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House of Suns - IPS Reynolds, Alastair ( Author ) Sep-01-2009 Compact Disc [CD-ROM]

Alastair Reynolds
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • CD-ROM
  • Publisher: Tantor Media (1 Sep 2009)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)

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

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent collection. 18 May 2008
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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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A welcome addition to the Reynolds universe 3 Nov 2007
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
5.0 out of 5 stars More excellence from Reynolds 29 Dec 2006
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
3.0 out of 5 stars The building blocks of Revelation Space 20 Mar 2008
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The short story format isn't where Alastair Reynolds can be seen at his best. The stories in the Galactic North collection all feel like minor episodes in his Revelation Space universe, lacking the complexity and scope of his novels. Only the title story Galactic North attempts to cover the epic scope of eons, myth and history, but it suffers from compression into the short story format. Moreover, since there is a necessity for them to be read standalone, most of the stories tend to fall back on recognisable plotlines with sci-fi horror twists and shock endings that show their influences much more obviously than the authors extended works. (An interesting postscript by the author is quite open and forthcoming about this).

On the positive side, the stories are all very readable, showing the variation that Reynolds is capable of, and his strengths with characterisation and exciting, dynamic plots. Anyone familiar with Reynolds' work will recognise many of those characters and situations from several of his novels and very quickly work out where the stories are going, but the return visits or expansion into Revelation Space history are welcome nonetheless. Most importantly however, without the exploration of the ideas developed here we wouldn't have the magnificent richness of the universe that is depicted in the Revelation Space novels.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A few great and some ok stories 2 Jan 2007
If you feel the Alastair Reynolds revelation space series was a fantastic read, you have to buy this book. Not all the stories are in that setting, but the few that are makes the book worth owning all by them selves. The rest is just a bonus.

You will get to know the conjoiners in a much more intimate way. Reynolds is a genious. You will find a story that picks up where the inhibiters left off, what happens to humankind and intelligent life in a world of inhibiters and the runaway greenfly. How did the greenfly come to be? Wonderful imagination. You will love it. The other stories are also good/ok, but they are not why i bought it and not why i gave the book 5 stars.

To Mr. Reynolds: What are you doing reading this? Get back to writing!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fast delivery, item as described
Published 16 days ago by Gary Morris
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good. Enjoyed it.
Excellent. Really enjoyed this and enjoyed learning more about the Revelation Space universe. met some old friends. Made some new ones. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Terark
5.0 out of 5 stars This explains everything
5/5 A must read for Revelation Space fans
Published 2 months ago by Jaroslaw Wojcik
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another fine Reynolds work.
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I am a big fan of Alistair Reynolds and so, I suppose biased. I enjoy his style and his story lines and the story telling is always of a very high standard. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Roger Field
5.0 out of 5 stars galactic north
I'm happy with this book,it holds a few stories about nevile clavain and is not boring. The story lines are easily identifiable as Reynolds material and this is a good buy.
Published 8 months ago by James 42
4.0 out of 5 stars I tend not to enjoy short stories but couldn't resist...
And it was a great little ride back to the universe. A diverting pleasure. I am now terrified of greenfly.
Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great short stories
If you have read Alistair Reynolds before, you will enjoy this book. It immerses you in many of the themes and characters of the full length books. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Spruce49
4.0 out of 5 stars Fills in the gaps.
If you are new to this Reynolds universe I would suggest reading this collection of short stories.
it sets you up for the Big reads and Trilogy's and introduces some of the... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Ian Cleggett ( Cleggsta).
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed Feelings on Galactic North
Not usually reading science fiction I decided to take a try reading this book since Alastair Reynold has good reputation as a writer and its been two decades since I last time read... Read more
Published 16 months ago by J.
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