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Blue Remembered Earth (Poseidons Children, Book 1) Hardcover – January 1, 2012
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Reynolds has a galaxy-sized imagination allied to a real story-telling ability * Bernard Cornwell * A mastersinger of the space opera * The Times * Alastair Reynolds is a name to watch. Shades of Banks and Gibson with gigatons of originality * Guardian * Always a terrific adventure * Telegraph *
About the Author
Alastair Reynolds was born in Barry, South Wales, in 1966. He studied at Newcastle and St Andrews Universities and has a Ph.D. in astronomy. He stopped working as an astrophysicist for the European Space Agency to become a full-time writer. REVELATION SPACE and PUSHING ICE were shortlisted for the ARTHUR C. CLARKE AWARD; REVELATION SPACE, ABSOLUTION GAP, DIAMOND DOGS and CENTURY RAIN were shortlisted for the BRITISH SCIENCE FICTION AWARD and CHASM CITY won the BRITISH SCIENCE FICTION AWARD. You can learn more by visiting www.alastairreynolds.com, or by following @AquilaRift on twitter.
Top customer reviews
I do love Mr. Reynolds' voice as a writer, the undertones of melancholy, like someone that still spends hours looking into the night sky! And then how can you not appreciate his subtle humor when you get sentences like this: "The zookeepers could be overwhelming until you built up sufficient exposure tolerance. Sunday had passed that point years ago: the wilder excesses of their starry-eyed idealism now ghosted through her like a flux of neutrinos. "
In the end, this is a very contemporary blend of near future science-fiction. Africa has emerged as a flourishing continent from global warming. Humans are augmented by neural computer interfaces and genetically enhanced to the point of underwater dwelling transhumans. The setting includes colonies on the Moon and Mars with golems (or robots) as some sort of remote proxies of people bordering on the singularity theme at some point and self-developing machines.
The protagonists are jumping to conclusion a little too easily during most of their solar system paper chase and I'm not fully convinced that this is completely and well motivated. It may be that this will become clearer at a later point. I usually prefer a concise style of writing that doesn't explain everything and all in minute detail. I was somewhat disappointed though, when Alastair Reynolds took the easy way out of explaining a few of his technological inventions which is where he usually shines. This background deserved more exploration in many parts. The characters, although not strictly stereotypical, are too transparent for a large part. That I could not relate to Geoffrey until the very end may have been on purpose and could be attributed to the advancements of humanity in general, but it is never made entirely clear.
Altogether, this is a solid science-fiction book. It is entertaining and has some twists and turns that should keep the reader hooked until the very end. Expectations are usually high for Alastair Reynolds and the few imperfections wouldn't carry significant weight for any other author, so I won't be too harsh with him. And I am definitely looking forward to the next installment in this trilogy.
Reynolds' characters are rarely very complex and deep, and this is for the most part true for this book as well, but the story is still engaging and imaginative. There are a few plot elements that were not properly concluded and feel like somewhat hastily tied up loose ends, but none of it is of major importance to the story. The story itself takes us to the Moon, Mars and the Kuiper Belt, and I always enjoy how Reynolds balances obeying the laws of physics, as far as we understand them, while giving himself freedom to be creative where our understanding ends.
I started writing this review on the subway, and as I walked down the street afterwards I walked past a woman selling carved elephants that reminded me very much of the gift given to one of the main characters of the book. I just had to buy one. Interesting coincidence.
The character development (which, admittedly, Sci-Fi is not well known) was pretty poor. The main character and pretty much all of his close relations are not only two dimensional, but kind of unlikable. Not even in an anti-hero kind of way. For example: I had trouble finding any dialog in which the main character wasn't whining. This is fine if it's a conscious choice, but I don't get the clear impression that it was.
Also, while the morphologies of some of the characters were interesting and dynamic, the people themselves were drab. Occasionally, people's shapes are described, but almost never their colors, their sounds. Not a lot of sensory language used to describe anything.
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I won't go into the synopsis since many other reviewers have already...Read more