Confluence: A Novel

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Dec 16, Alexander Telishev rated it it was amazing Shelves: books. Rather more palatable ruminations on the Wolfe's Book of the New Sun tetralogy rather than the original book itself.


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It poses the same questions, albeit in a more direct fashion, has similar structure and physics, but it arrives to the same answers or disagrees with the Severian's tale in a very different fashion. It'd be worth reading only because of that, but it also has a lot of very interesting and on-point observations.

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Current political turmoil regarding identity, stagnation, progress, co Rather more palatable ruminations on the Wolfe's Book of the New Sun tetralogy rather than the original book itself. Current political turmoil regarding identity, stagnation, progress, collective vs individual were reflected here almost years before they went mainstream.

Also, he strikes at the crux of the trap that various forms of anti-scientific and anti-reason postmodernist ideas present to humanity.


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  8. Here's why - my favourite excerpt: "After that came the long hours of argument in which the pedagogues set out some trivial truth and used it as a wedge to open a door onto a bewildering landscape. It seemed to Pandaras that everything was allowed except for that which was forbidden, but it was difficult to know which was which because there were no rules. The other prisoners had the same problem, and all their objections and expressions of bafflement were met by the same answer.

    You cannot see because you have not been allowed to see. You have not been taught to see. You are all blind men, and I will open your eyes for the first time.

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    It was so simple and so utterly against the self-evident truth of the world that many of the prisoners simply laughed in amazement every time the pedagogues repeated it. It was that the Puranas were not the thoughts of the Preservers, set down to reveal the history of the Universe and to determine the actions of right-thinking men, but were instead a fabrication, a collection of self-justifying lies spewed forth by the victors of a great and ancient war that was not yet over. There would be no resurrection into eternal life at the end of all time and space, because the Preservers had fled from the Universe and could not return.

    They had created Confluence, but they had abandoned it. The fate of each man did not lie within the purlieu of the infinite mercy and power of the Preservers, but in his own hands. Because the Preservers could not return from the Eye, they no longer existed in the Universe, and so each man must be responsible for his own fate.

    There was no hope but that which could be imagined; no destiny but that which could be forged. The pedagogues were more fervent in their unbelief than any of the pillar saints or praise chanters who had devoted their lives to exaltation of the glories of the Preservers. They would allow no argument. This negation was the central fact that could not be denied; from it, all else followed. From the first, Pandaras was quite clear on what the heretics did not believe, but it took him a long time to understand what they did believe, and once he had it, it was so simple that he was amazed that he had failed to grasp it at once.

    Like the woman in the pictures in his master's copy of the Puranas, the heretics wanted to live forever. I received this book for free as part of Goodreads First Reads giveaways. This review may contain spoilers. This did take me a little while to read, but that was because the book was so long, rather than being hard to read. The idea behind this book was particularly intriguing and I felt myself pulled in almost from the start, though I did find it somewhat difficult to picture the particular characters at first. The bloodlines thing made sense as I read more, but it was hard to picture exactly I received this book for free as part of Goodreads First Reads giveaways.

    The bloodlines thing made sense as I read more, but it was hard to picture exactly what type of creature had been introduced to begin with. I did like Yama at first, but kind of went off him a bit as the story progressed and he grew up. By the end of the trilogy, I was finding it somewhat difficult to follow him. I also still have little idea of what exactly was going on in the end - there just seemed to be a very circular thing to it and I think the ending could have been modified to make it a bit more satisfactory.

    I particularly liked Pandaras' character in this book. He grew up in the book as well, but still kept to his true personality. One thing in particular he says really struck a chord with me - and I think it's something I should keep in mind when thinking of certain plots.

    I won't say exactly what he says, but it's in response to a comment made about dying to save the world. I think my favourite part of this book was Pandaras' friendship and utter loyalty towards Yama. I've always liked books where a true friendship forms and it endeared Pandaras to me even more.

    I believed more in Yama's relationship with Tamora than with Derev. I just couldn't really picture the emotions he had for Derev being all that real. The idea of all of the bloodlines descending from animals was a pretty intriguing one. I could recognise some of the species' ancestors, but not all of them. The science fiction aspect worked particularly well, though there was quite a bit that I had trouble understanding.

    The two stories at the end were interesting, but I didn't feel that the second one added a great deal. If it was meant to reveal something new, I didn't see it. I would look at other books by this author in the future. I did find this one an entertaining read and there was an awful lot of world-building that clearly went on with this, even if I did feel it got a bit bogged down with detail at time.

    May 18, Jack rated it liked it Shelves: sf.


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    It does, but sadly lacks the depth of characterization and reflection of Wolfe's masterwork. The protagonist is not terribly sympathetic, and the primary antagonist is mainly a cypher in terms of motivation and abilities. It's not a bad book, but it misses the mark in trying to convey the scale of time and space that it encompasses.

    Nov 09, Brokenlogic rated it liked it. A somewhat disappointing read. It starts strongly and remains fairly gripping but the conclusion feels very frayed. The world building and sense of place and culture do make up for the shortcomings of polite and character though. Awesome I really liked this. It's an interesting take on post humanism and reading it all in one go allowed me to experience the authors vision better. This is one to read! Highly recommended. I found these books heavy going.

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    I was close to putting it down several times but persevered. I think he has written far better. Troy rated it really liked it Feb 02, Tass rated it liked it Jun 04, Zachary rated it it was amazing Mar 19, Don Goudie rated it liked it Nov 11, Lyle Blosser rated it really liked it Aug 13, Dave Sollis rated it it was amazing Sep 18, Tiane rated it liked it May 15, Zandi rated it it was amazing Jun 11, Sebastian rated it really liked it Jun 08, Roxy Nakamura rated it really liked it Jul 27, Riccardo rated it liked it Jan 01, Owen Butler rated it really liked it Oct 23, Matthew rated it really liked it Jun 26, There are no discussion topics on this book yet.

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    Science Fiction. About Paul McAuley. Paul McAuley. Since about , book jackets have given his name as just Paul McAuley. McAuley has also used biotechnology and nanotechnology themes in near-future settings. Since , he has produced several SF-based tech Since about , book jackets have given his name as just Paul McAuley.

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    Dick Award in Fairyland won the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the John W. Other books in the series. Confluence 3 books. Books by Paul McAuley. Trivia About Confluence.

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