Alastair Reynold's future history is as complex, and fascinating, as any I've ever come across.
Revelation Space et. al. are some of THE best hard science fiction I've ever read - and, it has to be said, the stories and novellas in this collection come up to snuff.
With tantalizing details about the universe they're set in, and an incredibly broad scope (where will YOU be in AD Circa 40,000?), this is a must-have for fans of his work. "Great Wall of Mars" and "Galactic North" are the highlights ... the rest, well, are pretty damned good ...
It isn't often that I find a reason to praise modern science fiction - Reynolds gives me one. Great stuff.