Read Espacio Revelación by Alastair Reynolds Isabel Merino Bodes Online

espacio-revelacin

Algo aniquiló a los amarantinos hace novecientos mil años. Para los colonos humanos que se están asentado en Resurgam, el planeta natal de esta civilización perdida, se trata de un hecho de escaso interés científico, a pesar del descubrimiento de una ciudad casi perfecta y una estatua gigantesca que representa a un amarantino alado. Para Dan Sylveste, sin embargo, es algoAlgo aniquiló a los amarantinos hace novecientos mil años. Para los colonos humanos que se están asentado en Resurgam, el planeta natal de esta civilización perdida, se trata de un hecho de escaso interés científico, a pesar del descubrimiento de una ciudad casi perfecta y una estatua gigantesca que representa a un amarantino alado. Para Dan Sylveste, sin embargo, es algo más que una mera curiosidad intelectual. Este científico, brillante y despiadado, no se detendrá ante nada hasta conocer la verdad, por elevado que sea su coste. Pero no sabe que los amarantinos fueron exterminados por una razón... ni tampoco que el peligro está más cerca y es mucho más grande de lo que imagina....

Title : Espacio Revelación
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9788484219408
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 392 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Espacio Revelación Reviews

  • mark monday
    2019-03-01 08:44

    i suppose you could call Alastair Reynolds the Bad Twin of Peter Hamilton. both write space operas that come complete with mind-boggling concepts, galaxy-spanning adventures, bizarre aliens, space politics, love stories, and eons-old mysteries. but Hamilton writes about a future that despite having its ups, downs, and various inequities, is mainly Bright & Shiny, full of possibility. on the other hand, Reynolds' interests arise from the basic idea that the universe is a cold, scary place, full of dead things and barely-understood terrors. Hamilton's characters run the gamut of loveable to outright villainous; Reynolds prefers to write mainly about self-absorbed killers and assholes. one writes about factions of humanity trying to come together to fight off threats; the other depicts humans turning on each other and how things fall apart. so i guess it depends on your perspective: do you want your space opera glass to be half-full or half-empty?overall, i think this is a pretty good first novel. it is certainly an elephantine one; fortunately, the size didn't seem unecessary and i was aborbed by the ideas and narrative from beginning to end. Reynolds' background as a scientist is evident in spades, and i'm happy to report that my right-brained self didn't suffer at all when reading this - concepts were explained carefully and clearly, in a way that didn't make me feel particularly stupid and never felt didactic or condescending. characterization is certainly striking - if you are looking for characters that are charming or sympathetic or likeable, look away! you will not find that here. instead prepare to read about insanely arrogant scientists, vicious politicians, cold-blooded killers, and even more cold-blooded spaceship crews. it can get a bit oppresive at times.there is an interesting theme that slowly rises up through the narrative: the obsessive-compulsive nature of humanity. this is depicted within a military mind-set that views all outsiders as potential threats and a scientific mind-set that views exploring even the most awful and potentially threatening of things as the only option. characters in this novel don't just live with their obsessions, they are defined by them. characters don't make decisions based on anything resembling empathy or humanism - they are compelled to continually repeat and expand upon their compulsions, no matter what the cost. it is certainly a dark perspective on the nature of mankind.but that darkness, that oppressiveness, is really at the heart of this novel's appeal. the back cover quaintly describes this novel as "CyberGoth", which of course is a pretty stupid moniker... but it also makes some sense. imagine a gigantic spaceship crewed by five misanthropes, haunted by voices from outside of time, full of enslaved rats and unimaginably deadly weapons, captained by an unconscious individual whose plague symptoms include the transformation of all materials around him into a vaguely disgusting, tendril-y mess. imagine two planets: one whose decadent citizens while away the time playing assassination games and another whose berserk citizens seem to be engaging in relentlessly bloody revolution every couple years. imagine a culture where marriage includes a "wedding gun" that shoots dna of your spouse directly into your forehead. imagine a horrific version of the end of 2001: A Space Odyssey, one where the unknowable enigma wants to kill you and all of your stupid little species. imagine Lovecraft in Space. there, now put that all together and you've imagined Revelation Space.

