Shrine of Stars Third Book of Confluence Paul J. McAuley is Winner of the Arthur C.Clarke Award
Ten million years in the future, humans have evolved into the God-like Preservers and have fled the Universe, but are still worshipped by those servant races they raised to intelligence and gifted the artificial world of Confluence.
As a baby, Yama was cast up on the shores of Confluence's Great River. He has discovered that he is the last of the powerful and mysterious Builders, and now travels downriver, through the battlefields of a civil war, in search of his origins. Sought by both sides and supporting neither, his own fate is inextricably linked with that of Confluence itself. Yama must find the strength to fight not only his enemies without, but also the enemy within, for Yama has been infected by a machine intelligence bent on harnessing the powers he has inherited from his bloodline. '[A] lusciously scenic quest for the past.' Daily Telegraph
'This is a trilogy that you will want pinned down to the board. This is magic.' Interzone
’A marvellously sustained cosmogonic romance of the far future - where whole galaxies engage in Stapledonian dances at the behest of the trans-human Preservers.' John Clute, SF Weekly
'Absolutely unmissable.' Line 0ne
Paperback - Vista (1998)
Child of the River First Book of Confluence: the first volume of an epic trilogy exploring a vast, ancient world and the ultimate fate of intelligent life in the universe.
Confluence, an artificial world orbiting an obscure star beyond the edge of the galaxy, a flat strip twenty thousand kilometres long, bounded on one side by the Rim Mountains, on the other by the Great River. It is home to thousands of alien races shaped and raised to intelligence by god-like descendants of humanity who long ago retreated from the universe into an artificial Black Hole. Abandoned by its creators, Confluence's stagnant civilization is threatened by the heresies of the last humans, members of a five-million-year-old expedition to the neighbouring galaxy.
As a baby, Yama was found on the breast of a' dead woman in a white boat floating on the Great River. Raised by a bureaucrat in an obscure town in the midst of a disused metropolis, Yama attracts the attention of schemers who have discovered that he has the ability to control the machines that maintain the fabric of the world. In order to reconcile his human nature with his dangerous powers, Yama must journey to his ancient capital of Confluence. He must unravel the riddle of his birth before he can understand whether he is to the saviour of Confluence - or its nemesis.
Paul McAuley is generally considered to be one of Britain's hippest young science fiction writers. His first novel four Hundred Billion Stars won the Philip K Dick Award and he has been twice shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award before winning with Fairyland. A former research biologist for the University of St. Andrews, he now lives in London. 'Slick, hip and original' Tribune
'One of the more interesting series of the next few years' the Good Book Guide
'McAuley is part of a spearhead of writers who for pure imagination, hipness, vision and fun have made Britain the Memphis Sun Records of SF... Like great science fiction should do, it says more about our world through a vision of the future.' Mark Thomas, Mail On Sunday
'If McAuley can maintain this combination of storytelling, imagination and skilful writing, the Confluence trilogy may well be destined to become a classic' - SFX