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Blue Remembered Earth [Mass Market Paperback]

Alastair Reynolds
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
RRP: 5.30
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Book Description

28 May 2013

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 . . .

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 565 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Books; Reprint edition (28 May 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425256162
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425256169
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 10.8 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 56,459 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Alastair Reynolds was born in Barry, South Wales, in 1966. He studied at Newcastle and St Andrews Universities and has a Ph.D. in astronomy. Since 1991 he has lived in the Netherlands, near Leiden. He gave up working as an astrophysicist for the European Space Agency to become a full-time writer. Revelation space and Pushing Ice were shortlisted for the Arthur C Clarke Award; Revelation space, Absolution Gape, Diamond Dogs and Century Rain were shortlisted for the British Science Fiction Award and Chasm City won the British Science Fiction Award.

Revelation Space Trilogy:

Revelation Space
Redemption Ark
Absolution Gap

Standalone novels:

Chasm City
Century Rain
Pushing Ice
The Prefect
House of Suns
Terminal World


Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days
Galactic North
Zima Blue and Other Stories

Product Description


Always a terrific adventure (Telegraph)

Alastair Reynolds is a name to watch. Shades of Banks and Gibson with gigatons of originality (Guardian)

A mastersinger of the space opera (The Times)

Reynolds has a galaxy-sized imagination allied to a real story-telling ability (Bernard Cornwell) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description

BLUE REMEMBERED EARTH is the first volume in a monumental trilogy tracing the Akinya family across more than ten thousand years of future history...out beyond the solar system, into interstellar space and the dawn of galactic society. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
Reynolds has always set himself apart from other science fiction authors by widening the scope of the plot to the nth degree, by infusing the setting with richness and depth, and by marbling all of this with awe-inducing science and technology. Akin to Revelation Space and House of Suns, Blue Remembered Earth proves he still has the gift for exhibiting unique ideas, penning an intriguing story, and capturing the imagination of the reader. It's not his best work, but it's definitely the great beginning to a surely great series.

At the end of the year 2161, after sixty years of solitude orbiting the moon, the empress to a solar system-wide company passes away. Her genetic legacy includes one pair of grandchildren, Geoffrey, who studies elephants on the African plains, and Sunday, who pursues sculpture in the Descrutinized Zone on the moon, away from the patrolling omniscient eye of the Mechanism. Controlling the interests in the family company are their cousins Hector and Lucas, who have a frosty relationship with Geoffry and Sunday. Once into 2162, the cousins bride Geoff into travelling to the moon in order to recover the contents of a safe-deposit box once belonging to their wealthy and reclusive grandmother, Eunice. With agreement not to meet his sister when he's on the moon, Geoff breaks this treaty by visiting her enclave in order to unravel the mystery behind the contents of the box: a antique spacesuit glove which holds yet another mystery... colored gems.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not exactly what it says on the tin 13 Mar 2013
By David G
Well, I've never been lied to by the back of a book before. I say this because, apart from serving as a rather needless Chekhov's gun, the potentially menacing 'Mechanism' referred to in the description plays absolutely no role in the story. I hope this doesn't count as a spoiler, as knowing this gives nothing away about the actual plot of the book. However, any reader expecting a tale set in a grim superficial utopia where humanity's freedom of action has been handed over to some sort of technological Lethiathan will be disappointed to find this isn't the case. Blue Remembered Earth does have a good story but it is, shall we say, not as advertised.