  • Kevin Kelsey
    2019-02-28 07:37

    The most elaborate resolution of the Fermi paradox that I've ever come across. This book is dense with huge concepts that are very difficult to wrap your mind around, and it makes you try over and over again. Xenoarchaeology, transhumanism, artificial intelligence, stellar manipulation, black hole manipulation, quantum entanglement, quantum computing, quantum simulation, spacetime fissures, etc. All of this plus one of the most complicated and satisfying mysteries in modern science fiction, unfolding in a fully realized universe complete with a billion years of history.I need a fluffy, simple story after finishing this. I loved it, but my brain is toast for a while.

  • Lyn
    2019-02-22 08:36

    I very much enjoyed this book, but more than that, I greatly respected the work that Reynolds did and was awestruck by his accomplishment.This is a phenomenal book in many ways.Reynolds, a Welsh PhD astronomer and member of the European Space Agency, has some Sheldon Cooper street cred right out of the gates and he delivers with some seriously high brow SF tooling that left this knuckle dragging reviewer scratching his pate and just being impressed.“You don’t say, Dr. Reynolds?” aside – what did he say??So this is about a future society where humans are out in the stars and a sizeable population of the erstwhile tree huggers are hugging a section of the galaxy around Yellowstone. This is the Revelation Space universe and it is about as detailed as a Bosch painting and almost as dark.That’s, to me at least, the great draw of Reynolds’ narrative prose – NOT dystopian (gag me with a slide rule) but not Heinleinesque peachy neither. This describes our sweaty future selves living and dying in the future, but more or less human nature does not change and we are carrying on as always in our cynical and self-destructive ways.And there are aliens.Reynolds’ aliens are the Bradbury Martian types, with civilizations long gone and thoroughly misunderstood. Or are they?With mysterious goings on that reminded me of Clarke’s Rendezvous with Rama and Silverberg’s The Man in the Maze, this also had elements of horror that further complicated Reynolds’ already richly complex palette.There are intertwined sub plots, downloaded consciousnesses, cyber plagues, cyborgs, sentient space ships, far future assassins, antimatter bombs, and enough Matrix like cyber stuff to make me retreat to the relative safety of 30s pulp.Space opera is not really a sub-genre to which I am inclined and I my interest did wane some at the lengthy melodramatic discourses, but the ideas and the science behind it all were eye opening and mesmerizing.This started the Revelation Space universe with other novels and short stories filling in the gaps and adding Cooperesque Bazingas aplenty.Well done, Dr. Reynolds, well done.

  • Apatt
    2019-03-12 04:43

    There is no getting away from Alastair Reynolds. In the sf book discussion forums I participate in (Reddit) his name is always cropping up. I keep putting him off as I have too many books on my list, but the relentless mentions he gets is like he is tapping on my shoulder saying "When are you gonna read my stuff?"Like a lot of space opera this one is epic in scale, races and planets live and die at the drop of a hat. What makes Revelation Space special is the author's vast imagination, the scientific details and story telling skills. What let him down a little bit is the somewhat flat characters. Initially, I felt like the characters are pancake shaped things pushing the story towards its conclusion. A few of them do develop into fairly interesting people later on, but the female protagonists tend to be of the tough as nails Ellen Riply type. Generally characters development is not a strong point of this book.More successful is the depiction of AI and aliens. I love the fascinating speculation on the nature of consciousness, and what constitute sentience. The concept of Alpha, Beta, Gamma classes of AI is ingenious. In fact, the AI characters tend to be more interesting than the human ones for me. The aliens make more of a cameo appearance, but their strange history and mystery surrounding them (kind of Cthulhu-esque) is very interesting. The aliens are satisfyingly alien, so damn alien that people need to have their brains modified just to communicate meaningfully with them, and I also love it when zones of reality, space and time get all bendy and weird.The prose style is functional and readable if a little prosaic, for a story of this scope there is surprisingly few characters points of view, which makes the complex story easier to follow. Initially I was concerned about the absence of humor, moments of levity is always good to balance the mood of the novel, fortunately, Mr. Reynolds sneaked some humorous moments in later, especially with some snarky AI comments.This is a worthwhile read and I am interested to read more of Alastair Reynolds in the near future (within this epoch).____________________________________Update: In August 2013 I read Redemption Ark the direct sequel to Revelation Space. It is massively better than Revelation Space, and it makes trudging through the dull bits of Revelation Space entirely worthwhile. Also worth mentioning is Chasm City which is set in the Revelation Space universe but is a standalone novel. Again, it is a tremendous read and highly recommended.Update: October 3, 2015I finally read Absolution Gap, the last volume of the Revelation Space trilogy, it is also very good, but Redemption Ark is the best of the three books.The best Alastair Reynolds novel is (IMO) the standalone House of Suns.

