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On the Steel Breeze [Hardcover]

Alastair Reynolds , Dominic Harman
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 8.49 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

26 Sep 2013
It is a thousand years in the future. Mankind is making its way out into the universe on massive generation ships. The new novel from Alastair Reynolds is one for fans of Peter F. Hamilton and Iain M. Banks.

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On the Steel Breeze + Blue Remembered Earth (Poseidons Children 1) + Proxima
Price For All Three: 23.87

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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: 23.8 x 15.4 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,212 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 2013-12-01)

On The Steel Breeze is a brilliant, self-assured, colourful space opera- with talking elephants. (John Wyatt SUN 2013-11-08)

The book is not merely a sequel, but a standalone adventure with heart. (Val Nolan Irish Examiner 2013-11-02)

Clever, thoughtful, feel-good SF. (John Wyatt SUN 2013-11-22)

Alastair Reynolds's On the Steel Breeze moves his ambitious Poseidon's Children's series into interstellar space. (Adam Roberts The Guardian 2013-12-03)

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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Threatened by Shadows at Night 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Too detailed? Love it ! 26 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Brilliant book about the not too distant future where technology has not given humans godlike powers yet. Limitation in human capabilities make this book more down to earth. It also opens the door for new angles to technologies which are more plausible and realistic, like planetary bombardment by high speed mass as opposed to lasers.

The book tends to dwell on events which are not key to the main theme, but these moments are important to reflect on how people feel and make decisions in the future. When reading a sf book I would like to feel how life will turn out in the future not only to get a logically sound detective / action story.

Another virtue of the book is that it gives answers to most of the questions not leaving many things in the open.

And finally we have extraterrestrials which are several steps ahead of humanity's technological level, as is expected by statistics.

Cannot wait for the 3rd part !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Demon in the Aether" 7 Nov 2013
By Gareth Simon TOP 100 REVIEWER
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!; which we experience from one point of view; there is a serious problem in the solar system as Arachne, the AI (short version) is starting to get a bit worried about events there involving Akinyas and other characters from the first volume; and the third Chiku appears to be dead after an incident when finally catching up with the Winter Queen...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A modern take on an old space opera but with lots of new twists and humanity. Takes a while to really get going but its worth it in the end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars On the steel breeze 26 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
I enjoyed this book very much. However I find it hard to give it 5 stars as I didn't have the same sense of wonder and wanting more that I would expect from this Author.
I also failed to realise that, standalone as this book is, there is a predecessor novel Blue Remembered Earth which I haven't read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A super cool wind of sci fi 25 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a long time Reynolds fan, I am pleased to see he's maintaining his high standards. Tight writing, good plot and plenty of action. All that is required in a book
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! I loved this book
I really struggled to put it down and was reading it at every opportunity. I was even reading it for the three minutes it took to microwave my lunch at work each day. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Mr. Paul J. Grenyer
4.0 out of 5 stars good novel about impact of tech & surveillance gone mad
a warning for the future - the elephants (Tantors) seem little more than a distraction - link from the earlier novel.
Published 5 days ago by ALIN FARAH
5.0 out of 5 stars perfect
as one would expect from mr reynolds this book is very entertaining i was not disappointed and look forward to whatever he is doing next :)
Published 10 days ago by Andrew Gwilliam
3.0 out of 5 stars Pacing is out, Elephants are in...
I've read a lot of Mr Reynold's output and apart from two previous novels the others all suffer (for me at least) with a pacing issue, the same pacing issue. Read more
Published 10 days ago by RobR
5.0 out of 5 stars superb
As always with Reynolds, it was a great story which leaves you wanting more. Good characters, well written, exciting and full of well thought out, hard sci fi. Read more
Published 12 days ago by J. Layland
5.0 out of 5 stars Rubarb
This is a stupid requirement I am not a literary Critic I do not have time to write reviews this comment is copied and pasted into every review
Published 1 month ago by Dickie
3.0 out of 5 stars Well, it's Alastair Reynolds so it can't be that bad...
But I just can't get to grips with the central characters, and don't buy into the 'Africa became the world leader in 150 years' scenario. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Gramm
5.0 out of 5 stars Great
Having struggled a little with Blue Remembered Earth I was in two minds about this one. However as the author has never disappointed I went ahead and bought it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Roger Field
4.0 out of 5 stars Reynolds, as they say, "on good form".
I loved the way in which Newcastle is brought into the future. Why Newcastle? This is not clear and I don't suppose it really matters as, apart from the river it could have been... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Kenn
5.0 out of 5 stars Reynolds on form
Intriguing read from a master of science fiction. Difficult to rate against his other works but certainly at the top end of the scale.
Published 1 month ago by Somtaww
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