On the Steel Breeze Paperback – 30 Oct 2014
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As good as contemporary SF gets. (Jonathan Wright SFX MAGAZINE)
On The Steel Breeze is a brilliant, self-assured, colourful space opera- with talking elephants. (John Wyatt SUN)
The book is not merely a sequel, but a standalone adventure with heart. (Val Nolan IRISH EXAMINER)
Clever, thoughtful, feel-good SF. (John Wyatt SUN)
Alastair Reynold's On the Steel Breeze moved his ambitious Poseidon's Children's series into interstellar space. (Adam Roberts Adam Roberts)
A thousand years in the future, mankind's influence expands into the universe. Alastair Reynolds' epic vision of our journey into deep space will redefine Space Opera.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Chiku, daughter of Sunday and niece of Geoffrey has cloned herself twice and the three genetic sisters have shared memories. One sets out to chase the family matriarch Eunice who disappeared into deep space at the end of the previous book. One joins a convoy of giant starships, hollowed out of asteroids, making their way to a nearby star, where an alien artefact has been observed. The third stays on Earth, a baseline charged with staying safe.
However, the starships on their way to the planet Crucible are threatened by shadows at night, or more literally by a ghost in the machine which threatens not just the success of the mission, but the future of the entire human race.
On a Steel Breeze is a work which takes its place on an increasingly crowded playing field on which it is difficult to see new ideas being created. This is the arena of the next few centuries where humankind has broadly conquered the solar system, and is now looking towards the next step. It is an SF where Einstein and relativity are given due respect and voyages to the stars require decades. It is a style of future already populated by Kim Stanley Robinson, Stephen Baxter and David Brin.
Within this style of universe, the main theme explored in this book is the interaction between organic and machine intelligence, and whether they can co-exist. Reynolds keeps his powder on the answer to that dry, leaving at least three different scenarios, on Earth, on Mars and on Crucible to be explored in the final part of the trilogy.Read more ›
Thankfully, though, I got back into the now slightly faded world of the Akinya dynasty pretty quickly thanks to carefully sown memory joggers. While, like the first novel, it was a little slow to get going, the pace was perfectly judged, with the right amount of time spent on character development and world building. Despite its seeming stately pace, there is a lot going on. The main character is the granddaughter of the dynasty’s founding matriarch who has effectively created a triplicate identity, two experiencing the epic voyage of the vast holo-ships to the far planet of Crucible and the mysterious Mandala object from different viewpoints while the third was lost searching for their grandmother’s assumed remains on the far reaches of the galaxy. The triple identity is a clever device first explored in Reynold’s astonishingly original ‘House of Suns’ (well worth a read if you haven’t) and it works very well in this setting.
While the main plot drive is the voyage to Crucible, there are major sub-plots vying for attention, perhaps most importantly the machinations of the artificial intelligence ‘Arachne’, the misleading data from Ocular and links with the slightly sinister ‘Mechanism’.Read more ›
It’s great not to have to start my review saying that this book is excellent, but not as good as Revelation Space, because it is, although it’s not as broad in terms of the scope of the story.
Unlike Blue Remembered Earth, you’re straight into the action with On the Steel Breeze and there’s none of the slow character building. It sits so well on the foundations created by Blue Remembered Earth that I wish I’d gone back and read it again first. I also liked all the characters this time.
There’s a great sense of mystery right up to the end. Most science fiction stories based around a paranoid machine intelligence remind me of HAL. However, HAL was a well intentioned, mislead child. Arachne, at least the version of her integrated into the Earth mech is clearly evil.
Science fiction is usually a look at possible future societies and many of them are utopian futures where there is no more conflict or murder and all of them are wavering on the brink of falling back into chaos. It’s the same in the future painted by On the Steel Breeze. And of course the characters acting for the good of everyone push it over the brink.
Following an experiment that went catastrophically wrong and destroyed a holoship, all development of the engines needed to slow the holoships down and allow them to reach their goal was prohibited. I was frustrated with the authorities making this decisions all the way through the book. It just felt so short sighted, but this is often how governments are.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another absolute corker from Sir Reynolds - In the years to come this book will become a mulled wine for me - slowly fermenting in my imagination until every page is a familiarity... Read morePublished 15 days ago by Samuel J. Benson
On The Steel Breeze is the second in Reynold's Poseidon's Children trilogy and deals with the relationship between humans and artificial intelligence. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Phil Leader
I am afraid that Reynolds has lost his edge. I found this very disappointing, as in reality it was nothing more than a poorly plotted excuse to visit various locations in the solar... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
First book of Reynolds' that I've read and it was most enjoyable. Good interstellar space opera. The only issue I had was that it turns out it's the sequel of a book I've not read. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Dirty Hormonal
What a writer! Top UK sic-fi author who deserves all the plaudits he gets. A great trilogy. Super artwork on the DJ which makes it a nice book to collect.Published 7 months ago by Gazza
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