- Paperback: 768 pages
- Publisher: Gollancz (9 Mar. 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0575068760
- ISBN-13: 978-0575068766
- Package Dimensions: 24.6 x 17 x 4.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 181 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,921,492 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Revelation Space Paperback – 9 Mar 2000
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Alastair Reynolds's first novel is "hard" SF on an epic scale, crammed with technological marvels and immensities. Its events take place over a relatively short period, but have roots a billion years old--when the Dawn War ravaged our galaxy.
Sylveste is the only man ever to return alive and sane from a Shroud, an enclave in space protected by awesome gravity-warping defences: "a folding a billion times less severe should have required more energy than was stored in the entire rest-mass of the galaxy". Now an intuition he doesn't understand makes him explore the dead world Resurgam, whose birdlike natives long ago tripped some booby-trap that made their own sun erupt in a deadly flare.
Meanwhile the vast, decaying lightship Nostalgia for Infinity is coming for Sylveste, whose dead father (in AI simulation) could perhaps help the Captain, frozen near absolute zero yet still suffering monstrous transformation by nanotech plague. Most of Infinity's tiny crew have hidden agendas--Khouri the reluctant contract-assassin believes she must kill Sylveste to save humanity--and there are two bodiless stowaways, one no longer human and one never human. Shocking truths emerge from bluff, betrayal and ingenious lies.
The trail leads to a neutron star where an orbiting alien construct has defences to challenge the Infinity's planet-wrecking superweapons.
At the heart of this artefact, the final revelations detonate--most satisfyingly. Dense with information and incident, this longish novel has no surplus fat and seems almost too short. A sparkling SF debut. --David Langford
The first great science fiction novel of the new century.See all Product description
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I liked the switching backwards and forwards in time, almost a necessity for the book given Einstein's universe. It helped to place the events oddly enough.
I don't often give five stars but this book deserved it. Quite a revelation one might say.
1) To pad out the story. e.g. a character is told to arm herself at a tense part of the story and we then get a 3 page explanation of how the armoury builds its guns...goodbye tension.
2) To hide the fact that, at its heart, it’s the simplest of plots driven along by people acting strangely just to get to point B. We are told so and so is brutal or so and so is a megalomaniac but this traits are never seen...the whole bunch of characters are bland plot following imbeciles.
It’s dull as dish-water and the author has a dreadful habit of dragging out the reveals by interrupting an explanation with a cut away to what’s going on with another character.
If its just a futuristic adventure yarn you want, complete with ramjets and robots and heavy artillery and wheeler-dealing bad guys, this is for you. If you prefer your science fiction to be fiction about science, maybe just stick with his short stories.
Maybe I was saving them for a time when most so called 'Si-Fi' was at it's lowest ebb and that is certainly the case at the moment. There are very few good writers out there, exceptions being Neal Asher, Peter Hamilton, Baxter and the late great Mr Banks. The rest are dross at best littering the internet with loads of cheap slap stick rubbish barely worth mentioning.
This series is absolutely fabulous and encompasses the very best of good Science Fiction. It has great plots and sub plots, twists and turns and characters that you can really believe in. As well as good science. Like all good Si-Fi writers, he even ponders on a possible reason as to why we maybe a lone in this amazing Galaxy.
Others have described the storylines so all I can add is that the 'Revelation' series is a must in any serious Si-Fi readers library.
This is why I have waited so long....
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