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Recording Angel

The Book of Confluence

Paul J. McAuley

This novelette originally appeared in the anthology New Legends (1995), edited by Greg Bear and Martin H. Greenberg, and was reprinted on infinity plus, Februari 2000. It can also be found in the anthologies The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirteenth Annual Collection (1996), edited by Gardner Dozois, The Furthest Horizon: SF Adventures to the Far Future (2000), also edited by Dozois, and The Space Opera Renaissance (2006), edited by David G. Hartwell and Kathryn Kramer. The story is included in the collections The Invisible Country (1996) and A Very British History (2013).

Read the full story for free at Infinity Plus.

Child of the River

The Book of Confluence: Book 1

Paul J. McAuley

An Arthur C. Clarke and John W. Campbell Memorial Award-winner for his novel Fairyland, Paul J. McAuley designs and fabricates remarkably intricate worlds. He builds some out of solid bricks of science, some from granite carved from the rich quarry of human history and experience. All are marvelous constructs of invention and thought; enthralling landscapes to wander, explore and lose oneself in.

He offers now a world that stands distinctly apart: a place of savagery, secrets and war; the home of ten thousand extraordinary bloodlines ruled by universal devotion to absent gods; a realm of merchants, mercenaries, ghouls, heretics, bureaucrats and feral machines; a world called Confluence.

Child Of The River is the first book of the end times; the beginning chapter in the final great epic of a mysterious civilization. In it, a singular young man named Yama makes his way from a ghostly city of the dead to a metropolis of living wonders, and through the labyrinthine country of Confluence.

Ancients of Days

The Book of Confluence: Book 2

Paul J. McAuley

On an artificial world created and seeded with ten thousand bloodlines by the long-vanished Preservers, young Yama's ancestry is unique, for he appears to be the last remaining scion of the Builders, closest of all races to the worshipped architects of Confluence. And on a day near the end of the world, Yama must finally acknowledge the power he neither anticipated nor desires. In the dust of many crumbling bureaucracies, Yama searches for an identity and a history - awed and fearful of his ever-growing capacity to awaken the terrible machines of destruction that his world's absent gods left slumbering.

To the common folk - the unshaped and aboriginal - he is the fulfillment of age-old prophecies. To the functionaries of the Department of Indigenous Affairs, he is a weapon to be molded and used in the bloody civil war raging at the planet's midpoint - a seemingly endless battle that pits those who revere the Preservers' laws against the dangerous Heretics who would obliterate all antiquated values and codes of conduct. But there are still others who have taken notice of Yama as he pursues the hidden secrets of his past. Intelligent powers older than the Builders - as old, perhaps, as the Preservers themselves - are pursuing Yama in turn. And they will stop at nothing to control his present-and, as a result, the future of everything that lives-in anticipation of the ultimate triumph of the Ancients of Days.

Shrine of Stars

The Book of Confluence: Book 3

Paul J. McAuley

Who would lay time to rest, or raise it up from its tomb?

The Ancients of Days -- humans returned from a long exile in the depths of time and space and history -- brought heresy and doubt to the artificial world of Confluence, and ignited a terrible civil war, of all the varied creatures of Confluence's ten thousand genetically manipulated bloodlines, only young Yama holds the power to end the conflict, for who ever controls him controls the myriad machines of the world. Though now a helpless captive being forged into a weapon of horrific consequence, Yama must win the struggle to reclaim his soul, and complete his search for the true story of his origin -- a story mapped eons before his birth.