  • Andrew Obrigewitsch
    2019-02-19 04:41

    Three surefire steps to ruin a good story: 1. Insert cardboard cutout characters that have the same personality that over analyzing everything they can. 2. Include massive 20 minute info dumps every 20 minutes. 3. Have your book narrated by Ben Stein the boring teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Wonder Years. This is literally how this book went:(very conservative mildly interested voice) "By George, Sam, I think someone just vaporized Joe, with a trans-numatic ray gun. Why isn't that strange, I never much liked him anyway, always taking too long in the bathroom, and leaving the toilette seat up."20 minute info dump about the technology behind the gun. (very conservative mildly interested voice) "Sally wasn't Joe your husband of 20 years? And didn't he discover the Polaris phenomenon, which allowed man to transmigrate his conscience awareness to the ocean of abysmal writing?" 20 minute info dump containing quasi-scientific speculation on transmigration of one's awareness to the ocean of abysmal writing, which is far too vast and complex for human understanding (according to the author).(very conservative mildly interested voice) "Why yes, I did loved him, he just insisted on having his own ideas about things, and was so cardboard that we won't even notice he's not around anymore, because we all act just like him. Well now that we don't have to worry about him, we can get back to analyzing why airlocks in the spaceship work how they do, all while being shot at by the same person that killed my husband." Good job, when it comes to amazing ideas, terribly executed, this book ranks right up there with Brent Weeks' Night Angel.

