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The Recollection Paperback – 1 Sep 2011

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Solaris (1 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907519998
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907519994
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.4 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,757 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

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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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An all-action mainstream SF novel featuring teleportation to other planets that isn't instantaneous but happens at light-speed, so all sorts of ageing themes. Totally unbelievable main characters.
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!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"The Recollection" is Gareth L Powell's second full length novel, following on from "Silversands" (Pendragon Press) and his acclaimed short story collection "The Last Reef". And it is from "The Last Reef" that "The Recollection" draws most heavily, particularly from the short story Arches. It's fascinating to see the genesis of a novel in a short story, and the collection, from Elastic Press, is worth seeking out.

"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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a nice, well written science fiction novel. But as usual when I give an "okay" review, it all comes down to a ragged plot. Again, as with most "okay" novels, they start fine. It's the same with this one, the premise is good. Joe Normal (or Arthur Dent...) is transported into an intergalactic mystery, which is fine, but then the plot goes all over the place. I'm still not sure what the conclusion was. I kinda like Gareth Powell though so I'll read more of his stuff.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Sci Fi that kicks you in the teeth and then runs off making you give chase as it took your wallet!

I found myself reading this through the night in order to finish it, otherwise I wasn't going to get any sleep!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book read like one of many earlier Sf books that I have read and enjoyed. We have a fantastic story and it builds up into an ending where all of humanity is at risk. Most of the characters in the story are more or less normal people trying to cope in a very different world. Of course you ask yourself sometimes why they did this or that but since they are normal people and not superheroes you have to expect some less than logical or sane actions.

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.
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Format: Paperback
Well - I guess it's down to how bothered you are about charactersiation and plot.
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.
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Format: Paperback
Sorry to disagree with higher ratings, but I felt this book was only average. The characters were a little shallow, and some of their actions were questionable. The book had a few mistakes as well - the Land Rover swapping engines from diesel to petrol for example. All in all, the book reads almost as though it was aimed at young adults. I'll probably try the next in the series, but I'll get it from the library rather than purchase it. Just a final word - I'm also reading John Meaney's Absorbtion, which "feels" much more adult in comparision.
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