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Redemption Ark (Revelation Space) Mass Market Paperback – 1 May 2004

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Mass Market Paperback, 1 May 2004
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 704 pages
  • Publisher: Ace Books; Reissue edition (1 May 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 044101173X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441011735
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.9 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,058,866 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

Amazon Review

Redemption Ark is Alastair Reynolds's third hefty SF novel, a direct sequel to his debut book Revelation Space, and also linked with Chasm City, which won the British SF Association Award. Gripping high-tech action features various groups struggling for control of a cache of "hell-class weapons", while the alien Inhibitors--who stamp out space-going intelligence wherever they find it--are busy dismantling planets to build a doomsday engine of awesome size.

Building on the previous books, the interstellar situation is exhilaratingly complex. Major players from Revelation Space are still at large in the solar system containing the new Inhibitor construction site, the vast old starship Nostalgia for Infinity (hideously transformed and merged with its captain by "Melding Plague"), the hell-weapons, and the colonized planet Resurgam--which may need to be evacuated at speed.

Many light years away, the mechanically enhanced human Conjoiners are fighting a space war around Yellowstone, the world of Chasm City. Although victory approaches, the Conjoiners are frantically building advanced starships and planning to run for their lives, thanks to an incredibly dangerous project that sucked information from the future--including news of the Inhibitors. The Conjoiners have their own internal factions, at least one of which isn't what it seems, and a fresh split leads to a tense relativistic race for the Resurgam system and those coveted hell-weapons. Booby-traps and deadly strategems enliven the desperate journey.

Other, non-Conjoiner humans--not to mention machine intelligences and genetically engineered man-pig chimeras--are caught up in the intrigue and violence. Many members of this large cast have inner secrets, other identities, painful relationships, long-concealed guilt. As at last they converge on the Resurgam system, there are jolting surprises.

Meanwhile, the immense past and future of Reynolds' universe becomes clearer, a cosmic tapestry with the deep-time scope of Stephen Baxter's Xeelee series, ranging from the Dawn War in the early aeons of galactic life to a cataclysmic event still three billion years in the future. A disaster which the loathed robotic Inhibitors are working patiently to minimise....

Despite minor glitches in story logic, Redemption Ark is a hugely enjoyable and ambitious interstellar epic, a must-read for fans of SF that operates on a truly colossal scale. --David Langford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


