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Terminal World Hardcover – June 1, 2010

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Hardcover (June 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441018661
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441018666
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #929,263 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


"Lee delivers tense escapes, gutsy fight scenes, and unfeasible coincidences with aplomb." ---AudioFile --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

About the Author

Alastair Reynolds was born in Barry, South Wales, in 1966. He studied at Newcastle and St. Andrew's Universities and has a Ph.D. in astronomy. A former astrophysicist for the European Space Agency, he lives in the Netherlands, near Leiden. He is now writing full-time.

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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beta: what do you think?
  • "Writing" 27
  • "Characters" 21
  • "Action" 5
  • "Depth" 3
  • "Suspense" 2
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

88 of 98 people found the following review helpful By wheeeeee on June 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Alastair Reynolds is a novelist that I feel I can buy without considering a review of his work, or even reading the back of the novel. I've read everything he's written to date, and he is a very good author. The only weak work out there I'd finger is Diamond Dogs / Turquoise Days which always struck me as writing that was unsaleable before he hit it big, and was published when they asked him if he had anything else kicking around...

Unfortunately a lot of authors seem to go through this cycle: write junk, get rejected, write something better, get rejected, write something good, get rejected, write something very very good and get it published. They write out their good ideas, with polished novels using skills they learned in breaking through.

Then there is either greed, or laziness, or both. Older ideas get pulled out and dusted off, these will now sell based on strength of name.

This novel I feel falls into this category. It's not terrible, but it is nowhere nearly as interesting as the complicated plotlines and interwoven stories of his other works. This reads as teen science fiction. It doesn't even really have a plot, and what little is there, never resolves itself.

The action scenes are not very interesting, the main character is dull and I can't even really tell you what he is about. Is he a man of action? Not really. A moral man? I guess maybe a bit. He tells you more about things he has done in the past than actually does anything of interest in this novel. So do most characters.

Reynolds breaks out some cliches that should have made editors groan and reject this novel when submitted... Character A mentions some mysterious legend in passing, Character B says whoa please tell me more about this mysterious legend.
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72 of 87 people found the following review helpful By Raz S.K. on April 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I have read and own every one of Reynolds' books to date and a large helping of his short stories where I could find reprints. With this book, I was initially hoping for another hard, technical, super-detailed, jaw-dropping "Wow" journey of cosmic imagination; a masterwork of hard science fiction like nobody but Reynolds can write. As I got further into the book (don't worry, no plot spoilers here) at first I became mildly disappointed, because I could tell there wasn't going to be any crazy space battles, lightspeed barrier shattering, or any insane astrophysics hyper-concepts.

However, I realized quickly that Reynolds had chosen instead to write in what some people would call a "Steampunk" style...and that it was working...really well. As I kept reading it grew on me more and more, until I was just as attached to the main character as I was with any of his other novels (which is saying a lot). Century Rain did the same thing; it was a stylistic departure from what we have come to expect from Reynolds - the best hard sci fi there is (See Revelation Space trilogy for transenlightenment).

Having personally struggled with writing myself for a number of years, I can say it's really hard to come up with concepts that work and don't come off as cheesy, and it's even harder to jump your normal ship and swim with the sharks of a different genre than you normally write. Reynolds deserves applause for swimming with the sharks and stomping them all in the face, because this is one killer book - even without the spaceships and Conjoiners. I have read some reviews that say the plot was basic, and I've come across other reviewers saying Reynolds does nothing for character development (which I disagree with).
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34 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Jussi Hermunen on April 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As an avid SF-fan and owner of all the previous Reynold's novels I was excited to pick up Terminal World. The set is tempting, the world detailed enough and author's writing strong enough to have all the ingredients for a thrilling story. Unfortunately the plot falls a bit short on its expectations, the story being somewhat familiar to those who've read Banks and Stross. In the middle of nowhere the lead character stumbles upon someone meant for greatness, and becomes slowly aware of this as their journey together progresses. More strange things happen, but they endure. In the end most open questions get answered and reader's curiosity satisfied.

This sort of story can be told in many ways, but in this case it lacks the thrill of Reynold's previous novels. I'm still going to continue reading his works, but this was the first to disappoint somewhat.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Michael S. Hyre on July 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book seems half put together from notes the author had made - it seems rushed and disjointed. The time lines do not flow smoothly and the chapters all have kernels of ideas but do not seem fully fleshed. I kept waiting for the author to bring it all together like he usually does with his plot lines that at 1st seem like they cannot converge coherently. There are hints off brilliance here but the author ultimatley succumbs to what I call the Stephen King problem - he just does not know how to end this book in a way that brings any satisfaction or desire to read any sequel. I have purchased almost everything this man has written and this is the first bad experience. It is so rare that I am writing my 1st ever Amazon review to warn other die-hard A.R. fans this is the exception to A.R. 's brilliance.
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