Chasm City (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Paperback – 3 May 2001
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In Chasm City, Alastair Reynolds revisits the noir universe of his debut SF blockbuster Revelation Space with a suspenseful, convoluted pursuit story. Its dizzying reversals and games of disguise are reminiscent of Iain M Banks at his trickiest.
The main narrative stars trained killer Tanner Mirabel, a man hell-bent on revenge, who stalks his enemy Reivich from the world Sky's Edge across a 15-year interstellar gap to the gaudy, poisoned melting pot of Chasm City. Flashbacks reveal the violent events and worse repercussions that so badly twisted Mirabel and others. Virus-induced dreams provide a third story line from inside the head of legendary traitor-messiah Sky Haussmann, who long ago shaped the original colonisation of Sky's Edge and whose real story never got into the history books.
Chasm City's complications include spectacular space-elevator sabotage, faulty antimatter drives, hidden aliens, mystery drugs, exotic bio-modification, tailored disease, high-tech weaponry, a new and deadlier form of bungee-jumping, and that traditional SF symptom of decadence: organised hunts with human prey. Violent death is never far off, but our protagonist has deeper worries in that his own motives and memories, even his identity, don't seem to add up quite as they should ...
After many chases, captures and escapes, these tangled plot strands are satisfyingly resolved. Masks are stripped away, and webs of lies exposed. Revelations range from the origin of the dread Melding Plague (which once nightmarishly merged Chasm City's people, machines and buildings) to the reason for an irrational fear of alcoves. An enjoyably tense, tortuous SF thriller. --David Langford
Space opera at its fantastic best. ("Book Browser") Cutting edge biology, AI, and alien intrigue...Reynolds is on fire. ("Booklist")
"Deep, complex...a new world of wonder." -Denver Post
" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Every time I thought the story had crested, some new twist and turn kept occurring. Throughout this 524-page novel, the various story lines kept coming together, there was obviously so much more of the plot to unravel. Two-thirds into the story and I just couldn't put the book down. I just stayed up till 2 a.m. to finish "Chasm City," eagerly turning each page, drawn to each word like a caterpillar crossing a blade of grass, to see what new part of the story would be revealed.
I can't sleep as I'm still reeling from this magnificent book. Wow, what a feeling! Even after having read Alastair's first debut novel "Revelation Space," I was completely unprepared for the many wonders within "Chasm City." Parts of this novel reminded me of "The Fountains of Paradise" by Arthur C. Clarke, "Perdido Street Station" by China Mieville and "Metal Fatigue" by Sean Williams.
Tanner Mirabel was a security specialist who never made a mistake......until the day a women in his care was blown away during an attack by a vengeful young postmortal named Argent Reivich.
Tanner's pursuit of Reivich takes him away from his homeworld, across light-years of space, to Chasm City, the domed human settlement on the otherwise inhospitable planet Yellowstone.Read more ›
This is almost a Dan Simmons novel and it borrows a fair few ideas from him, but it doesn't quite do it. Not for me anyway.
Chasm City was a much different reading experience to Revelation Space as the story is mainly told from a first person perspective. But as the main character was the focus it works really well.
Imagination is stretched to the limit and beyond in this novel - to places I thought it impossible for a mind to conceiveably go and return intact.
I read this book after reading others in the series: Redemption Ark, Absolution Gap, Revelation Space (I know, start at the beginning and finish at the end - but I like to do things the hard way!), and I wanted to find out where it all started.
Although it was the first book in the series (I think), it loses none of its impact reading it out of order. The novel hits the ground running and continues at blistering pace, taking the reader across time and space, pushing the boundaries of ingenuity and illusion.
From the outset the hero struggles with his moralistic status, swinging constantly into anti-hero mode, and we never really know if we should love or hate him. Who is he really? He loses and gains friends constantly, and they in turn are discredited or killed as he thunders forward on a seemingly suicidal quest.
The novel on its way describes strange and wonderful machines and concepts which make some kind of sense, and one day may even be practical as our own world fills to bursting point. Like all good Science Fiction, it keeps its deepest roots subtly in the present and has lessons for us all.
A thoroughly rivetting read.
Author of The W.D.P.S.
The W.D.P.S - Book One
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Still trying to get through this one, not as entertaining as House of Suns for instance.Published 3 months ago by A spoiled cat lives here
The twists and turns set against the Reynolds universe are fantastic and answers some of the questions from the other books. Well maybe not answers them but gives better clarity.Published 15 months ago by Pete Barlow
Good story and good ending. Not a space opera at all and great sifi elements if that what your after.Published 21 months ago by Timothy
Having read Revelation Space I was tempted to stump up the most I have ever spent on a Kindle Book. I can tell that it will keep you occupied for some time, perhaps then it's not... Read morePublished 22 months ago by Bass Man
Brilliant keep reading the series not sure of the ending though, sad outcome !!Published 23 months ago by Cleggsta...
I am a big fan of Alistair Reynolds and so, I suppose biased. I enjoy his style and his story lines and the story telling is always of a very high standard. Read morePublished on 21 May 2014 by Roger Field