). It's a pessimistic take on the post-nanotech future, particularly convincing on the relationship between high-tech computing and low-tech field combat in a very recognisable near-future Albania (yep, I've stayed in that hotel too).

I thought the settings were very convincing if rather gloomy - 1994-95 saw the height of the Bosnian conflict, and from that perspective McAuley's Balkans, mired in conflict for decades, would have seemed entirely plausible. Unfortunately I couldn't quite bring myself to care much about the characters, but I did admire the scenery.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
nancylebov
Sep. 29th, 2009 04:54 pm (UTC)
I recommend McAuley's Pasquale's Angel-- the industrial revolution happens in Renaissance Italy. It's a cheerier book, and Machiavelli is a muckraking reporter.
peteyoung
Sep. 29th, 2009 05:11 pm (UTC)
I've also found McAuley's scenery to be very convincing. The feel of Africa he puts across in White Devils is extraordinarily realistic, even though he's never set foot on the continent.
leedy
Sep. 30th, 2009 11:22 am (UTC)
I read that earlier this year: agree that the characters were a bit uninvolving, but I really really liked the setting.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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