An SF odyssey: myth, circumstance and a viral kiss alter the life-path of Wei Lee from mortal man to a reluctant deity - the newly anointed saviour of the Red Planet.
Mars, 600 years in the future, is dying.
Five hundred years after the Chinese conquered the Red Planet, the great work of terraforming is failing. The human-machine Consensus of Earth had persuaded the AI Emperor to follow the Golden Path into a vast virtual reality universe, leaving behind an ungoverned planet swept by hunger riots and the beginnings of civil war.
Enter Wei Lee, a lowly itinerant agricultural technician: rock 'n' roll fan, dupe, holy fool - and unlikely Messiah. After stumbling on an anarchist pilot hiding near the wreckage of her spacecraft, he's drawn into a revolutionary plot that has been spinning for decades. With the help of a ghost, the broadcasts of the King of the Cats, a Yankee yak herder, and a little Girl God, Lee travels across the badlands, swampy waterways and vast dust seas to a showdown at the summit of the biggest volcano in the Solar System. Not even the God-like Consensus can predict the outcome of his struggle to define his own destiny . . .
Epic in scope, Red Dust's spectacular, fast-paced story brilliantly brings to life the planet that has captured our imagination like no other.
Paul McAuley's first novel won the PHILIP K. DICK AWARD and he has gone on to win almost all of the major awards in the field. For many years a research biologist, he now writes full-time. He lives in London. You can find his blog at: http://www.unlikelyworlds.blogspot.com.