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Zima Blue and Other Stories by Alastair…

Zima Blue and Other Stories (2006)

by Alastair Reynolds

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
430924,529 (3.95)11
  1. 20
    Earth Is Room Enough by Isaac Asimov (mackviking)
    mackviking: these book explore little imagined conrers of human interactions while cracking the nutshell of our basic collective thinking to expose meaty substrate of our beliefs
  2. 11
    Wireless by Charles Stross (AlanPoulter)
    AlanPoulter: Both are strong collections of hard SF stories, with some especially enjoyable short stories with a 'cosmic' perspective.

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» See also 11 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
All good stories, but Understanding Space and Time is the most moving short story I've read in five or six years--a masterpiece. ( )
  psybre | Feb 17, 2013 |
This is an excellent collection of short stories written and published over an extended period of time primarily from Interzone Magazine and Asimov's Science Fiction magazine, brought together here and made widely available for the first time. I wasn't wowed by every story but most of these are very good. Although most of the stories are rather small scale, and a few set in the near future, they are almost all within a "space opera" universe. Vast explorations and immense periods of time and ancient alien civilizations and technology are a given in just about every story - but the stories themselves are focused on small scenes and just one or two characters. Suffice it to say, I really enjoyed these stories.

These tend to be all hard science stories and the info dump a time or two such as what happenes in "Understanding Space and Time", can cause a bit of overload in what was otherwise a pretty great story. My favorite story here was the last, the title story, Zima Blue. It gave me the warm fuzzies at the end also, with a bit of homage to my favorite Asimov story, "The Bicentennial Man".

Reynolds provides an afterword to each story which adds to the enjoyment of the collection, in small ways.

I read the US edition of stories published by Nightshade Press in 2006. A later expanded UK collection has more stories. ( )
  RBeffa | Sep 3, 2011 |
A good mix of short stories - some hit, some miss. ( )
  rztaylor | Feb 10, 2011 |
A good mix of short stories - some hit, some miss. ( )
  rztaylor | Feb 10, 2011 |
A collection of Reynold's short stories written over many years inbetween his work in the Revelation Space novels. None of these stories are set in that Universe. The content varies from deep dark space opera, to almost lighthearted themes sometimes set in the very near future. Each story has an afterword from Reynolds, descriing how he came to write it, or what he was thinking at the time.

As always with such a collection some stories work better than others. There are several looking at death in various forms that work quite well, leaving you somethign to ponder. Some however, particularly when Reynolds attempts to come to grips with the complexities of Quantum Mechanics fail to properly engage the reader - I'm also not quite sure that Reynolds' grasp of QM is quite correct. Many of these stories have been published elsewhere, in various SF magazines such as Interzone, but this is, as far as I'm aware, the first publication in book form.

A few characters re-occur in sucessive stories. These Reynolds notes may oneday become the basis for further Space Opera novels, and especially those of Carrie the reporter in the title named story Zima Blue (which comes last in this collection) will be interesting to read.

Reynolds' attempts at writng near Future SF - which is a very different beast from his normal Space opera, still work very well. If he can find a full length novel in this vein it will prove to be very interesting indeed. ( )
  reading_fox | Aug 21, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
... noted for big novels that combine storylines strung out across aeons with mind-blowing cosmological theory, and he's just as successful at presenting these concepts in the more constraining form of the short story
added by andyl | editThe Guardian, Eric Brown (Apr 4, 2009)

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Alastair Reynoldsprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mayernik, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moore, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Note the 2009 UK edition has more stories than the 2006 American version.
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Book description
Collects ten stories (in the trade edition) with an introduction by Paul J. McAuley:

The Real Story

Beyond the Aquila Rift


Signal to Noise


Merlin's Gun

Angels of Ashes

Spirey and the Queen

Understanding Space and Time

Zima Blue

The Limited Edition and subsequent editions also include:

Cardiff Afterlife

Minlas's Flowers

Digital to Analogue

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The stories in 'Zima Blue' represent a more optimistic take on humanity's future, a view that says there may be wars, there may be catastrophes and cosmic errors, but something human will still survive.

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