Revenger — Alastair Reynolds

Not the greatest story Alastair has ever told.   It’s all very young adult-ish stuff, and it’s really not anything like what i love about Alastair’s usual sci-fi.

But, i suppose, every writer may wish to have a try at some YA stuff occasionally.   I just really hope that Alastair doesn’t ever do it again, thank you.

I mean, let’s be serious, a child who isn’t even old enough to leave home, escapes and takes on the system’s most feared and devastating pirate?   Really?   And adults just fall over themselves to do her bidding?

But, as i’m committed to reading the whole of Alastair’s writings, i must continue with this farcical trilogy and see where it leads.

So next up it will be Shadow Captain.

Bye for now.
 

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Upgrade — Blake Crouch

Wow!

Once again, Blake has written one of the best pieces of sci-fi i’ve ever read.   A literary wonder.   Totally un-put-down-able.

Not only is this a great story about the coming environmental apocalypse and the extinction event that will wipe Homo sapiens from the face of the Universe, this is also a great critique of Homo sapiens’ hubris and arrogance with regard to Nature.

Homo sapiens has got this seriously fucked up idea that it can control and rule Nature and that there’s no need to change the way we are because science will always find an answer to all our woes.

This is one of those books that i’ll be telling everyone i know to read — it’s that good — even though i know probably none of them will bother to read it because, hey, what do they need to know that they can’t watch on television or Youtube?

Anyway, i’m off back to Alastair Reynolds to finish off the last 7 of his books that i haven’t read already.

Bye for now.
 

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Death’s Door — Alastair Reynolds

Available in Belladonna Nights and Other Stories.

What happens when we finally become virtually immortal and we’ve done everything we wanted to do and we’ve gotten completely bored with life?   Play Russian roulette with portal doors, setting them for a 1 in 1000 random chance of them killing you when you use them.   And when you really get fed up you dial it up to a 1 in 10 chance of them killing you.

But maybe you have friends who don’t want you to die quite so soon, friends that want you to give life another chance.

Good story.

Next up from Alastair will be the Revenger Trilogy, beginning with Revenger.   But first i’m going to have to read a few other books from other writers.   Back with Alastair soon.

Bye for now.
 

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Providence — Alastair Reynolds

Available in Belladonna Nights and Other Stories.

A really good sleeper ship story.   The drive’s blown and there’s no way of slowing the ship down when it reaches its destination planet, they’re just going to sail right on past.

But then one of the crew has a great idea to find some purpose to the whole trip.   Except things just don’t turn out like they hoped they would have.

Next up from Alastair is Death’s Door.

Bye for now.
 

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Different Seas — Alastair Reynolds

Available in Belladonna Nights and Other Stories and The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Vol 4.

Another of Alastairs proxy body stories.   This time a caretaker is stranded on an automated sailing ship and needs help.   It comes in the form of a proxy robot, and the caretaker isn’t too taken with it’s driver’s attitude.

But, more is soon revealed as we go through the story and attitudes change.

A really good little story.   And maybe a good reminder to all of us not to judge people on their first impressions, sometimes you can be very wrong.

Next up from Alastair in Providence.

Bye for now.
 

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Holdfast — Alastair Reynolds

Available in Belladonna Nights and Other Stories and The Best Science Fiction of the Year: Vol 3.

Really good. If you enjoyed The Medusa Chronicles for it’s wonderful exploration of the Jovian atmosphere and it’s ecosystem, then you’ll really enjoy this as well.

It’s also got a nice hint of Enemy Mine sprinkled in with it.

Next up is Different Seas.

Bye for now.
 

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Remainers — Alastair Reynolds

Available in Tales from the Edge: Escalation.

A little story that Alastair wrote for the Maelstom’s Edge Universe.

You don’t need to know anything about the Universe other than a maelstrom of energy is travelling up the spiral arm of the galaxy wiping out everything in its path.   Systems are being evacuated and there’s lots of different factions with different views as to how to deal with things.

This story covers a journey back to one of the evacuated planets.

Rather good.

Next up from Alastair is Visiting Hours.

Bye for now.
 

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Sixteen Questions for Kamala Chatterjee — Alastair Reynolds

Available in Belladonna Nights and Other Stories.

Kamala Chatterjee is defending her PHD paper in front of three judges, with sixteen questions to get through.

This really isn’t Alastair’s finest work.   I think it’s another one of those stories of his that just didn’t work out but he threw it into a collection to fill the pages with.

You mileage may vary though.

Rolling on through Alastair’s books, next up is Remainers.

Bye for now.
 

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The Medusa Chronicles — Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter

This time Alastair teams up with Stephen Baxter to write this interesting yarn, taking us from an alternative history of the Apollo missions all the way into the deep heart of Jupiter, hundreds of years later.

As usual with anything Alastair Reynolds, it’s just great all round writing.   What i really liked about this one is the recreation of Jupiter with a whole eco system going on all the way down to the core of the planet.

Once again we’ve plenty of AI stuff going on, and going wrong on a cosmic scale (rapidly approaching an Earth near you, in case you’ve been sleeping under a rock and hadn’t noticed), and a solar-system wide war with a cyborg, running/wheeling/flying around, trying to make peace between everyone.

It’s a really good novel, and whether you believe me or not, i don’t care.   If you don’t want to read it, just because i think it’s really good, then that’s your loss, not mine.

Next up from Alastair is Sixteen Questions for Kamala Chatterjee, which i’m diving straight into in my quest to read everything by Alastair before the AI’s take over and destroy everything of value that ever existed and turn the Earth into a volcanic wasteland (which won’t be long, according to some people).

Bye for now.
 

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