The great Calculor of Libris was forced to watch as Overmayor Zarvora had four of its components lined up against a wall and shot for negligence. Thereafter, its calculations were free from errors, and that was just as well-for only this strangest of calculating machines and its two thousand enslaved components could save the world from a new ice age.
And all the while a faint mirrorsun hangs in the night sky, warning of the cold to come.
In Sean McMullen's glittering, dynamic, and exotic world two millennia from now, there is no more electricity, wind engines are leading-edge technology, librarians fight duels to settle disputes, steam power is banned by every major religion, and a mysterious siren "Call" lures people to their death. Nevertheless, the brilliant and ruthless Zarvora intends to start a war in space against inconceivably ancient nuclear battle stations.
Unbeknownst to Zarvora, however, the greatest threat to humanity is neither a machine nor a force but her demented and implacable enemy Lemorel, who has resurrected an obscene and evil concept from the distant past: Total War.
"Souls in the Great Machine" is the first volume of Sean McMullen's brilliant future history of the world of Greatwinter
"A stunning idea--the Calculator's as real as if McMullen had built it in his backyard--with an utterly convincing setting, breathtaking developments, and a captivating narrative." --Kirkus Reviews (pointer review)
"Decidedly original, sometimes whimsical, and captivating, this is a genuine tour de force." --Booklist (starred review)
"Fast-paced and amusing, McMullen's latest novel is an action-packed adventure in the tradition of world-building SF." --Publishers Weekly
"I don't know how many years of practice Sean McMullen has had, but he writes like his own expert....A great machine in concept, and a great book in the reading. Highly recommended." --San Diego Union-Tribune
"This book gives us one of the most distinctive and unforgettable Down Under futures ever created." --The Bulletin