- Paperback: 576 pages
- Publisher: Gollancz (11 Dec. 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0575083093
- ISBN-13: 978-0575083097
- Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 3.5 x 19.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars See all reviews (157 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Revelation Space Paperback – 11 Dec 2008
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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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Intensely compelling; darkly intelligent; hugely ambitious."Paul J. McAuley, author of Ancients of Days
"A terrific treat. I was hooked from page one. Billion-year-gone alien wars, killer intelligencesand perhaps the most stunning and original alien artifact in modern science fictionand all rendered with the authentic voice of a working scientist. Ferociously intelligent and imbued with a chilling logicit may really be like this Out There."Stephen Baxter, co-author of The Light of Other Days
"A striking first novel. Revelation Space delivers the goods. Certain to be one of the year's most impressive debut novels, and one of the most significant large-scale epics of the year. Reynolds is the next writer to watch in the resurrection of the conceptually intelligent space opera."Gary Wolfe, Locus
"Complicated, and very clever and well-written...a spectacular first novel."Aboriginal SF
"A delight. A refreshing and entertaining reconsideration of some of the genre's oldest tropes. An impressive first novel, quite possibly the space opera of the year. Watch for it at awards time."Jonathan Strahan, Locus" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Nonetheless, the ending was sufficiently good that I'm going to read the next one - it's a book that was very much saved by the dismount. I'd give the first half a two, and the second half a solid four.
Keep and eye on the dates underneath each chapter, story lines interupt each other and they are usually from different places at a different time. You have to create a timeline in your head with all these storylines on it. This may be confusing for some, but by the last third of the book Reynolds has tied them all together.
This is a beautifully written book, one of the best things about it is the lack of beauty described. Don't expect elegant space ships with nice gleaming curves, because there aren't many in this book.
Great read, recommended to all Science Fiction fans!
To say that Revelation Space is an ambitious first novel would be woefully inadequate. Reynolds tells a magnificently dark and complex story reminiscent of the work of Iain M. Banks. He displays a masterful patience in his story telling and seems in no hurry to tell his tale. He takes his time and yet keeps the reader gripping the edge of their seat right to the very end. But I don’t wish to give the impression that his narrative lacks pace. His ability to skilfully weave numerous complex plot lines together and the stunning conclusion of the book reminds me of the work of Peter F. Hamilton.
The story revolves mainly around Dan Sylveste, a fiercely intelligent scientist who is almost ruthless in his dedication to his work. An archaeologist studying the remains of dead alien cultures. We follow Sylveste’s work on the Amarantin a species which was wiped out 900,000 years ago. Meanwhile, Resurgam, the colony on which Sylveste is working is undergoing a revolution and this provides an exciting background on which to view Sylveste’s science. Whilst we follow the political upheaval on Resurgam we find Sylveste reflecting on his life and learn of his earlier obsession with a mysterious “Shroud” created by another alien culture.
Meanwhile we follow the fortunes of the crew of the “lighthugger” Nostalgia for Infinity, who are attempting to find a cure for their Captain’s plague and also dealing with the malevolent “Sun Stealer” entity which seems to be inhabiting their gunnery and their dreams.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The main character evolves out of all recognition between beginning and end such that it stretches credibility but all the same there are many interesting ideas and concepts that... Read morePublished 2 days ago by BS
Well constructed story with meaningful characters. This helps relate with the narrative in general.
Few aspects of the Story let down the reader. Recommended!
Had the basis of a good book but in the end bored me to the point of quitting half way through the book.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
What a wonderful read, and to discover this is the first of a series is such a welcomed relief, I shall be ordering the next in the group immediately upon completing this review. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Westhansford
This is a complex novel and I liked certain aspects of it. One of these is the fact that, despite the main characters are not few, the author still managed to deepen them. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Anakina
Why I haven't read these 1st 3 books of Mr Reynolds is beyond me. I have read his other works and was very impressed. Read morePublished 8 months ago by M. Ives
This is my first foray into Alastair Reynolds, having been recommended by a friend. The first few chapters were hard, as I had to slow my usual reading pace to make sure I... Read morePublished 8 months ago by TinaJ
I think this lost me around the talking rats and the exploding peacocks. There's clearly a great imagination at work and the plot's intriguing: mystery alien artefacts, collapsed... Read morePublished 9 months ago by P. Higgins