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Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days Hardcover – January 4, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 55 customer reviews

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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
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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: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (55 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,167,538 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Reynolds delivers two great novellas set in the “Revelation Space” universe, having very peripheral contact with events from the novels, both featuring reluctantly evolving protagonists. Leaving the more dramatically ripe themes of macro-history or MacGuffin origins aside, he instead presents two very personal stories of characters recovering from the loss of loved ones, determined to achieve something noble in order to fill the void left behind by their absence. The settings and shorthand used to describe several characters, such as ‘Ultras’, ‘The Mulch’, etc, don’t completely prevent an unfamiliar reader from enjoying these stories, although much confusion can be avoided by reading any one of the RS novels first. With or without that background, these two examples of alien exposition through contact with their left over artifacts is a fascinating one, and the uncertain endings of each leave the reader engaged in Reynold’s ideas long after finishing the stories.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Possibly one of Alastair Reynolds best, but I do tend to say that after I read each Reynolds novel in turn.
It's hard to describe just how good Alastair Reynolds as a writer. The only way I can compare is say that Reynolds is to SciFi what the Beatles were to music.
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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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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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