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Blue Remembered Earth (Poseidons Children 1)…
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Blue Remembered Earth (Poseidons Children 1) (edition 2012)

by Alastair Reynolds

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8723117,134 (3.78)36
One-hundred-and-fifty years from now, the moon and Mars are settled, and colonies stretch all the way out to the edge of the solar system. But something has come to light on the Moon--secrets that could change everything--or tear this near utopia apart.
Member:paulmorriss
Title:Blue Remembered Earth (Poseidons Children 1)
Authors:Alastair Reynolds
Info:Gollancz (2012), Paperback, 560 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:***1/2
Tags:None

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Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds

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» See also 36 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Excellent novel that left me tearful, but perhaps not for the traditional reasons. There are certain sci-fi ideas that always kick my ass, and one of them are stories about how the stars open up. I certainly got very emotional by the end of this novel, and that might have been a little more surprising, had someone asked me how the novel was shaping up by the half-way mark. It had become a scavenger hunt with interesting elements, and that's fine and fun, but I hadn't expected the huge consequences that had come out of it. I should have guessed, having read a number of his other novels, but I didn't. I thought it was a gloriously relaxed, but not necessarily dull, novel. Of course, I now need to know what happens in the second one of the series.

In case anyone is curious, yes, all of the novels are tied together, but not necessarily very close. The effort one puts into reading them, not to mention the author writing them, really pays off with your devotion. I love getting to know his universe. ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
For me, the best thing about "Blue Remembered Earth" was the narration by Kobna Holdbrook-Smith. His energy and his mastery of all kinds of interesting accents, made this long book a stimulating, if leisurely quest rather than a tediously long journey.

Set a couple of centuries in the future, after the great re-settlements caused by global warming, "Blue Remembered Earth" tells the story of a brother and sister in a powerful Tanzanian family, who, on the death of their grandmother, are sent separately to follow a trail of clues out into space to uncover the secrets of the woman who founded their families wealth.

The quest structure of the novel provides the string on which the pearls of the various deeply imagined environments, cultures and personalities are strung. On this sort of "Around the Universe in 80 Days" treasure hunt, we get to see life on with the elephant herds in the plains before Kilimanjaro, on the habitats of the moon, the wild lands of Mars and beyond. We piece-together the history of the family, following the footsteps of the scarily independent and energetic grandmother across landscapes and cultures that are described so well and in such detail that the experience is almost immersive.

The brother and sister who are entangled in different ways in this quest, give the story a much-needed human scale. In the begining, I found the brother quite annoying: unconsciously self-absorbed, self-deceptive about his level of independence from his wealthy family, emotionally immature and effortlessly entitled. During the course of the novel he grew up, at least a little, and started to become interesting. His older sister had made a life for herself in an artistic colony on the Moon, outside the constantly surveilled, civilized, inter-planetary society, but she was also living a life more defined by what she had rejected than by what she had achieved.

Technology is almost a character in this book in its own right. Everything from the augmentations that enable (enforce sometimes seems a more appropriate word) people constantly to be in communication with one another through to exactly how the interplanetary space craft work, is thought through and woven skillfully into the tale.

Ultimately, the journey in this long, long, book is much more important than the destination. The puzzle is more interesting than its solution. The changes wrought on the people as they work through the quest maze are more important than the knowledge the acquire.

To get the best from "Blue Remembered Earth" you have to slip into it like a warm bath and lose yourself in the experience. I found this much easier to do with the aid of Kobna Holdbrook-Smith's skillful narration. ( )
  MikeFinnFiction | May 16, 2020 |
I'm not much of a sci-fi reader, so this review is probably woefully naive, but: this book was somewhat awesome.

Reynolds nicely balances the various elements of the book. The story is a mystery of sorts, as two siblings uncover their grandmother's amazing secrets. It's also an adventure, a conspiracy tale, and a gripping look at a future all too possible. Reynolds has a wonderful grasp of the scientifically possible and probable, but also conjures up a world that is cleverly imagined. I don't know how likely this future is, but the thing I enjoyed most about the book is that it's neither explicitly utopic or dystopic. Instead, Reynolds raises the questions of a technologically-advanced society, such as when machines and implants may suppress creativity and individuality; whether we need struggling and suffering to compel progress; and so on. At the same time, he doesn't deny the many advantages and uniting forces of such a world.

Because the book is constantly exploring new facets of the world, there is always something more to learn. The central mystery is gradually resolved, although it leads into what will apparently be future, loosely-connected works. I'll certainly look forward to reading them.

Occasionally, Reynolds' dialogue can be a little stilted, and so can his descriptions, but they're usually when he's trying to exposit great chunks of technological information. Personally, I enjoyed the depth and research enough to overlook this flaw, but I'm sure some more literary friends of mine would have a problem with it.

Still, this kind of reasonably serious sci-fi is about ideas and possibilities, and on that scale, "Blue Remembered Earth" succeeds absolutely. ( )
  therebelprince | Apr 27, 2020 |
Top quality SF. ( )
  PDCRead | Apr 6, 2020 |
Blue Remembered Earth, the first volume in Alastair Reynolds new 'Poseidon's Children' series begins in Africa, now the worlds economic powerhouse. The Akinya clan, lead by matriarch Eunice has been at the forefront of humanities expansion into the solar system. After the death of Eunice, who has spent the last 60 years as a recluse on a lunar orbiting satellite, the black sheep of the family, elephant cognition researcher Geoffrey, and lunar artist Sunday follow a breadcrumb trail left by Eunice for the family to follow. It leads to the furthest reaches of the solar system, through danger and intrigue to a discovery which has the potential to change the future.
( )
  orkydd | Feb 2, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
Reynolds's near-future is so brilliantly extrapolated, with original ideas fizzing off every page, that the reader is left awestruck at what further wonders await in the following volumes. Excellent.
 

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alastair Reynoldsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bella, BarbaraPhotographersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Harman, DominicCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holdbrook-Smith, KobnaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Epigraph
"And I am dumb to tell a weather's wind

How time has ticked a heaven round the stars."

—Dylan Thomas
Dedication
For Stephen Baxter and Paul McAuley: friends, colleagues and keepers of the flame.
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It is necessary to speak of beginnings.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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One hundred and fifty years from now, in a world where Africa is the dominant technological and economic power, and where crime, war, disease and poverty have been banished to history, Geoffrey Akinya wants only one thing: to be left in peace, so that he can continue his studies into the elephants of the Amboseli basin. But Geoffrey's family, the vast Akinya business empire, has other plans. After the death of Eunice, Geoffrey's grandmother, erstwhile space explorer and entrepreneur, something awkward has come to light on the Moon, and Geoffrey is tasked - well, blackmailed, really - to go up there and make sure the family's name stays suitably unblemished. But little does Geoffrey realise - or anyone else in the family, for that matter - what he's about to unravel. Eunice's ashes have already have been scattered in sight of Kilimanjaro. But the secrets she died with are about to come back out into the open, and they could change everything. Or shatter this near-utopia into shards . . .
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