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Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days Hardcover – January 4, 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Hardcover; First Edition edition (January 4, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441012388
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441012381
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,911,028 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Astronomer Reynolds's two far-future space exploration novellas, set in his Revelation Space universe (Chasm City, etc.), confirm his mastery of noir SF. Antihero Richard Swift of "Diamond Dogs" joins Mephistophelian Roland Childe's expedition to scale the Blood Spire on the planet Golgotha. As they climb, they must solve increasingly intricate mathematical puzzles, replacing limbs and mental processes with cybernetic constructs as the Spire changes the rules of its lethal game. Naqi Okpik of "Turquoise Days" loses her sister Mina to the sentient ocean of the planet Turquoise. Naqi abandons her humanity, uniting with the ocean to find Mina and save their world from destruction. Spire and ocean are both artifacts of Revelation Space's alien Pattern Jugglers, who form a living gestaltinterstellar entity that in these brilliantly executed parables represents the vehicle for humanity's choice between self-immolation and evolution and the author's postulated solution to the riddle of Faustian man. Reynolds's allegory: if humans embrace science and technology so fervently that body and soul sacrifice themselves to overweening greed, humans will eventually perish in bitter suicide; instead, abandon selfish individuality, immerse the soul in the warm sea of homecoming where minds meet and meld into oneness, and survive, changed forever.
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Review

A tale of blood and brainpower...nonstop thrills. -- Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine

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

Very thought-provoking stories.
Arvin
Diamond Dogs seems to be a bit of an exercise in sado-masochism and both stories feel pointless and uninvolving.
Michael Linsley
Alastair Reynolds is an author who can tell a great story.
Samuel Shumate

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By J. Capaldo on February 23, 2003
Format: Paperback
Mercenaries travel to an isolated world to unravel the secrets of a deadly, living, alien tower.
I'll recommend this only for those who loved Revelation Space and/or Chasm City, as it works as a slightly off-key counterpoint to those two larger, better, wonderful novels.
At 111 pages, this short story can easily be read in a sitting, which makes it seem almost a trifle. Adding to that feeling, it also seems not quite as polished as Revelation Space or Chasm City.
Take the old "Indiana Jones" spirit of a quest to find something of unimaginable importance, throw in the premise of the indie flick "Cube" (in which several characters travel from room to room in a massive building, facing one deadly obstacle after the next), add in Reynolds' rather unique style of building a tale from his Revelation universe, and you've got an hour or two of fast, fun reading while you wait for his next, Redemption Ark (available for quite awhile in the UK, but not yet in the States 'till June).
The UK version of this comes w/ a 2nd short story called Turquoise Days, offering a nice tale w/ more information about the Pattern Jugglers. I'd actually recommend getting _that_ version...since T.D. is a better story than D.D.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. Avellanet VINE VOICE on June 30, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first novella in the book, "Diamond Dogs," has some very interesting secondary characters and an intriguing setting, but overall, there is not enough to sustain interest - depending on if you like mathematical, geometrical puzzles that you cannot see (i.e. there are no drawings or pictures accompanying the text), you may find yourself skimming paragraphs and pages.

The second novella, "Turquoise Days," is significantly better and I certainly thought the setting and the characters may have been one of Mr. Reynolds original storylines in his novels, but might have been edited out in favor of another. As such, the characters are more developed, the story much more engaging, and the pacing well done.

If you are an Alastair Reynolds fan, get this book; if you are new to his writing, I'd skip this in favor of PUSHING ICE.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 14, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Former astrophysicist Alastair Reynolds demonstrates why he is one of the most impressive new voices in European and indeed, World Science Fiction in "Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days", this spellbinding collection of two novellas set in his Revelation Space universe. While both novellas are not as texturally rich as his novels "Revelation Space" and "Chasm City", they are still excellent examples of his splendid prose and development of intriguing characters. "Diamond Dogs" is a nail-biting, gripping macabre tale in the style of an Indiana Jones cinematic adventure, recounting the saga of some explorers seeking to unlock the secrets of an alien, living tower on the remote planet of Golgotha. Others have compared this tale to "slasher" films and I think this comparison is most apt, since the gore count goes up as the explorers head deeper within the tower, trying to cope with its unexpected, often deadly surprises. "Turqouise Days" is also an exciting tale in its own right, as a young woman scientist is forced to contend with the unexpected consequences of a visit by a starship and its crew to her remote planet Turquoise; one of many predominantly oceanic worlds inhabited by the alien Pattern Jugglers. How she deals with these consequences will affect the course of her planet's future in the Revelation Space universe.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mark5576 on February 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Four stars is the average of what the two novellas deserve separately. "Diamond Dogs" is a tightly written science-fictional horror story with a film-noir atmosphere, a fast-paced human drama, and a gripping ending. All I could say at end was "Wow!" (a creeped out and shivering "wow"). Five stars.

"Turquoise Days" rates three stars at best, maybe even two. It feels very unfinished, more an outline of a novel than a complete story, and is not really consistent with the rest of Inhibitors Universe (in which it supposedly takes place). The characters are uninteresting and the plot falls flat -- to me, anyway.

I have one complaint about "Diamond Dogs" novella which I am surprised no one brought up yet. The series "1,3,5,7" is NOT prime numbers! Even if by some tortured alien logic "1" is a prime, there is no way to exclude "2" and claim the result is prime numbers sequence. Yet all the characters agree that's what the sequence is, and that next number should be "11". Ordinarily I would ignore it as a minor blooper, but mathematics plays a major role in "Diamond Dogs" which makes it jarring. Especially considering it is written by an astrophysicist who ought to know what prime numbers are!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Stell on January 1, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I've read all the Reynolds novels and love them. I got this as a Christmas present and I was curious to see if someone who is very gifted at writing 700 page novels (which are really sub-parts of a 2000+ page saga) could pull off a 130 page short story. He can't. These stories read like the cliff notes version of the first 500 pages of a 700 page story...with a quick ending that doesn't resolve anything.

They are entertaining to read and you won't have to waste much time, so I can't completely pan the book. But it doesn't really add any depth to the Revelation Space universe.
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