Orphans of Chaos
By John C. Wright
(Tor Books, Hardcover, 9780765311313, 320pp.)
Publication Date: October 20, 2005
Other Editions of This Title: Mass Market Paperback
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John C. Wright burst onto the SF scene with the Golden Age trilogy. His next project was the ambitious fantasy sequence, The Last Guardians of Everness.
Wright’s new fantasy is a tale about five orphans raised in a strict British boarding school who begin to discover that they may not be human beings. The students at the school do not age, while the world around them does.
The children begin to make sinister discoveries about themselves. Amelia is apparently a fourth-dimensional being; Victor is a synthetic man who can control the molecular arrangement of matter around him; Vanity can find secret passageways through solid walls where none had previously been; Colin is a psychic; Quentin is a warlock. Each power comes from a different paradigm or view of the inexplicable universe: and they should not be able to co-exist under the same laws of nature. Why is it that they can?
The orphans have been kidnapped from their true parents, robbed of their powers, and raised in ignorance by super-beings no more human than they are: pagan gods or fairy-queens, Cyclopes, sea-monsters, witches, or things even stranger than this. The children must experiment with, and learn to control, their strange abilities in order to escape their captors.
JOHN C. WRIGHT, an attorney turned SF and fantasy writer, has published short fiction in Asimovs SF and elsewhere. This is his second fantasy novel, after The Last Guardian of Everness and the SF trilogy, The Golden Age.
Praise for The Last Guardian of Everness
"At times it feels like an arch collaboration between Samuel Beckett (for comic Godot despair) and Gilbert & Sullivan (pirate silliness), working with Lewis Carroll and J. M. Barrie . . . Yet Wright can approach the true uncanny unease, fearful ugliness, and lucent beauty of dream. Then the tale . . . wings forward with inventive impulse, genuinely captivating, a little reminiscent of Orson Scott Card's strangely successful reworking of Russian folklore, Enchantment. . . . [it] is by turns ingenious, absurd, disturbing, elevated, and even moving."
"Already regarded as one of the best science fiction writers of the last decade for his stirring Golden Age trilogy, John C. Wright proves he has the right stuff to write exciting modern day epic fantasy with the terrific The Last Guardian of Everness."
-Midwest Book Review
"The author of The Golden Age begins a new series set in the world of today but tinged with the world of fairy and myth. For most fantasy collections."
"Fans of John C. Wright's SF trilogy will welcome his thought-provoking fantasy debut."
Praise for The Golden Transcendence
"Concluding the extraordinary far-future space opera begun with The Golden Age (2002) and continued with The Phoenix Exultant . . . [The Golden Transcendence is] set forth with such effortless intelligence and confident verisimilitude that the author might be a denizen of the remote future, reporting back to us in the distant past."
"John C. Wright sends his hero on a brilliant and surreally glittering voyage like a Sinbad of the distant future."
"A mind-bending Technicolor tale straying into future myth with bags of sensawunda, and no shortage of the weird."
Praise for The Phoenix Exultant
"This is as epic a saga as you're likely to get . . . realized here with an attention to detail and plausibility that set it in a class of its own."
"John Wright is a stunning new talent. His vivid worlds are filled with wonder and dread, tension and hope."
--David Brin, author of Kiln People
"Wright's extraordinary far-future space opera continues. . . . Witty, inventive, labyrinthine, with a life-sized cast, Wright's creation - something like Alexander Jablokov meets Charles Sheffield, with a dash of Gene Wolfe - grows steadily more addictive."
-Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
Praise for The Golden Age
"Bursting with kaleidoscopic imagery, Wright's first novel chronicles the quest of a far-future everyman in his journey of self-discovery. Reminiscent of the panoramic novels of Arthur C. Clarke, Iain Banks, and Jack Vance, this allegorical space opera belongs in most SF collections."
"Dazzling . . . Wright may be this fledgling century's most important new SF talent."
--Publishers Weekly (starred review)
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