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Galactic North (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Paperback – 8 Nov 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (8 Nov. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575079843
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575079847
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.6 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 816,188 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


A very worth while collection, with hints of what may be coming in future novels. Dark, vicious science fiction. (STARBURST)

"The UK's pre-eminent hard- sci-fi author of the past decade. Let's hope Reynolds has plenty more mind space to explore." (EDGE)

"The stories are written with real energy. Dark, satirical and frequently dystopian. This is gothic SF with gore as Reynolds ensures his taut narratives grip from the first sentence." (Jonathan Wright SFX)

"Dark, gothic and graphic, with tightly composed narratives full of shocks and jaw-dropping moments. Atmosphere and economically-drafted characters are as important as the big ideas." (Dave Golder BBC FOCUS) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

A fantastic foray back into the world of REVELATION SPACE by Britain's mastersinger of the space opera!

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A. Whitehead TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 May 2008
Format: Paperback
Alastair Reynolds' previous novels and novellas in his signature Revelation Space universe have been almost unanimously excellent works, but at times the reader (or this one, at any rate) can feel that there's a lot going on that they're not in the loop on. Characters appear whose significance is initially unclear and their backstories remain resolutely unexplained, although frequently alluded to, whilst the ending to Absolution Gap was rather abrupt, to say the least. Galactic North, a collection of eight short stories set in the universe, finally fills in the blanks and finally allows the reader to fully appreciate the breadth of this author's imagination.

Things kick off with Great Wall of Mars. Two centuries from now, the cybernetically-altered Conjoiners have sealed themselves off inside a fortified region of Mars. The forces of humanity opposed to the Conjoiners, the Coalition, is planning a final all-out assault but have agreed to a last-ditch peace mission undertaken by Nevil Clavain and a Demarchist mediator, Sandra Voi. Needless to say, things go awry. Those familiar with the previous novels will have a big grin on their face as we meet characters such as Clavain, Galiana and Felka for the first time, and find out how they met and how they get out of the jam they find themselves in here.

Glacial picks up the story some decades later, as the Conjoiner refugees find themselves wandering from star to star at sub-lightspeeds searching for a new home. On an ice world they find a human habitation, one of the few successfully established by the USA's seedship programme, and evidence of a crime that took place many years earlier which Clavain dedicates himself to solving.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By P. G. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 3 Nov. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Galactic North is a selection of short stories set in Reynolds' "Revelation Space" universe and as such adds welcome detail to the previous novels. The stories range from the (in Reynolds terms) near future with the early days of the Conjoiners, one of the competing streams of humanity which feature in the later novels, through stories which are contemparies of the novels, to the far distant (seriously far distant) future.

One of the particularly pleasing things about this collection is that the stories are not completely independent of each other. There are common themes, threads and characters between several of them.

The stand out stories are "Great Wall of Mars" about the early days of the Conjoiners, "Weather" which adds interesting technical detail, and "Grafenwalder's Bestiary" which seems to be set at the same time as Revelation Space. The weakest story in the collection is the titular Galactic North which is massively ambitious but over reaches itself.

My complaint about the collection is simply that I don't think the short story is the right medium for Reynolds. The joys of his novels are their breadth and wealth of detail. The short story simply doesn't give him a broad enough canvas.

So recommended, but if you haven't read any Reynolds before, start with the novels.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. G. Whitaker on 29 Dec. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Great short stories written with Reynold's usual style.

For fans of his earlier work, returning to some of the characters and the RS setting was great - I smiled when I saw Clavain's name and enjoyed the additional information about the origins of the conjoiners.

While some of the stories are clearly targeted at RS fans, there is enough in here to keep readers who are new to Reynolds happy and hopefully tempt them to buy his earlier books. Which they should. Immediately.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By 2theD on 11 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
A pretty good collection of short stories and novellas taking place in Revelation Space, which includes Chasm City, Yellowstone, the Glitter Band (and Rust Belt), the Melding Plague, the Inhibitors (only mentioned), and all the factions of humans in the future history. Altogether it's a satisfying inclusion to the Revelation Space series. However, I think his stories in Zima Blue were of better quality overall. The eight stories include:

Great Wall of Mars - 4/5: Taking place in Revelation Space when humankind was still inside its' own solar system. The Conjoiners have a Mars base and who are at differences with the Demarchists. Explore the budding relationship between the two human sects and even the relationship between the to-be-famous Conjoiner Galiana and Demarchist Nevil Clavain. Its antiquity is an interest. 51 pages

Glacial - 3/5: In the immediate post-Great Wall of Mars time, Galiana and Clavain descend upon a mysterious frigid planet which already has an American scientific base. The question as to how they got there and why they got there is not satisfyingly answered. But how the one survivor lived while the rest of the crew died proved to be mediocre. 51 pages

A Spy in Europa - 5/5: After the moon of Europa is colonized with underwater cities, word of a Demarchist hyperdiamond shard sparks a back-stabbing spy mission which may put power into the hands of the Gilgamesh Isis. Extreme surgery, rumors of shark/human hybrids and bloodshed follows. 23 pages

Weather - 5/5: In the Yellowstone colonization era, an Ultra reefersleeper craft is pursued by a pirate ship which is left ruined. In the wreck, the Ultra crew plunder the pirate ship and discover a out-of-place Conjoiner woman, who is despised by the Ultra captain.
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