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Fairyland Paperback – January 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Gollancz; paperback / softback edition (2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575086580
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575086586
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,541,291 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Paul McAuley's first novel won the Philip K. Dick Award, and he has gone on to win almost all of the major awards in the field. For many years a research biologist, he now writes full-time. McAuley's novel The Quiet War made several "best of the year" lists, including SF Site's Reader's Choice Top 10 SF and Fantasy Books of 2009. He lives in London. Visit him online at unlikelyworlds.blogspot.com .

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Michael Battaglia on July 12, 2001
Format: Paperback
The scenes taking place in a far future Eurodisney basically made the book for me, McAuley's vision of a rundown and ramshackle former childrens paradise being changed into a place of forboding evil is probably one of the strongest SF images of the last five years or so . . . and the best part is that the book is about much more than that. McAuley is one of those rare writers that refuses to do the same trick over and over again (much like the highly recommended Ian Banks), and this book is no exception. In a not too distant future, McAuley imagines a gritty world with tons of throwaway details and some extrapolation of technology, one of those being "dolls" basically soulless little people. When a maker of designer drugs gets involved with a young girl who wishes to give the dolls sentience, he succeeds but the results aren't quite what anyone expected. McAuley's writing is densely descriptive and has an urgency that fits the story well, the plot moves forward steadily and with increasing interest as events start to pile on each others. He has this habit of starting a section by introducing people who are completely new to the story and then going with them for a bit, while this serves to give us other views of the situation, it also has the effect of sometimes slowing the plot down for a bit while you try to process everything. Still, his world is beautifully rendered with plenty to keep even casual readers interested and lots of other ideas and extras that serve to enhance his reputation as one of the more fascinating SF new writers to come along the pipeline in a while.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Frances Huntington on July 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have read a few of the books by this gent and to my way of thinking, this is the best. Published in 1995, it seems that everybody else is catching up with it now. Alastair Reynolds has written of indoctrinal viruses, but did they first appear in fiction between these covers?
At the start we meet Alex Sharkey, ex-con, nuaghty boy, but no ogre, no monster. Young Mr Sharkey is mixed up with something hitech that he cooks up on the sly, something that is about to become illegal. Then he meets the Little Miss and everything changes. Alex becomes a target who survives by moving. And Alex is not the old Alex anymore. The old Alex has already died and woken back to a new life under heavy manners.
Cut to years later in gay Paree. Alex is treks through an altered Europe, looking for the Little Miss, fomenting Revolution, fighting for his own life and those of his confederates. The book throw off fountains of virtual reality, biological technology, references to exotic Chemistry and Physics, the nuts and bolts of Cyberpunk. There is a difference. I don't remember Gibson making much of Biology.
Ever heard of George Turner? I'll excuse you if you haven't. He was the finest SF writer Australia ever produced. He said that in the future there would be more horrors produced by Biology than anything else and here McAuley proves him right. The artificial people, the Fairies, he creates and inserts into the world are Capek's robots, a race of servants who revolt and take over, change themselves and us, move the bottom rail to the top as the slave becomes the master. Think of the huge breakthroughs we might be on the verge of and ask how could they be misued.
Alex Sharkey pursues Fairyland, Utopia, his Little Miss, and it is all like being stretched on the rack.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By flying-monkey on January 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
There's nothing quite like 'Fairyland'. It's unneven in terms of its construction and character development, but more than makes up for it by the intensity of vision displayed by MacAuley. He has shown in his short fiction (see King of the Hill) that he is a master of the art of exploring the darkest recessess of our mythology (this is Brothers Grimm territory not Hans Christian Anderson!), and blending it into our worst imaginings about the future. Fairyland is a triumphant culmination of this theme- a high-tech future where the past is an ever-present nightmare. This is best illustrated by the inhuman fairies' capture of the artificial 'magic kingdom' of Eurodisney, turning it into something to be feared and avoided as the source of evil. Like Gibson on magic mushrooms. Brilliant!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By doomsdayer520 HALL OF FAME on December 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
Don't let this novel's fey title fool you. This is actually a chilling near-future dystopia tale about nanotechnology and genetic engineering running amuck, with some remarkable ideas by McCauley that give you the very uncomfortable impression that they could possibly come true some day. Psychological plagues are spreading throughout the human population through the use of microscopic "fembots" that can alter behavior and personalities, and these are traded like illicit substances and used for psycho-warfare and manipulation. Meanwhile, genetic engineering has resulted in semi-intelligent "dolls" used for human service and amusement. The two processes have come together to produce a new species of intelligent dolls called "fairies" who are being manipulated by artificial intelligence constructs to take over the world (creating their own "fairyland") and eliminate their human creators. This all culminates in a bizarrely psychoactive war in Eastern Europe. McCauley displays great feats of the imagination here, especially through the use of a wasted French theme park (which shall remain nameless) that has become a festering shantytown and breeding ground for inhuman revolutionaries. This novel is a bit confusing with all its subplots and ephemeral characters, but you can't deny that McCauley has come up with some of the most intriguing ideas in recent sci-fi. [~doomsdayer520~]
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