Beckett examines the interface between human and machine, rationalism and the religious impulse, with sparse prose and acute social commentary of a latter-day Orwell --Guardian Let's waste no time: this book is incredible --Interzone One of the most accomplished novel debuts to attract my attention in some time... A triumph --Asimov's Should be on the radar of anyone who professes concern for science fiction as a literary form --Alastair Reynolds
Illyria is a scientific utopia, an enclave of logic and reason founded off the Greek coast in the mid-twenty first century as a refuge from the Reaction, a wave of religious fundamentalism sweeping the planet. Yet to George Simling, first generation son of a former geneticist who was left emotionally and psychically crippled by the persecution she encountered in her native Chicago, science-dominated Illyria is becoming as closed-minded and stifling as the religion-dominated world outside ...The Holy Machine is Chris Beckett's first novel. As well as being a story about love, adventure and a young man learning to mature and face the world, it deals with a question that is all too easily forgotten or glibly answered in science fiction: what happens to the soul, to beauty, to morality, in the absence of God?
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