A McMullen Review

Featured Reviews

The Miocene Arrow
Published in Hardcover by Tor Books (August 19, 2000)
Author: Sean McMullen
Average review score:
Combining Fuedalism with High Technology

In the continuing saga of what happens after people and cetaceans combine to destroy the world, the Miocene Arrow tells the story of a group of people sometimes at odds with each other, but more often at odds with the fuedal world that surrounds them. This is a sequal to Souls in the Great Machine.

Through his characters conflicts, internal and external, McMullen provides interesting commentary on honor and duty in conflict with friendship and expediency. One of the other themes that seem to overlay the whole series of books is progress vs. stagnation, with progress winning and stagnation for society getting some editorial help, but failing in the end. This lends McMullen's books a positive character that contributes with the intricate plot and individual character's triumphs towards making this a fun read that leaves you excited about life.

The inventions in the book are great, taking the implications present in the scouring of most of the land while combining limitations on large advanced technology and demonstrating that people will continue to do what they always have, namely adapt to the conditions around them and make progress anyway. This demonstrates the problems inherent in anti-growth social and political positions while giving them all the advantages in the argument.

An excellent book that is fun to read and think about.- Thomas Sewell

Eyes of the Calculor
Published in paperback by Tor Science Fiction (December 7, 2003)
Author: Sean McMullen
Average review score:
How'd you like to be part of a machine?

This book is the sequel to Miocene Arrow and returns more to tie up the plot of the original book in the series, Souls in the Great Machine.

With a return to focusing on power politics in a fuedal society, McMullen exposes many of it's characteristics for his readers. His characters and plot are again superb.

This book tells more of the story of a few individuals, rather than their society, although that theme continues as well. One of the keys to this work is the idea that individuals working together can make a huge difference. After all, isn't history really a history of individuals as its basic component?

I would recommend McMullen's books to anyone interested in a thought-provoking and fun read. - Thomas Sewell