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Troika Hardcover – 30 Jun 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 114 pages
  • Publisher: Subterranean Press (30 Jun. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1596063769
  • ISBN-13: 978-1596063761
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 14.8 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,357,065 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Brand New & Collectable. Limited, Numbered, Signed & First Hardcover Edition. Numbered (23 out of 350). Signed by the author to the interior title page. Bound in white leather. Fine/Fine condition. Fast UK shipment. Overseas shipment please inquire.

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although Alastair has produced a great story, but I think this is a very expensive read for what it is.

From reading it I gone the impression it was just the start of a bigger story. Perhaps we might see a more complete version later.

My recommendation is to wait for the paperback version.... Sorry Alastair I was hoping for more, you are still one of my favourite authors.... eugene
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Format: Hardcover
I on the other hand knew that this wasn't a big story so purchased it with other titles which made the cost less prohibitive. It is a great story, up there with "Merlin's" escapade's and some of his Rev. Space stuff. There's much to like about the past and present telling of the story and I loved the twist at the end which I should have seen coming but didn't. It is a little expensive on it's own so I'd wait for your local library or until another collection of Al's stories is released. Or just bite the bullet and get the bloody thing! You know you want to:/
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Format: Hardcover
Troika is an interesting SF novella that is set in an alternate history where the cold war still reigns. In essence, it is a story of the "big dumb SF object" kind. I don't want to say more about the content, you better discover it for yourself.
Meanwhile I have read (or listened to) several of Reynolds' big novels, and read a number of his shorter work as well; and I really enjoyed most of it: big ideas, a dark atmosphere, plausible world-building - he does all this very well. I do think that this story is as well realised as his best other work, and you can notice that with his growing experience the prose flows more elegantly than in his early novels (excellent as they are!).
I once read in an interview that Reynolds likes to write one short story between novels, and thus it would seem that this is the one he wrote before embarking on "Blue Remembered Earth" which I hungrily await.
A bit about this specific edition: this story was published previously in Godlike Machines, a members-only anthology (about big dumb objects) from the Science Fiction Book Club in the USA.
The Reynolds novella is beautifully published as a standalone book by Subterranean Press, a small publisher specialising in high quality limited editions. Indeed, their books are rather expensive in Europe.
For those with less bibliophile requirements, I think it is safe to assume that Troika will eventually be collected in a more affordable edition.
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Format: Hardcover
As short stories go, `Troika' isn't one of Alastair Reynolds' best, not in comparison to say `Understanding Space and Time' or `Minla's Flowers', but it still packs enough punch to make it a page-turner.

The story is set in the not-too-distant future in which a Russian spacecraft piloted by Russian cosmonauts is sent on the final mission to investigate an object of unknown origin that made its dramatic entrance into the solar system some years prior. The story alternates between the events during the mission and events following the cosmonauts' return to Earth.

`Troika', which at 114 pages is more accurately described as a novella, boasts the obligatory final revelation that will be familiar to readers of Reynolds' previous short story publications, the colloquial dialogue which contrasts with the dense scientific descriptions and the everyday characters plunged into states of mind-bending galactic possibility.

What feels a little lacking here is a protagonist that the reader can instantly identify with and whose character arc is as awesomely gripping as those heroes in the short story examples previously mentioned. One other minor gripe would be the spelling/grammatical errors, of which I noticed at least half a dozen, which admittedly proved only to be a minor stumbling back to enjoyment of this title.

In summary my opinion on `Troika' is that it sits squarely on the borderline between the best and worst of this author's works, but is at least a step-up from Reynolds' subsequent release- the woeful `Terminal World'.

*This is a limited edition publication from the same publishers who have previously released two other (superior) Alastair Reynolds' short stories (`The Six Directions of Space' and `Thousandth Night and Minla's Flowers'). The retail price certainly does not warrant the content for the casual sci-fi reader, but will likely be sought after by those die-hard fans of Reynolds*
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 58 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Just What I Was Looking For 18 Sept. 2011
By Doctor Moss - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was exactly what I was looking for -- an engrossing science fiction story with enough smarts in it to make you think a little bit. It's a diversion with a kick to it.

The story is told in two interwoven narratives, one of a mission to a mysterious and very large object, the "Matryoshka", that appears in Earth's solar system without warning and without communication. That story is told as a recollection by the main character, Dimitri Ivanov, who also tells his own story, in present tense, now that he has returned to Earth from that mission.

As in other of his writings, the author, Alastair Reynolds, brings a darker, pessimistic feel to the story. The Matryoshka isn't just an unannounced visitor -- it has a message for us, and that message is unsettling to the powers that be. I'm not giving away anything here -- that much is apparent from the beginning. But Reynolds has some surprises in the plot twists that make the story more than just another dystopian science fiction story.

All in all, I was swept along. This is a short book -- in fact, it is labeled a "novella", although published on its own and at the cost of a "novel". I have no complaints. If the story is good, that's what I paid for. And that's what I got.
2.0 out of 5 stars Dark and Toilsome Read 18 July 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I should preface this by saying I am a big Reynolds fan, but unfortunately, this is probably the worst book I have read of this. The concepts are just ok but the pacing of the story seemed slow and plodding to me (I am not usually a big fan of the flashback method of storytelling). If you are unfamiliar with this author, I would suggest some earlier works such as the Revelation Spcae series, or Thousanth Night. Those are much better reads. Unfortunately, this author has been slowly moving from one of my favorites to one I have to accept as now producing work of less consistent quality. I know it is difficult to keep fresh with new ideas and compelling storylines (I know I could not do it), but that is what separates good and great authors.

Don't let this review discourage you. Alastair Reynolds has produced some really good novels and I will keep looking at his work while also moving on to new authors.
4.0 out of 5 stars Short, Interesting, under-developed... 4 Oct. 2014
By Andy Burns - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting short story wrapped around some science, astronomical, which is Reynolds' patch. Has the feel of something that he started to write and eventually abandoned? Kind of like looking at the writers desktop perhaps.... Possibly the whole Russian angle pulled him off course, don't know but I am a fan. For those unfamiliar with Reynolds, 4 stars will probably (justifiable) seems very generous. Though love his writing, novels tend to 'sag' into the endings. This one seems to do better at that.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not one of his better efforts. 24 Nov. 2014
By James T. Yezek - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I generally like Reynolds writing, but this isn't one of his better efforts. I kept waiting for the story to take off - and it never did. The story didn't so much end as simply peter out, and I was left with the feeling that there wasn't that much story there to begin with. The plot begins promisingly, and the end seems like there should be more, but I suspect there won't be more to this one. Even the author seemed tired of the story before the last page.
4.0 out of 5 stars very Russian indeed 16 Mar. 2015
By Gary Walston - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
We are warned but no one will know so we will move toward no future at all. The inertia of Reynold's Earth makes this story feel as if the cosmonauts are moving through a cold, gray snowfall, their journey to enlightenment marking them forever as lost souls with a story no one will hear. But the story the massive craft has inexorably be told. A powerful read.
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