I'm looking for a SF novel I started to read around 2004 (borrowed from a library in London). It might have been written in the late 90s or early 2000s. Can't remember anything about the title nor the author.
I'm trying to remember, but my recollection of the plot is minimal: There was an android uprising, as androids were fighting for their right to be recognised as sentient beings, and also the protagonist's mother was head of a religious order. I think the main character is recruited by his mother for a mission.
However, I do remember that the paperback was big and square-ish and had a page count of at least 400. I remember the book size made it a bit awkward to handle. The cover was a young man in a sci-fi outfit, hiding behind a column or round a corner, nothing too revealing or sexy, as it wasn't an erotic novel (or at least, I don't think it was). It might have been the author's first novel. I sort of recall thinking at the time that the book might have been influenced by Star Wars and Dune.
My interest in the book is that the author (openly gay and out) claimed in the foreword that he had a meeting with Arthur C. Clarke, in which Clarke expressed admiration for the author's bravery in coming out and writing an openly gay novel. This is the only point of the book that has really stuck and I'd love to track it down to read about this meeting (and maybe give the book a second chance).
So far my googling hasn't turned anything up.
Anyone know what this is?