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Wonders of a Godless World is a 2009 novel by Andrew McGahan. Described as "a kind of modern fable" that "verges on fantasy", it won the 2009 Aurealis Award for best science fiction novel.

Wonders of a Godless World
McGahan - Wonders of a Godless World Coverart.png
First edition cover
AuthorAndrew McGahan
GenreScience fiction
PublisherAllen & Unwin
Publication date
October 2009
Media typePrint (Paperback)
Pages260 (first edition)

It follows the story of an orphan girl who is working in the wards of the insane and incapable, but the inhabitants are thrown into turmoil after a series of strange murders following the arrival of a new patient.[1]


Wonders of a Godless World was first published in Australia in October 2009 by Allen & Unwin in trade paperback format.[1] It was released in the United Kingdom in May 2010 by Blue Door.[2] Wonders of a Godless World won the 2009 Aurealis Award for best science fiction novel.[3]


"Set on an unnamed island in the near present, it is told from the perspective of a simple young woman, an orphan, mute, reared in a mental hospital and an orderly there, who forms a bond with a mysterious coma patient, a man with telepathic powers who claims to be immortal..."[4]

Throughout the book the reader can never be sure that the mute orphan narrator is a reliable narrator. The possibility that her telepathic bond with the patient is in fact a figment of her imagination is always left open. So rather than science fiction, the book could instead be read as an insight into delusion.[5]


  1. ^ a b "Wonders of a Godless World". Allen & Unwin. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  2. ^ "Wonders of a Godless World by Andrew McGahan". Fantastic Fiction. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  3. ^ "Aurealis Awards 2009: Science Fiction Novel Judges' Report" (PDF). Aurealis Awards. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  4. ^ Geordie Williamson, chief literary critic, The Australian
  5. ^ Andrew McGahan, Interviewed by Jo Case, Readings