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The Miocene Arrow [Hardcover]

Sean Mcmullen
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 39.95 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Book Description

Aug. 19 2000 Greatwinter Trilogy (Book 2)
Sean McMullen is one of the hottest new writers working today. He is a three-time winner of the Ditmar Award in his native Australia, and has also won that country's Aurealis Award. His last novel, Souls in the Great Machine, began the steampunk saga of Greatwinter and garnered him much critical acclaim. The Miocene Arrow continues McMullen's story of a far-future Earth flung back to its pre-technological roots.

Ultra-light American diesel gunwings can hold their own against Australian human-powered battle computers and a tram-based net. But they are helpless against the ultimate doomsday machine: The Miocene Arrow.

In a fortieth-century America of ancient kingdoms with opulent courts, hereditary engineering guilds, and rigid class distinction in warfare, a centuries-old balance of power is shattered by a few dozen Australian infiltrators. Against a rich backdrop of war, chivalry, conspiracy, and a diesel-powered arms race, a dangerous secret alliance has formed. Now the unlikely trio of an airlord, an abbess, and a fugitive are joined together in a desperate race against time to stop the Miocene Arrow from being launched--and save the world in the process.

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Product Description

From Library Journal

In the fourth millennium, war looms between the lands once known as America and Australia. As a new airborne weapon, the Miocene Arrow, threatens to rule the skies, assassins and spies seek to uncover its origins and properties. Set in the same postapocalyptic universe as his groundbreaking Souls in the Great Machine, McMullen's latest effort elaborates on the evolution of a strange and, ultimately, mystifying future. Recommended for most sf collections.
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

McMullen transplants his tales of a postapocalyptic fortieth century from Australia to North America. The mysterious Call, which originated down under in Souls in the Great Machine (1999), profoundly affects the Americas, too, physically and socially. Carefully placed tethers and padded walls in three Callhavens in the former U.S. prevent the meager population from making for the sea every few days. In other regions, the Call comes continuously; nothing larger than a terrier can resist it. The other incontrovertible power in peoples' lives is the Sentinels, orbiting satellites that systematically fire on any land or air vehicle larger than 29-and-a-half-feet long. A highly organized, relatively peaceful society exists in the Callhavens; ritual combat between kingdoms is popular, but all-out war is a thing of the past. Then one quiet night on the very edges of the Callscour, a new factor enters the equation: people seemingly unaffected by the Call or the Sentinels. Their origin, agenda, and minuscule physical differences will soon create devastating havoc. With remarkable imagination and insight, McMullen conjures factions, personalities, and plots, including well-placed glimpses of a lost, past America. A complex and lively story, rich with the action and reaction of human treachery, courage, battle-fueled passion, and quiet devotion. Roberta Johnson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars About Time!!! June 24 2003
By David
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you are like me, and have been looking for an exciting, original and interesting Sci-Fi series for quite some time now, then I whole heartedly encourage you to read this book and the others in this series as well. If you are a fan of the various Star Wars books and other soft Sci-Fi, you best go back to scraping your pennies together so you can buy the next Harry Potter book or something as this book won't be up your alley.
The second book of the Great Winter Trilogy should not be read without reading the first, if only for the fact that you will have deprived yourself of some of the character development and the background for this novel. I don't see how this book can stand on it's own. Read, "Souls in the Great Machine" first and you'll enjoy this one all the better.
These books are original, interesting and have a way of hooking you into them. It's been a long time since I've read a Sci Fi book that has been this much FUN to read. Like other reviewers, I don't know why this book is not getting the attention it deserves. Both books are certainly better then anything that has won the Hugo or Nebula in the past 10 years and I encourage anyone with a love of Science Fiction to read McMullen's work. Don't let the fact that he's Australian stop you, which is the only conceivable reason that I can think of that has stopped this series from getting the praise it richly deserves. Oh, that and the fact that most book stores only stock Star Wars and Star Trek knock offs and people who love those books probably wouldn't get McMullen. Read and enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sequel, more interesting ideas May 20 2003
By Joe
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sean McMullen is perhaps the most innovative scifi-adventure writer to come onto the shelves (in the U.S.) in the last decade. Souls In the Great Machine was incredibly innovative, with some very creative and realistic ways of dealing with his postapocalyptic nightmare world. This novel, the sequel to Souls, did not quite reach that level of creativity and innovation, but nonetheless was still very creative and interesting. His obvious knowledge of early industrial revolution technology and culture makes this series very fun to read, and he continues to find interesting ways to re-create lost or impossible technology, including airplanes in this new installment to the series.
The feudal society that he develops for the peoples of the Rocky Mountain region of the former U.S.A. is an interesting counterpoint to the protodemocratic Greek and Chinese influenced civilization he envisions in Australia. To some extent the characters that carry over from one book to the next seem rather artificial, as if he had written these books separately at one point and then decided to make them a series (he may have -- several books published in Australia have similar names, and I suspect are what became this series.) Nonetheless, I was amused by the continued antics of everyone's favourite lady's ..., and his Lady the former abbess.
Overall, this series is highly entertaining and full of interesting concepts. Don't expect the level of innovation he has in Souls, but nonetheless expect a very creative and fun story with some deeper meanings and philosophical experiments throughout. Would interest a fan of John Barnes, Iain Banks, or even Larry Niven.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spellblinding Sequel to Masterpiece Souls Jan. 9 2002
Once again, Sean McMullen proves that he can accomplish both character development, fantastic world-making, and still tell an excellent story filled with romance, loyalty, betrayal, chivalry, civil rights, death, life, and decision. The focus characters, Serjon Feydamor, unlikely hero of a tragic war, and Bronlar, Serjon's misplaced love, are developed so richly that the reader can not help but be moved when something unfortunate comes between the two. The story drew me in so deeply that I did not want to leave the fantasy. I felt like I owed something to the characters, to their lives, to keep on reading, and watch as teh beautiful story unfolds.
The book is satisfying in every respect. McMullen is an author who should be hailed as one of the top Science Fiction writers of our time. Let McMullen take you on a romance through the skies in "The Miocene Arrow" - buy and read this book!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Miocene Arrow Nov. 26 2001
During the last two weeks I have read both this book and it's predecessor in this series. I appreciated that the author incorporated technology which was both plausible and central to the theme of the story. The principle characters in the story are not one-dimensional individuals, but like most humans have strengths and weaknesses ... everything does not work out perfectly for them all the time. A very good story, I'm glad my son discovered this series for us to enjoy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing sf action saga April 22 2001
By the middle of the fortieth century, the Call continues its domination of animal life in North America by hypnotizing humans to die like lemurs into the oceans. Few spots remain that can deal with the Call's mysterious siren. Over the centuries, Mounthaven has formed a chivalrous society to survive more than just the passing Call. Air duels between honorable men is how disputes are settled.
The relationships between the Mouthaven kingdom changes when a group arrives that can resist the Call. These genetically engineered Aviads want to destroy the humans. Their plan is to use the pettiness of the users of the kingdoms to fight one another outside the acceptable code of honor. Ultimately this group of invaders hopes to raise the level of the Call to penetrate even the oasis that allow some survivability. A small group led by John Glasken must save the world before Mounthaven becomes overwhelmed with a disastrous civil war.
THE MIOCENE ARROW continues with the same post-apocalyptic world originally established in the SOULS IN THE GREAT MACHINE. The story line is as complex as science fiction seems to get and needs time to form, but once it does the plot never looks back. John and his weird band of heroes are a wonderful team while the villainous but clever Machiavellian invaders are treated more like cannon fodder by author Sean McMullen. Still his latest tale is an entertaining look at a frightening future that science fiction readers and some fantasy fans will find quite intriguing.

