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On the Steel Breeze Hardcover – 26 Sep 2013

95 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 26 Sep 2013
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (26 Sept. 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 (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 268,041 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


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 Reynold's On the Steel Breeze moved his ambitious Poseidon's Children's series into interstellar space. (Adam Roberts Adam Roberts)

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

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Procrastinators rule in a minute on 7 April 2015
Format: Paperback
Now I do like Alastair Reynolds. He can be a bit hit and miss, but the chasm city series was good and I really enjoyed his short stories and the sci-fi noir one (Black Rain?). Then he wrote Blue Remembered Earth and it was a bit of a slog, but I could see some potential with the sentient elephants and the germs of space travel and all that, so I read the sequel. Hmm.

I accept that unlike Hamilton and his almost cartoonish characters blasting around space shooting each other, you get more thoughtful characters and more detailed science, but you do miss out on some of the fun. I struggled to warm to the Akinyas in BRE, although Sunday and Geoffrey grew on me. Reynolds pretty much ditches these this time and gives us Chiku, who’s meant to be a kind of watered down and triplicate version of Sunday I think and who, in true heroine mode, doesn’t really realise her potential until she’s encountered all manner of problems. The trouble was though, I didn’t really care.

The middle book of trilogies do often suffer from having to be the bridging book, but with BRE being a mite dull, this didn’t really have anywhere to go. The holoships and their subsequent breakdown in social order were interesting – yet barely touched. Chiku’s relationship with Pedro and her jaunt to Venus was seriously dull and the point at which I wondered whether to cut my losses. The watch keepers and Arachne just didn‘t have that air of menace I wanted and it was difficult to care really what happened. Yes, it’s nice to read science books with lots of female characters, but if you’re going to do that, make them interesting; make them real!

I just wish editors would tell their writers that you don’t have to write 500 pages at a time – especially 500 pages where very little actually happens most of the time.

The final book needs to be stunning to make up for all the hours I've lost.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Squirrelzilla TOP 50 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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