Books by Alastair Reynolds

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Alastair Reynolds is my personal favorite science fiction author. Mr. Reynolds is an actual scientist. He has a Phd. in astronomy and worked for the European Space Agency for twelve years as an astrophysicist. That scientific foundation shows through in his work, which are not only scientifically sound, but which engage in some fascinating scientific speculation. Sometimes I find that at the start of a story a particular scientifically-driven aspect of the plot will strike me as far fetched, but then, as he unfolds the concept through the plot I start to realize that it is not only not far-fetched, but perhaps it is inevitable.

Mr. Reynolds has crafted a complex, nuanced, robust, vision of the future that permeats all of his work. I am especially fond of the Revelation Space series and his short stories.

This is a list of all of his works that take place in the Revelation Space universe as well as my favorite of his other books.

Revelation Space Universe

Revelation Space

Revelation Space weaves together three story lines into a spectacular space opera: An archeologist who has discovered evidence that an ancient civilization was far more advanced than previously thought, the crew of the Nostalgia for Infinity who are desperate to find the archaeologist believing that he alone can cure a disease that afflicts the ship's captain, and an assassin seeking to infiltrate the Nostalgia for Infinity.

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Chasm City

Chasm City is set against the rich and complex backdrop of a city that is both the height of oppulence and the pit of human dispair just as a plague is sweeping through the city eating away at both organic matter and the technology on which a nearly post-human society has become dependent. In my view, Chasm City is the best entry point into the vast and complex universe Alastair Reyolds creates through all of his works.

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Redemption Ark

Redemption Ark first revolves around the fight between very distinct branches of humanity (the Conjoiners and the Demarchists) to secure the "hell class" weapons controlled by the crew of the Nostalgia for Infinity, and secondly, around a grave external threat to humanity as a whole. Among the most interesting aspects of the book are the starkly different strategies for embracing post-human modes of making decisions which are embraced by the Conjoiners and the Demarchists.

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Absolution Gap

Absolution Gap lays out four distinct story lines that all come together to help decide the course of the battle for humanity's survival. The story is written in a universe-spanning scope and beyond and deals extensively with the forging and collapsing of likely and unlikely alliances.

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The Prefect

Mr. Reynolds delves into the technical and political details of life in the Revelation Space universe in intricate detail in The Prefect. The story is centered on a detective (a prefect) working in the Glitter Band- the community of thousands of orbital habitats around the once prosperous planet of Yellowstone on which Chasm City is located.

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Galactic North

This is a spectacular collection of short stories set in the Revelation Space universe. Some of the stories were originally published in other works.

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Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days

This is two unrelated novellas combined into one book. Diamond Dogs is about an extreme attempt to penetrate the secrets of an alien object and Turquoise Days is about the Pattern Jugglers- an aquatic species with a collective consciousness.

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Deep Navigation

This is another great collection of Alastair Reynolds's short stories, including his first published story Nunivak Snowflakes. Only one of the stories in this collection is set in the Revelation Space universe however- Monkey Suit.

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Other Books by Alastair Reynolds

House of Suns

Set six million years in the future, House of Suns describes a future for humanity in which the population scattered across the galaxy has split into a vast and diverse collection that can barely be seen as a single species. In this context, a "line" of clones constantly circles the entire galaxy collecting information from the myriad post-human civilizations.

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Pushing Ice

In the early days of exploring our solar system, Bella Lind is in the business of mining ice from comets. Suddenly, Saturn's moon Janus begins to move and Lind's ship is the only one in a position to intercept and investigate.

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Terminal World

Terminal World takes place in one of Alastair Reynolds' most inventive settings. Humans and post-humans exist in different zones with different rules of physics. When the zones begin to shift, the various factions crash into one another and epic conflicts arise.

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Century Rain

Century Rain starts out as two, seemingly unrelated, stories. One takes place in an alternate-history version of 1950s Paris and the other set in a far future version of Paris. As is often the case in Reynolds novels, the two stories come together in surprising ways.

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Zima Blue

A collection of most of Alastair Reynolds' non-Revelation Space short stories.

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