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Search tags: Alastair-Reynolds
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review 2017-05-24 17:09
Revenger, Alistair Reynolds
Revenger - Alastair Reynolds

Reynolds reverts to form in many respects with this tale of the distant future where humans plunder dangerous abandoned facilities for forgotten technologies and artefacts using solar wind powered spacecraft.

 

Gothic horror, morally questionable characters and body modification all make a come-back. Mysteries galore never went away, of course; most of them are explained and the inevitable revelation of deeper ones at the end is all present and correct. The story itself becomes gripping much faster than is usual with Reynolds, where one can normally expect the first third to travel along with very little momentum. In this case a dramatic and unexpected event kicks things into high gear pretty early on and the pace never really lets up from there. Unfortunately some of the revelations are telegraphed although others are total surprises.

 

One fine aspect of the novel is that the situation humanity finds itself in is not explicated by huge wodges of exposition but instead revealed slowly through the course of events - and where events don't illuminate, things remain obscure. A huge part of the fun here is figuring things out from the clues. Not everything is crystal clear by the end, which leaves scope for further work in the setting - something I'd be happy to see even if a direct sequel is, on past form, unlikely.

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text 2017-05-23 22:02
Reading progress update: I've read 218 out of 432 pages.
Revenger - Alastair Reynolds

This got gripping way faster than is usual with Reynolds. Still lots of mysteries - which is the norm.

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text 2017-05-23 01:59
Reading progress update: I've read 28 out of 432 pages.
Revenger - Alastair Reynolds

No idea what is going on - which is normal for this stage of a Reynolds novel in an unfamiliar setting...

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review 2017-03-27 11:35
Constipated SF: "The Iron Tactician" by Alastair Reynolds
The Iron Tactician - Alastair Reynolds

Good SF ultimate goal must always be about the human condition. Literally. Always. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein arguably kick started the genre - a novel by a sex-positive teenage feminist in a corset, which tackled the question of what it means to be human, and how we connect with one another, and whether an individual can develop empathy or a moral compass in isolation, without family or society. Sf, as the genre of big ideas, and the genre that actively tackles universal questions of self, of society, of philosophy and religion and the nature of reality (yes, all of those…). It's who we are now, as well as how we might find ourselves living in the future - and that's always, always been the case. It's Margaret Atwood and Iain Banks and Arthur C Clarke and George Orwell and Octavia Butler and Robert A. Heinlein and Kurt Vonnegut and - well, all the damn classics. Hell, even “Star Trek”, cheesiest of pop culture staples, was absolutely tackling questions of civil rights and social justice on a weekly basis, under the pointy ears and sparkly moon rocks. It's always been about the characters, whether framed by technological innovation or political or geographical changes.

 

 

If you're into SF, read on.

 

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review 2017-01-03 00:17
The epitome of great space opera
Revelation Space - Alastair Reynolds

This is the sort of book that makes me glad that I participate in a book group, as I wouldn't otherwise have read this. It's a superb space opera, though it is nowhere as melodramatically silly as the label might suggest. And while Alastair Reynolds's scientific expertise contributes to the strengths of the novel, what makes it such an engaging read is his willingness to trust in the intelligence of the reader, both in his development of multiple storylines and his introduction of plot devices (such as the Melding Plague) without extended exposition, leaving the details to be pieced together over the course of the novel. Though it functions nicely as a stand-alone work, I finished the book eager to start the next novel in the series, which I hope will develop further the rich universe which Reynolds created.

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