Ancients of Days by Paul J. McAuley
The Second Book of Confluence

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On an artificial world created and seeded with ten thousand bloodlines by the long-vanished Preservers, young Yama's ancestry is unique, for he appears to be the last remaining scion of the Builders, closest of all races to the worshipped architects of Confluence. And on a day near the end of the world, Yama must finally acknowledge the power he neither anticipated nor desires.

In the dust of many crumbling bureaucracies, Yama searches for an identity and a history-awed and fearful of his ever-growing capacity to awaken the terrible machines of destruction that his world's absent gods left slumbering. To the common folk-the unshaped and aboriginal-he is the fulfillment of age-old prophecies. To the functionaries of the Department of Indigenous Affairs, he is a weapon to be molded and used in the bloody civil war raging at the planet's midpoint-a seemingly endless battle that pits those who revere the Preservers' laws against the dangerous Heretics who would obliterate all antiquated values and codes of conduct.

But there are still others who have taken notice of Yama as he pursues the hidden secrets of his past. Intelligent powers older than the Builders-as old, perhaps, as the Preservers themselves -are pursuing Yama in turn. And they will stop at nothing to control his present-and, as a result, the future of everything that lives-in anticipation of the ultimate triumph of the Ancients of Days.


About Paul J. McAuley

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Paul McAuley was born in England on St George's Day 1955. He has worked as a research biologist in various universities, including Oxford and UCLA, and for six years was a lecturer in botany at St Andrews University. The first short story he ever finished was accepted by the American magazine Worlds of If, but the magazine folded before publishing it and he took this as a hint to concentrate on an academic career instead. He started writing again during a period as a resident alien in Los Angeles, and is now a full time writer. His first novel, "Four Hundred Billion Stars," won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award, and fifth, "Fairyland," won the 1995 Arthur C. Clarke and John W. Campbell Awards. His other novels include "Of the Fall, Eternal Light, Red Dust, Pasquale's Angel," the three books of "Confluence, Child of the River, Ancients of Days, "and "Shrine of Stars, The Secret of Life, Whole Wide World," and the forthcoming White Devils. He has also published two collections of short stories, "The King of the Hill," and "The Invisible Country," A Doctor Who novella, the "Eye of the Tyger," is due from Telos Books in November 2003, forty years after the author was scared behind the couch by the Daleks, and a third short story collection, "Little Machines" will be published by PS Publishing in 2004. He lives in North London.
Published January 1, 1999 by Avon Books. 386 pages
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Action & Adventure, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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