The Recollection Paperback – 1 Sep 2011
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From the tense opening, in which gambler and failed artist Ed Rico is about to be tortured for incurring gambling debts, to the poignant, epiphanal epilogue, Powell escorts us through a series of brilliantly realised set-pieces. In the near future, hundreds of mysterious arches appear over Earth, leading to planets light years distant. When his brother Verne vanishes through an arch, Rico, stricken with guilt over his affair with his brother's wife, follows in an attempt to locate Verne and atone. What he discovers is a future human diaspora threatened by a sentient gestalt mind spreading through the inhabited universe and turning all life into machine code and an alien race which needs his help to defeat the threat. Powell's second novel is not only impeccably structured, with a series of cliff-hangers, but beautifully balanced between big ideas and the smaller-scale human story. If you read only one space opera this year, it's got to be The Recollection. --The Guardian
About the Author
Gareth L. Powell is the author of the SF novel 'Silversands', and the critically acclaimed short story collection, 'The Last Reef'. His work has been published all over the world and featured in a number of recent anthologies, including 'Shine'.
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Top Customer Reviews
The interesting thing is the similarities to another book. "The Recollection" features a super-power alien intelligence taking over humans on a planet called Strauli Quay, with a bio-machine built by aliens and powered by one human being overcoming it. Vernor Vinge's "A Fire Upon the Deep" (a BRILLIANT book, if you've not read it! - A Fire Upon The Deep (Gollancz S.F.)) features a super-power alien intelligence taking over humans on a planet called Straumli Realm, with a bio-machine built by aliens and powered by one human being overcoming it. Homage? - pay your money and take your choice!
"The Recollection" opens with Ed's brother Verne falling through a mysterious arch at the bottom of an escalator at a London Underground station, leaving his brother Ed, and his wife (and Ed's on-off lover) Alice, to solve the mystery of his disappearance. Arches are appearing all over the world, and they lead to other planets, other arches, drawing Ed and Alice through the universe in their quest to find Verne.
Meanwhile, in a distant future, Kat Abdulov and her psychically linked spaceship, Ameline, are in a desperate race with her former lover to a remote planet. But what they find when they get there is shocking, throwing them back together in a most unexpected way. And on a crystal spaceship, a race of aliens search for a way to save humanity from a deadly, relentless foe...
"The Recollection" is an epic story, spanning time and space, cramming ideas into its multi-layered plot. In the hands of writers like Alastair Reynolds or Ian M Banks, it would be the opening to a five-volume epic space saga. But in Powell's hands, the story whizzes along, barely pausing for breath as it hurls the reader far into the future, and from one end of the galaxy to the other.Read more ›
I found myself reading this through the night in order to finish it, otherwise I wasn't going to get any sleep!
It was impressive to see that you could write this story on only 300 pages. Many other writers would probably have used far more in order to expand a number of things to bring more detail into the story but the way Mr. Powell wrote it it worked very well. If you like classic Sf this is a book for you.
This book is a great start for Mr Powell. I hope he will continue with this line of writing and I will certainly continue to read him.
The characterisation was pretty much non-existent: The decriptions of emotional reactions, especially of women, were at a school essay level of insight and painful to read. Parts of the plot were good enough to be page-turning but others felt like fillers and are best skipped. Overall the plot was obvious but the conclusion managed to be both unbelievable - hero saves universe (that would perhaps be permissible in Doctor Who) and disappointing. I've not read any of his other works and assumed this was a first novel. If I'm right others may be better, if not, then I shan't read any more. Sorry - I've been reading Sci-Fi for fourty years and few disappoint. This did.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read this before the last of the macaque books. Characters here are very cleverly merged into the third book of the macaque trilogy. Loved this book and the macaque trilogy. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Mrs F.
I unashamedly love the work of Mr Powell and this novel lived up to the hype.
There's no point me giving you the plot as it's on here. Read more
Top notch sci fi. Believeable characters and situations just how I like it. Looking forward to reading more by this author.Published on 4 Jan. 2013 by Stuart Burton
Any easy read and quite good topics, nothing totally new in Sc-Fi;
but nicely told and a good enjoyable read. Read more
not to speak of hateful characters that become the good guys.. no reason given. Words that appear (the big boat) and then reappear (Trafalgar!) ... with no place in the story. Read morePublished on 15 Aug. 2012 by Ricchieri Silvia
I'm wary of talking about the plot as I don't want to spoil anything!
Suffice to say this is a great read. It zips along, delivering a great world effortlessly. Read more