The above however points to a wider problem I had with Blue Remembered Earth; there are a lot of concepts and characters introduced, but none of them really develop into anything. Most space sagas these days try to weave multiple narrative strands together, with different characters and power blocks helping or hindering the protagonists, but here these elements feel very superficial. There's no sense of 'what's really going on', of a grand conspiracy or cover-up or why any of the factions involved are behaving as they are, other than to move the plot forward that is. As the reader, I never really felt as if the veil was being slowly lifted as the story went from one set-piece to the next. Fundamentally there's no sense of a story coming together. This lack of gradual revelation is highlighted by the fact 'the truth' is entirely revealed in a lengthy exposition chapter near the end of the book, and said truth comes as much of a surprise to the protagonists as it was me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars read it 29 Sep 2013
By Tony R
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I know my rating is not brilliant (it deserves 3.5 stars), the book was a good read, not fantastic or unforgetable but a good solid read. I look forward to the next book and I will buy it in the hope the story picks up and gets better.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a bit of a disappointment 7 Jan 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read all of Alastair Reynold's other SF and been very impressed by it I was looking forward to his latest. I had been warned that it wasn't quite up to Chasm City standards and that is certainly true. It is so obviously the start of an (interminable?) series and the style of writing is much simpler than his other work (aimed at a younger readership?). There is a lot of description and explanation that seems more "telling" than "showing" and there is little tension in the plot until a long way in.

Nevertheless there are some imaginative features and well-thought-through technology. I just hope that he doesn't devote all his time to this series and gets back to writing stuff in his previous, edgier, style.
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44 of 52 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Now we can travel a bit faster 21 July 2012
By Ian
I wonder what the point of reviews is. I like writing them. I know that. Do people read them in order to decide whether to read a book or not? Surely not, otherwise, they may spoil the experience, by coming across spoilers and evaluations. I think if we write a positive review, it is an attempt to express and write down, to record, the pleasure we felt in reading that book. We're grateful and wish for that experience not to be forgotten. If we write a negative review, we feel a bit angry and disappointed. Angry because reading a whole book is not a small commitment, and disappointed because we didn't reach that climax of satisfaction that we always hope to re-experience.

So this is my first negative review. I admit to feeling angry and disappointed, so this is how I shall structure the review.


For some time, Alastair Reynolds has been my favourite author. I've read almost all of his books, and correspondingly loved almost all of them. The first book I read of his was Redemption Arc, and it was to reading what strawpedos are to drinking. It went straight in, no resistance. Every sentence a pleasure, every character interesting, every plot turn a view to behold with delta v enough to provide a thrill. Such was my enjoyment, I didn't waste time, and immediately awarded Alastair favourite author, and went on to read all remaining books.

Some time passed, some excellent books were published, and then came the first of his books that I could not finish. Terminal World. This is not a review of that book, so I wont comment on it, other than to say that not finishing a book is a hard choice to make.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good start to sequence
I found this a little difficult to get into at first but having read the following episodes I am glad I stuck with and I am a big fan of Alistair Reynolds and so, I suppose biased. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Roger Field
4.0 out of 5 stars quality sci-fi, strongly recommend
Like the best sci-fi, it's imaginative but entirely believable
Not the most action-packed, but a lovely mellow read
So many great ideas, and quite an interesting, fun... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Darren J Montgomery
5.0 out of 5 stars INTRIGUING
This book is a complete departure from Reynolds previous works , and concentrates on the relationships between the characters. Read more
Published 1 month ago by grant mcnicol
3.0 out of 5 stars Bring back the Ultras!
Alastair Reynolds began his career writing a completely unique kind of gothic space opera with religious overtones, and he has spent the second half of his career trying to produce... Read more
Published 1 month ago by John Fletcher
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable
I always enjoy reading Alastair Reynolds books and I did enjoy this one. It's certainly well written and well paced. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Phil
2.0 out of 5 stars Slow and dull, nothing like Revelation Space
Having read almost all of Alastair's previous books, starting with the exceptional Revelation Space, this was a serious let down. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Heather
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't wait for the next book...
Great foundation for a classic space opera. Refreshing to see a future that isn't a dystopian hell hole for once!
Published 5 months ago by R. Lee
1.0 out of 5 stars not my taste, unfortunately
Maybe try read again when on holiday and more relaxed state of mind with no worries or stresses in my life
Published 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Over the River and Through the Solar System
Geoffrey and Sunday Akinya are siblings in a wealthy and powerful family which has business interests throughout the solar system. Read more
Published 5 months ago by John M. Ford
3.0 out of 5 stars Elegant, thoughtful and reflective
Quite different to other previous offerings. A solid plot. Interesting imbalance of neurological and traditional propulsion technologies. I look forward to the next instalment.
Published 5 months ago by Itcheyes
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