Review: Blue Remembered Earth by Alistair Reynolds

Blue Remembered Earth by Alistair Reynolds
Blue Remembered Earth by Alistair Reynolds

Blue Remembered Earth
Alistair Reynolds
Ace, 2012

Alistair Reynolds, known for his massive doorstopping space operas full of characters and packed to physics-defying density with ridiculously cool ideas, makes a jump to something a little more grounded in his most recent novel Blue Remembered Earth. While it too is packed full of ideas it offers them up on a narrower scope instead focusing on the legacy of a single family rather than the galaxy spanning multi-generational interwoven epic of his Revelation Space books. That narrowing of context and the grounding of the plot along a single family line make Blue Remembered Earth, all 512 pages of it, a positively breezy read.

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Review: Redemption Ark by Alistair Reynolds

Redemption Ark by Alistair Reynolds
Redemption Ark by Alistair Reynolds

Redemption Ark
Alistair Reynolds
Ace, 2003 (mmpb, Ace, 2004)

First line: The dead ship was a thing of beauty.

Redemption Ark is the third book in Reynolds Revelation Space series.  I inadvertently skipped the second novel Chasm City but thankfully Reynolds’ fiction, despite being part of a larger overarching story, manages to stand well enough on its own and I never felt like I was really missing anything major.  As when I read Revelation Space the first thing that strikes me about Reynolds’ writing is the staid, deliberate pace.  I can’t qualify this in any meaningful way, it isn’t good or bad, but it is certainly an aspect of his writing that for me took some time to warm up to.  More so then Revelation Space, Redemption Ark delves a bit deeper into unfamiliar society, particularly the nearly post-human Conjoiners, and lingers more consistently on technologies that are both new and completely fascinating.  Reynolds is an idea man and barely a chapter passed by without some new and shiny bit of technological wonder to fire up my imagination.

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