“A serious, thoughtful work of futuristic fiction, this haunting novel is a bridge between Huxley’s Brave New World and Frank Herbert’s Dune ” (Publishers Weekly).
Father John Alston has lost his faith but his heart remains strong. Having left behind a computerized, climate-controlled, and disease-free Europe, he administers aid to the destitute of a Borderer town in the Endless City. In the squalor of what was once North Africa, he provides spiritual comfort and basic health care, while preaching a message that he no longer believes. But the recent explosion of a deadly virus has John profoundly troubled and desperately searching for answers.
Suspecting a native plant commonly used as an intoxicant, John decides to investigate further with the help of a brilliant but mysterious Borderer woman. His pursuit of the mystery will set him on a collision course with powerful political realities designed to maintain the status quo of the Third World. On a harrowing journey through a radioactive valley of death—and through his own painful history—he will confront devastating truths that will either revive his damaged soul or destroy it completely.
The Great Wheel received the Locus Award for Best First Novel, and marked the “thoughtful, sometimes wrenching, noteworthy debut” of Ian R. MacLeod, author of The Light Ages and winner of two Sidewise Awards, two World Fantasy Awards, and the John W. Campbell Award (Kirkus Reviews).