Harriet Klausner
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars An absorbing sf action saga
By the middle of the fortieth century, the Call continues its domination of animal life in North America by hypnotizing humans to die like lemurs into the oceans. Read more
Published on April 22 2001 by Harriet Klausner
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Adventure
'The Miocene Arrow' is the next step in what should be a burgeoning career for Australian Sean McMullen. McMullen is relatively new to U.S. Read more
Published on April 19 2001 by Michael Scott
3.0 out of 5 stars War is such an ugly business
Miocene Arrow has a smaller scope than Souls, and much better focus, so you don't feel adrift half way through. Read more
Published on Jan. 22 2001
4.0 out of 5 stars better than precursor
I read the second book based on the concepts (rather than the characterization, plot or other properties) of the first in the series. Read more
Published on Jan. 20 2001 by CuriousGeorge
3.0 out of 5 stars Moderately enjoyable
Disappointing sequel to the excellent "Souls in the Great Machine." The book goes on and on, repeating the same themes again and again (to wit, jealousy, boredom,... Read more
Published on Jan. 15 2001 by omarbukka
4.0 out of 5 stars Even better than its precursor!
McMullen's sequel to Souls in the Great Machine is even more enjoyable than its predecessor (although you should read Souls first to fully enjoy this one). Read more
Published on Jan. 13 2001 by Michael Rawdon
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable Future History
This is a very good sequel to McMullen's Souls in the Great Machine. That book, set in a very interesting post-apocalypse world, is one of the more imaginative future histories of... Read more
Published on Oct. 8 2000 by R. Albin
4.0 out of 5 stars The Miocene Arrow
Sean McMullen, winner of 3 Ditmars and an Aurealis award for Best SF novel in his home Australia, is definitely one of the best and brightest new stars in the field of today's SF. Read more
Published on Sept. 30 2000 by Gary S. Potter
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