This is Alastair Reynold's third book with us and the interest in Al has definitely increased. He is definitely becoming a name and authority on the SF circle and will soon pose a major threat to Peter F Hamilton and Iain Banks. Interviews: An extensive interview with THE ZONE website. OTTAKAR'S have always been really supportive of Al and this year they are featuring an interview with him on their website. The WATERSTONE'S genre magazine ENIGMA again featured an interview with Al. Short interview with a review in DREAMWATCH. An interview is due to run in the September issue of STARBURST, it will be between Stephen Baxter and Al. SIGNINGS/EVENTSSignings and events were organised for publication with with Forbidden Planet, Andromeda, Waterstone's Deansgate andHammicks Redhill. Stock signings in key London bookshops. Reviews: ''Alastair Reynolds occupies the same frenzied imaginative space as Philip K Dick or AE Van Vogt: that he occupies it as a working sceintist is what makes this book so exciting.'THE GUARDIAN '... a welcome return to the universe of Reynolds' astonishing Revelation Space... it takes a lot more than insider knowledge to create a work as incandescent as this.'STARLOG 'A terrific and well-executed sequel to Revelation Space.'DREAMWATCH 'This is a work of sustained hard SF genius.'STARBURST 'As dark and daring as anything penned by Iain M Banks orPeter F Hamilton. Fabulous.'SFX 'Redemptnio Ark is an unparalleled space opera of epic, mind-blowing proportions.'SOUTH WALES EVENING POST Reviews have also appeared in South Buck Burnham & Iver Express and the Windsor & Et --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Sudworth VINE VOICE on 19 July 2002
Format: Paperback
Redemption Ark is billed as a galaxy spanning hard sci-fi story but the motivations of the lead characters are very human - a love story that has lasted 400 years, a young woman who risks being a casualty of a nasty war just to bury her father in the heart of a sun and a lead character that decides to override hundreds of years of loyalty to a race of humans with a Borg like ability to share thoughts in order to retrieve ultimate weapons that might just save the human species.. If you couple that with a race called the Inhibitors that seem to regard humans who want to explore space as a menace to be surpressed then you have a book that works on both a sci-fi purists level and a personal level. I read the 500 plus pages in 3 days finsihing off at 1 a.m. and was only disappointed that it had finished - although I have to say there are at least three plot lines that could be continued.
An excellent read - one point, if you have read Revalation Space it will make this easier to read but its not essential
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Andreas K. on 8 Aug. 2002
Format: Paperback
In "Redemption Ark" Alastair Reynolds continues his story of the impending threat to human space faring society we learn about in "Revelation Space". As the other reviewers have pointed out, this book is clearly meant to be part of a series, although I don't think it is crucial to the understanding and enjoyment of the story to have read the prequels (or in fact prequel, since "Chasm City" is more of an independent story, set in the same fictional universe). It is however obviously meant to be a stepping stone leading up to the final decisive struggle against the Inhibitors, of which we should be able to read about in early 2004 or hopefully late next year. By then you will have had plenty of time to catch up on the preceding events should you wish to, which I very much recommend since they are all hugely enjoyable and interesting. Reynolds is an astrophysicist working for the ESA in the Netherlands, and his intimate knowledge of the subject shows in his work. It's this understanding of space and possible future technologies that distinguishes him from many of his contemporaries and adds the plausible scientific backdrop to his action packed stories, giving them that sense of reality that makes them so fantastic. For anyone who's interested in Hard SF (science fiction grounded on science fact), or would like to make an excursion into this branch of SF, you can't go wrong with Alastair Reynolds, although you might as well begin with "Revelation Space" and then work your way through, or you might not forgive him the long wait to see what happens next...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "ianao" on 6 Aug. 2002
Format: Paperback
Rather a continuation to the critically acclaimed "Revelation Space" than his second outing "Chasm City", Alastair Reynolds has successfully developed his own SF world with all the twists and turns (and more) of his original masterpiece. We learn more about the mysterious Inhibitors and of their motivations for the automated genocides, which leads to some unexpected dilemmas for some of the main characters.
The characterization is extremely well contrived and believable, adding very much to the richness of the novel. It also adds to the fun when a long lost character makes an unexpected re-appearance... Volyova's conversations with weapon 17 and the tensions surrounding the (bizarre) Captain Brannigan are brilliant.
...It is the clever working of sub-plots that lead to an unpredictable story, and as for the fact that it appears to be set up for a sequel - so what? Great I say. I can't wait to read the next installment. Get it now you will not be sorry.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By G. Coale on 2 July 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is sooooo frustrating, for a start its better than both Revelation Space and Chasm City, both characterisation and plotting are stronger. Half the characters will be familiar from Revelation Space, with a couple of cameos from Chasm city for good measure. The new characters are his best yet with real depth and complexity - especially Clavain and Skade. The hard science part is excellent with some intriuging concepts. The wolves/inhibitors are excellent as implacable enemies, and the conjoiners add a nice human touch.
The first 400 pages are amongst the best SF I have read, unfortunately its thrown away in the last 150 pages or so, as the author sets things up for a sequel. What should have been the climax is thrown away in a couple of lines and instead we get an epilogue who's sole purpose is to prepare us for said sequel.
This is the authors best work yet but...its crying out for a decent editor. Infact in places it looks like whole subplots were edited out (for reasons of space?) - the lighthugger theft for instance...
I dont wan't to be too negative, this is one of the best SF novels I have read this year, but unfortunately it just falls at the last hurdle and what should have been a great book, becomes just very good.
Hopefully the sequel will be the book this one could have been as the Author improves with every book he writes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Matt D on 9 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
I'll second other reviewers' comments that this is a good book that could have been great but for weird editing decisions in some places and an apparent lack of editing in others.

Others have noted the build-up on several occasions to what appear to be climactic set-pieces ... which are then inexplicably skipped over with a perfunctory "Once the battle had passed ..." or "Once the ship was captured ...". These sections feel like they were carved out at the last minute just to make space, which is all the more galling when there are other sections (e.g. the extended "chase" section at the end of the book; Reynold's characteristic in-depth recountings of his characters' internal dialogues) ripe for paring down. (I can only presume it would have cost Gollancz much less in editors' costs to simply excise the aforementioned set pieces than to judiciously truncate the musings of Reynold's characters.)

A note on prior reading: this is obviously a sequel to Revelation Space and it should be considered a prerequisite before ploughing into Redemption Ark. I had not read Chasm City prior to Redemption Ark but did not find this limited my understanding of what was going on (the characters' previous adventures there appear to be fleshed-out enough). I would stress however, that the reader's understanding of the not-unimportant character of Felka will be greatly improved by reading the story "Great Wall of Mars" in the Galactic North collection. Redemption Ark sketches Felka's back story but I'm not sure enough insight is given into her unique state of mind and her relationship to Clavain and Galiana.
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