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The Machinery of Light Paperback – May 25, 2010

3.4 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Autumn Rain Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The 22nd century's WWIII crashes to an unexpected end in this slam-bang conclusion to Williams's Autumn Rain trilogy (after 2008's The Mirrored Heavens and 2009's The Burning Skies). The Russia- and China-led Eurasian Alliance uses two heretofore secret megaspaceships to blast the U.S. and bring the American space fleet to its knees, while the spooky commando triads of Autumn Rain carry out desperate clandestine maneuvers. At the focus of the bloody action is Claire Haskell, the Manilishi, a posthuman supercomputer/cyborg able to implement the theories of her designer Matthew Sinclair, who intends to become God via experiments with teleportation, telepathy, and time travel. Williams's readers will eagerly devour this cyberpunk feeding frenzy, long on dizzying action and sinister tangled politics, but newcomers to the series will struggle with the shallow characterizations and overdoses of X-rated vocabulary. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

A former programmer for the Homeworld videogame series and a graduate of the Clarion workshop, David J. Williams lives in Washington, D.C. The Mirrored Heavens was his first novel.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Spectra (May 25, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553385437
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553385434
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,315,706 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David J. Williams is a science fiction writer who currently lives in Washington D.C. Previously he worked on the HOMEWORLD series of video games.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Williams' first two books The Mirrored Heavens and The Burning Skies were incredible works. I wondered whether Williams was setting himself up for an impossible act to follow and fizzle on the final installment--like so many trilogies seem to eventually do. But the finale of Williams' Autumn Rain trilogy delivers, with one of the most mindblowing endings I've ever read in science fiction. Questions are answered. And the future seems far more likely as told by Williams in The Machinery of Light than I'd like to believe. (I'm looking for bunkers in Montana this weekend!) Better yet, and particularly refreshing as I think about the Lost finale, he ties up all loose ends and answers all our questions. Just be prepared for the answers to the questions you ask. Set against the backdrop of an all-out war between Earth's two superpowers, this book moves fast and reads like a movie. My only regret is that now it's all over and there's no faux-encore coming folks. It's done and it's all here.
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Format: Paperback
In 2110, the assassination of the American President Harrison leads to a military takeover of the United States. Ignoring the Treaty of Zurich of 2105, the American Generals seize an opportunity and quickly launch an attack against the Eurasian Alliance led by the Russians and Chinese in an attempt to destroy their space-aerial defenses. WW III has been lunched (See The Mirrored Heavens and The Burning Skies).

The Eurasian Alliance launches the top secret mega-spaceships to destroy the enemy and its fleet. Meanwhile the Autumn Rain commando unit begins a seemingly suicidal desperate maneuver on Luna just ahead of the Eurasian joint fleet but behind the squad's creator. At the same time super cyborg Claire Haskell the Manilishi post-human implements the programming of her designer-creator Matthew Sinclair. He is several steps closer to achieving his goal as he has deployed project Armageddon.

Fasten your seat belts as the latest dystopian military science fiction thriller starts at hyperspeed and accelerates from there. The action overwhelms the key characters, but no one (except bewildered stunned first time riders) will care as The Machinery of Light is an exhilarating action-packed futuristic twister in which reality is blurred at best. Readers will appreciate David J. Williams' fast-paced but extremely grim twenty-second century earth-moon sphere of operations.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Paperback
David Williams is somewhat of a genius when it comes to concocting plots. This has been evident from the first 2 volumes of the Autumn Rain trilogy Mirrored Heavens and Burning Skies. When both of them ended with cliffhanger-ish situations it made the wait for the last book The Machinery of Light a bit hard.

The Machinery of Light begins with Claire or Manilishi (as she's known now by everyone). It outlines the main conspirators behind the assassination of the US president Andrew Harrison, namely his Infocomm and Spacecomm heads Stephanie Montrose and Jharek Szilard who now have plans for each other but must wittingly galvanize their forces and fight off the Eurasian contingent.

Amidst all of this an Autum Rain devotee returns and is revealed to readers. This might be someone whom you had your doubts about since the latter 1/3rd of "Burning Skies". Seb Linehan manages to survive the end of the burning Skies and finds himself in some hot water (for lack of a better term). Leo Sarmax and Lyle Spencer seek to terminate a fugitive and find that their task might me harder than they expect.

All the main characters from the previous 2 books return for this trilogy ender. Many secrets are also revealed and the action just never seems to end following a trend from the previous books. David Williams has always said that the last book would be the actual end and would resolve all questions about the saga and he definitely stays true to his word. Not to give away details about the ending of this novel, but it was something totally unexpected. Sure there were clues interspersed but the climax is something which couldn't have been easily predicted. The end was what gave this book and the trilogy something of a spectacular read for myself.

David J.
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Lets start off first and note that this is the final book of the Autumn Rain Trilogy. Thus, if you have not read The Mirrored Heavens and The Burning Skies already, you should go do that now. If you have already read those, than you already have a fair understanding of what this trilogy is made up of. Fast, brutal action and more plot twists and double crosses than anyone should be tasked with keeping track of.

The Machinery of Light picks up where The Burning Skies left off. The World is on the very brink of World War III and our protagonists are scattered all over the Earth-Moon system. As the final war kicks off, the picture slowly starts to clear that everything has been orchestrated to get here. I won't go into details on the plot here, but will state that this book most assuredly concludes the series. There is no wiggle room to squeeze another book out or dangling plot threads to keep us wondering. This is a true bona fide conclusion that is so rare these days. I can also state that I never even came close to guessing how the endgame would play out. Even with 5 pages to go, I was still left wondering. But in the end, everything is revealed.

I thoroughly enjoyed this series. There are some things that potential readers should know. As a whole, this is a very bleak outlook on the future of our world. There are very few "happy moments" and in general, I can state unequivocally that I would hate to live in this future. The protagonists are in many ways unlikable human beings. Self serving, manipulative and treacherous.
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