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On the Steel Breeze Hardcover – 26 Sep 2013


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (26 Sep 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575090456
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575090453
  • Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 4 x 24.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (75 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 207,472 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

Collections:

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

Product Description

Review

As good as contemporary SF gets. (Jonathan Wright SFX MAGAZINE)

On The Steel Breeze is a brilliant, self-assured, colourful space opera- with talking elephants. (John Wyatt SUN)

The book is not merely a sequel, but a standalone adventure with heart. (Val Nolan Irish Examiner)

Clever, thoughtful, feel-good SF. (John Wyatt SUN)

Alastair Reynolds's On the Steel Breeze moves his ambitious Poseidon's Children's series into interstellar space. (Adam Roberts The Guardian)

Book Description

A thousand years in the future, mankind's influence expands into the universe. Alastair Reynolds' epic vision of our journey into deep space will redefine Space Opera. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By P. G. Harris TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 6 Oct 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
On a Steel Breeze is a large scale, hard SF adventure story with two main weaknesses, the beginning and the end. It is a sequel to Blue Remembered Earth, taking place in the following centuries and concerning itself with the next generation of the Akinya family.

Chiku, daughter of Sunday and niece of Geoffrey has cloned herself twice and the three genetic sisters have shared memories. One sets out to chase the family matriarch Eunice who disappeared into deep space at the end of the previous book. One joins a convoy of giant starships, hollowed out of asteroids, making their way to a nearby star, where an alien artefact has been observed. The third stays on Earth, a baseline charged with staying safe.

However, the starships on their way to the planet Crucible are threatened by shadows at night, or more literally by a ghost in the machine which threatens not just the success of the mission, but the future of the entire human race.

On a Steel Breeze is a work which takes its place on an increasingly crowded playing field on which it is difficult to see new ideas being created. This is the arena of the next few centuries where humankind has broadly conquered the solar system, and is now looking towards the next step. It is an SF where Einstein and relativity are given due respect and voyages to the stars require decades. It is a style of future already populated by Kim Stanley Robinson, Stephen Baxter and David Brin.

Within this style of universe, the main theme explored in this book is the interaction between organic and machine intelligence, and whether they can co-exist. Reynolds keeps his powder on the answer to that dry, leaving at least three different scenarios, on Earth, on Mars and on Crucible to be explored in the final part of the trilogy.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ian Kaplan on 15 Jan 2014
Format: Hardcover
I only really started to like Blue Remembered Earth), the first novel in the Poseidon's Children series, when I read it a second time, before On the Steel Breeze. After reading Blue Remembered Earth a second time I moved the review from three stars to four.

My original objection to Blue Remembered Earth was that not much seemed to happen. On the Steel Breeze has a driving force that is missing from Blue Remembered Earth. I had to tear myself way from the last half of the book when I had other things that I needed to do.

Near the end of Blue Remembered Earth a planet is discovered by a space borne telescope that has the unmistakable signs of a massive alien artifact. The planet is named Crucible and On the Steel Breeze is about travel to that planet by massive starships, hollowed from asteroids and powered by the new physics that is found at the end of Blue Remembered Earth.

Science fiction is the fiction of ideas and Reynolds explores a variety of ideas, including the nature of humanity under pressure. This are also a variety of explorations of technology, but the core of the novel is character driven.

One challenge that Reynolds may have struggled with the the problem of time and distance. There are no light huggers in this book, as there are in the Revelation Space books. The best that humanity can manage is fractions of the speed of light, which incurs a huge cost in time before we arrive at the end of the story. At times the story jumps decades into the future, as awaited events, like the planet fall on Crucible finally arrive. At times this can give the story an awkward feel, since we are not used to thinking in these huge time frames.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Mice Guy TOP 100 REVIEWER on 7 Nov 2013
Format: Hardcover
On The Steel Breeze, Alastair Reynolds, 483pp, 2013.

This novel is a sequel to Blue Remembered Earth (Poseidons Children 1), and takes up the story long after the end of it. This time Chiku Akinya is the Narrator, or rather, several of them, as she has cloned herself (short version) and three of her set off on different paths, one to pursue Eunice Akinya’s spaceship, one to accompany the fleet of colony ships sent off to Crucible, the world containing the Mandala, an object visible from twenty light years away from the solar system, while the third stayed at home. As with many of Alastair Reynolds’ novels, the speed of light is an absolute limit, and the narrative is spread over a long period of time, helped by the split points-of-view, as the three Chikus are able to send memory updates (short version) to each other, so are able to remain in communication with each other. However, it is not quite that simple, as they have stopped talking to each other a long time ago, as they all drifted further apart in space and time. There is a serious problem aboard the first wave of colony ships – some of which are carrying elephants!
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