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Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Revelation Space' gives hard-SF a new credibility., 19 July 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Revelation Space (Paperback)
Revelation Space is a sophisticated, gripping and satisfyingly well written novel that elevates the hard-SF genre above the undignified mire of techno-fetishism. This is a big book that many a poor trekkie will find heavy going, but for others its quality of prose, ingenuity of plot and clarity of vision will make it a satisfying and grippingly addictive read. In many ways 'Revelation Space' brooks several hard-SF trends. Alistair Reynolds has created a story of complex drama and progressive characterisation that few other SF authors come close to achieving. From the very beginning a disturbing sense of disclosure unfolds from a troubled archaeological dig on a long-dead alien world. The painstaking and thorough toil of the archaeologists, familiar to any viewer of "Time Team", is an immediate and reassuringly human contrast to the consumerist high-tech whiz-bang we normally expect to find at the heart of a pulp SF novel. Not that this book is short on titanic machines, terrifying weapons and twisted biologies. The story's Faustian central character is a convincing portrait of irrational brilliance and ontological paradox that lays bare the far-reaching implications of present day developments in genetics and machine intelligence. Alistair Reynolds is showing us how Western concepts of identity and subjectivity are being eaten alive by their own children, and Revelation Space takes us brilliantly to the endgame of our nihilistic techno-driven culture.
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