- 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)
Troika Hardcover – 30 Jun 2011
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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.
Top Customer Reviews
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
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.
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*
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)
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.
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.