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Blue Remembered Earth (Poseidons Children, Book 1) Hardcover – January 1, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (January 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575088273
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575088276
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (107 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,327,750 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Always a terrific adventure Telegraph Alastair Reynolds is a name to watch. Shades of Banks and Gibson with gigatons of originality Guardian A mastersinger of the space opera The Times Reynolds has a galaxy-sized imagination allied to a real story-telling ability Bernard Cornwell

About the Author

Alastair Reynolds was born in Barry, South Wales. He spent several years in Holland working for ESA before returning to Wales. He studied at Newcastle and St Andrews Universities and has a Ph.D. in astronomy.

More About the Author

Alastair Reynolds was born in Wales in 1966. He has a Ph.D. in astronomy. From 1991 until 2007, he lived in The Netherlands, where he was employed by The European Space Agency as an astrophysicist. He is now a full-time writer.

Customer Reviews

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  • "Writing" 27
  • "Characters" 21
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

76 of 81 people found the following review helpful By Sulonen Petteri on January 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Alastair Reynolds is known for sweeping, epic, galaxy-wide (and occasionally even intergalactic) space opera. An additional twist comes from his professional background as a physicist: while the science is often wildly speculative, it manages to stay within the bounds of the barely possible better than most space opera. So no faster-than-light travel and no causality violations. Yet somehow he still manages to write up galaxy-wide ancient precursor civilizations, wars that span light-years and aeons, space battles that destroy entire solar systems, and the usual good, clean, space opera fun.

Blue Remembered Earth is painted on a smaller canvas. It is set only about a century and a half in our future, within the Solar System. The more familiar locations, scope, cultures, and characters of the relatively near future are a welcome change of direction.

Reynolds also breaks out of some staid science-fiction conventions. For one thing, in his future world, the dominant cultural, economic, and scientific power is Africa, and all but one of his main characters (Jitendra, of Indian origin) are Africans. Like Ursula K. LeGuin, he doesn't rub your face in it; it's just that much of the action happens in the shadow of Kilimanjar, it's noted that the characters speak Swahili, and the only time somebody's race comes up is if it departs from the norm--i.e., s/he's Chinese or white.

Also, elephants.

I'm pretty much completely clueless about African cultures, so I have no idea how well--if at all--Reynolds has managed to work in cultural particularities of his Kenyan-Tanzaniyan protagonists.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Richard Parry on January 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I'm usually a huge fan of Reynolds' work, and when I saw this one I grabbed a copy straight away.

Unfortunately I found it dissapointing, for two main reasons. Firstly, the characters didn't work for me - they do not appear realistic in their interactions. There is one scene where the main protagonist is meeting his sister's boyfriend, and they're arguing. As I'm reading, I'm thinking, "Awesome - there's going to be some dramatic tension here, something to act as a catalyst against the brother and sister relationship." Towards the end of the dialogue, the author throws in a line where the protagonist decides he likes the boyfriend character.

Wait, what? How did that happen?

Second main reason is the story didn't grab me. The premise is interesting, but doesn't appear as lovingly crafted as (for example) House of Suns. I kept trying to force myself to finish this (which I eventually did) rather than having a can't-put-it-down experience that Reynolds is so well known for.

On the other hand, my girlfriend read this and loved it, but can't get into Reynolds' other works (she finds them too "high scifi"). Blue Remembered Earth may be a voyage into a new customer group for the author - it didn't work for me, but your mileage my vary.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 28, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of Alastair Reynolds, but two thirds of the way through, I'm sick of this book. Blue Remembered Earth is an account of a very slow, not very interesting interplanetary treasure hunt. I don't like any of the characters. Geoffrey, in particular, is hard to stomach. Almost every interaction is filled with uninteresting snark and resentment, but it is not at all clear why he should be resentful.

Reynolds is astonishingly imaginative, and his prose is top notch. But this book is a miss. I'm not even sure I'll finish it.
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34 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Tghu Verd on March 2, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Before I launch into my review, how can it be that the Kindle version ($21.96) costs so much more than a hardcover version ($17.43)? It was enough to make me think twice about buying this at all, but in the end I bit the bullet and went with the immediate hit of the Kindle.

Anyway, kudos to Reynolds for a novel that I felt is written in a very different voice to his other work. It is hard to pull this off across so many pages, but Reynolds normal aggressive, punchy style is toned down for a more languid pace that reminded me of Kim Stanley Robinson and Neal Stephenson.

He has also toned down the technology in some regards, which is a blessing and a curse, because Reynolds has a first-rate imagination and usually channels that into some very sexy kit, most of which was either totally enigmatic ("Pushing Ice") or leaning toward the explosive end of town (think the "Revelation Space" series). Of course, there is still a ton of high-tech gadgets and wizardry, but they are a supporting cast not really exciting in their own right.

The plot is straightforward enough: a set of mysterious clues from a recently departed doyen of a solar-system wide trading family lead a recalcitrant brother and sister on a merry chase, causing them to clash with their cousins and thrusting them into a web of debt and deception to fund their search.

Of course, it's what you do with the plot that matters and Reynolds has never been shy of painting on a canvas as large as the universe itself.
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