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Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds
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Title:Revelation Space
Authors:Alastair Reynolds
Info:Ace (2002), Paperback
Collections:Your library

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Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds (2000)


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English (87)  French (3)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  Ukrainian (1)  Catalan (1)  All (94)
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
Great, want to read again.
  pkw9000 | Jun 15, 2017 |
I went into this book with the idea that I was going to love it. Although it was interesting at times, it also dragged and the plot refused to drag me along until I was about 50 pages from the end.

Now I've got to decide whether to read the other two books in the triology. Decisions, decisions...... ( )
  bhuesers | Mar 29, 2017 |
Stunningly imaginative space opera set 5 centuries in the future.

A truism of hard science fiction is that (baring collapse-of-civilization scenarios) the farther into the future one sets a story, the harder it is to make it convincing. In this the redoubtable Mr. Reynolds succeeds amazingly well.

In this future there is interstellar colonization, but not faster-than-light travel. Story time is bent intriguingly due to some characters journeying at relativistic speeds while others are planet-bound. Humanity too has evolved in interesting ways. Rather than nationalities or races we have tribal associations or factions (similar to the schema in Bruce Sterling’s landmark and comparably inventive Schismatrix). The star-faring crews (known as Ultras), have life-spans and value systems quite alien to planet- or sun-bound humans. Other strains are differentiated by the degree to which they have cyber implants boosting their biological functions—in other words, the degree to which they have gone cyborg. Still other characters are software simulations, former humans (or aliens) uploaded into various computer strata and capable of acting convincingly sentient.

All of which makes for a wildly mind-bending novel, both thrilling and confusing. It is a challenge when a writer’s intelligence and complexity of mind is way beyond that of the average reader, and in this Mr. Reynolds is challenged indeed. But he is a skillful enough dealer of narrative tension, with frequent, exciting crisis’s, that the book kept me reading.

My main dissatisfaction was that the so-far-beyond-me characters were often not only difficult to relate to, but difficult to like. To one degree or another they are all obsessive, cold-blooded and merciless. To imagine that humanity has progressed so far scientifically, while stalling or even regressing morally and spiritually, was just a little bit depressing.

5 starts for extrapolation 3 stars for plot 1 star for character and human interest / 3 = 3 stars.

( )
  JackMassa | Nov 23, 2016 |
Dear Book,

It's not you, it's me. I'm just not in a space-opera kind of place right now. If only we'd met fifteen years ago, we might have been perfect for each other. But our time is past. I hope we can still be friends. ( )
1 vote gayla.bassham | Nov 7, 2016 |
This novel is about an exploration of an alien civilization and its death. The book opens at an archaeological dig on an alien world uncovering evidence of an alien civilization and its demise. The book, sort of, follows this exploration into space and artifacts.

Alastair Reynolds is a scientist, and has stated that the technologies in his stories are conceivable with our current understanding of science. So space travel is sub-light speeds with people in hibernation, who face elapsed-time differences with the people they know. In spite of this, he does introduce a number of odd, strange and even peculiar technologies and associated problems.

From a hard science fiction perspective, this is an interesting story. However, that's where it ends. The characters are a bit flat with weak dialog, and weak prose. There is no character growth, and the story seemed to drag on in the middle.

The characters themselves are rather odd and include a virtual character. Much of the book involves mistrust between the different characters as they try to guess each others motives. This went on too long without showing much evolution. I felt it had the making of a good political struggle, but it didn't pan out.

I did find the end somewhat compelling, but it didn't make up for the weaknesses. It is a good read for those interested in the hard science, but others will be disappointed. ( )
  Nodosaurus | Sep 13, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 87 (next | show all)
Alastair Reynolds is a name to watch. Mixing shades of Banks and Gibson with gigatons of originality, he has pulled off that most difficult of SF tropes, believable aliens. [...] Reynolds supplies hard-science answers that are plausible, entertaining and clever; he even manages to make different flavours of neutrino sound interesting.

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alastair Reynoldsprimary authorall editionscalculated
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tervaharju, HannuTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

References to this work on external resources.

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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0441009425, Mass Market Paperback)

Alastair Reynolds's first novel is "hard" SF on an epic scale, crammed with technological marvels and immensities. Its events take place over a relatively short period, but have roots a billion years old--when the Dawn War ravaged our galaxy.

Sylveste is the only man ever to return alive and sane from a Shroud, an enclave in space protected by awesome gravity-warping defenses: "a folding a billion times less severe should have required more energy than was stored in the entire rest-mass of the galaxy." Now an intuition he doesn't understand makes him explore the dead world Resurgam, whose birdlike natives long ago tripped some booby trap that made their own sun erupt in a deadly flare.

Meanwhile, the vast, decaying lightship Nostalgia for Infinity is coming for Sylveste, whose dead father (in AI simulation) could perhaps help the Captain, frozen near absolute zero yet still suffering monstrous transformation by nanotech plague. Most of Infinity's tiny crew have hidden agendas--Khouri the reluctant contract assassin believes she must kill Sylveste to save humanity--and there are two bodiless stowaways, one no longer human and one never human. Shocking truths emerge from bluff, betrayal, and ingenious lies.

The trail leads to a neutron star where an orbiting alien construct has defenses to challenge the Infinity's planet-wrecking superweapons.

At the heart of this artifact, the final revelations detonate--most satisfyingly. Dense with information and incident, this longish novel has no surplus fat and seems almost too short. A sparkling SF debut. --David Langford, Amazon.co.uk

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:48 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Nine hundred thousand years ago, something wiped out the Amarantin. For the human colonists settling the Amarantin homeworld Resurgam, it's of little more than academic interest. But Dan Sylveste will stop at nothing to get at the truth.

(summary from another edition)

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