  • seak
    2019-03-06 04:43

    My preferred genre is fantasy and the more epic the better for me. Shoot, the more volumes the better (okay, I draw the line at some point). But at the same time, I like variety. I'm the type of person who tries everything on the menu at a restaurant (not at the same time of course). This doesn't change when it comes to my reading preferences. I don't stray too far from genre, but there's lots of variation from fantasy to science fiction, steampunk to urban fantasy, elfpunk, space opera, scifi-fantasy hybrids, etc. While I have been reading a lot of fantasy lately, it was high time I jumped into some science fiction.I know, that was way too much of an intro for something so pointless. At the same time, I think people like a personal touch, I know I do. You be the judge.I've had Revelation Space on my radar for a long time. Reynolds and Hamilton are the two big go-to names for space opera and until now I hadn't read either of them. Reynolds may possibly be known more for being hard sci-fi, but to be honest, I barely know the difference. Sad, I know, especially with how much I just learned I've been missing out on. In earth's distant future, the galaxy is full of different factions of humanity, the Stoners, the Ultras, and the Conjoiners among them. There are alien races such as the Jugglers and the Shrouders.Dan Sylveste is a Stoner who is on an archaeological dig on the planet Resurgam where they have found artifacts belonging to an ancient alien civilization, the Amarantins. Something caused their distruction, termed The Event, and Sylveste is willing to do what it takes to find out, he is one of a smaller faction who believes understanding The Event is absolutely necessary to prevent it from happening to humanity as well.At the same time, the crew of the Nostalgia for Infinity enter the picture. The Nostalgia is a lighthugger vessel, kilometers long, full of all manner of technology, weapons, agriculture, and with the ability to almost reach the speed of light due to its Conjoiner engines. Volyova is the weapons officer in need of a new gunnery officer since she had to kill the last one who went insane. Then comes Khouri, and this is the part that really got me sucked in. Due to a clerical mistake, she was sent to another system, lightyears away from her husband, after the war on Sky's Edge. Any chance of coming together puts one of the pair 40 years older at best.While the timeline is vast and the distances lightyear-spanning, the story really only centers around a few characters, or rather groups of characters. There's Sylveste and the various peoples he associates with (mostly unwillingly) and then there's Volyova and her crew. Khouri is at first a third party, but quickly jumps in with the lighthugger crew.I'd like to say I could begin to describe the technologies and peoples and interconnectedness of the whole thing, but I just can't get close. The technology is very believable, even to the point that you can see it as a logical development. Hence why this is known as hard sci-fi, I guess. The factions of humanity is also completely believable, from those who love all the gadgetry and implant it all over themselves (Ultras), to those who enhance their minds so much with machinery that they reach enlightenment (Conjoiners).At times I was purely in awe of Reynolds' imagination. I could see the neutron stars (or not see them), the wonder was just captivating, it was like being in space in my mind. I loved that we're dealing with kilometer-long ships that have machines that can manufacture anything you need, guns, ship parts, etc. in a matter of seconds.At the same time, it can be slow going at times and I think that's the reason I can't quite go to five stars on this one. It's a great read and one I would definitely recommend, but I think I was expecting more after this long of a wait (nothing of which Reynolds could do anything about of course). I know, "manage expectations," but I've been building up to this one for years. The fact that it didn't completely disappoint is actually pretty impressive if you think about it.I also think the limited characters actually tended to diminish the vastness of the story. With only so few being the focus, it was hard to really think of this as a story with heavy implications for humanity. It felt too closed-off, too intimate for anything to really be at stake.At the same time, the plotting was quite exceptional, tying in almost everything that's introduced throughout the novel. As you can see from this review, I haven't even begun to discuss it. Chalk that up to a combination of laziness and honest incapacity. While I had a few reservations, I will definitely be reading more from Reynolds, I already own Chasm City (more of a prequel), so that will probably be next before I finish this trilogy. I'm happy to have finally read this king of space opera/hard sci-fi (depending on who you talk to) and I feel like I can finally enter the club, almost. Reynolds is a king of this genre for a reason, his imagination is vast and his characters compelling4 out of 5 Stars (Highly Recommended)

  • Scott
    2019-03-07 04:30

    This is the book that made me fall in love with science fiction again. I read a lot of SF in the 90s, but the genre had fallen off my radar until I picked this up and kicked off a sci-fi binge that I'm still on nearly a decade later. Revelation Space is Space Opera of the grandest style, filled with high drama and soaring narrative arias. Like a number of SF works Reynolds' book deals with the Fermi paradox - the strange lack of other intelligent life in the universe, or at least other intelligent life that we can detect (see Cixin Liu's Dark Forest and Adam Roberts' the thing Itself for other examples of books based Fermi's concept). Reynolds' explores this question in a pretty epic manner - this is the first book in a series of four (all of which are pretty damn good).Scientist Dan Sylveste, a driven, arrogant man, is investigating the remnants of an alien civilization on the planet Resurgam, a civilization that appears to have suddenly disappeared many millennia prior. While Sylveste works the lighthugger (a near-lightspeed starship) Nostalgia for Infinity approaches Resurgam, its menacing crew seeking Silveste's help while the secrets within the vessel's mile-long bulk threaten to spill out with devastating effect.What Sylveste discovers on Resurgam will illuminate the reasons behind the strange absence of intelligent life in the galaxy and set in motion one of the most interesting Science Fiction series in the genre.Even ten years after reading this many of Revelation Space's amazing set pieces and concepts are still vivid in my mind. Mile long 'lighthugger' ships cross the interstellar desert at a hair under lightspeed, their crews living for centuries of subjective planetary time while their vessels spend years between colonies. Weapons that can split worlds. Nanotech plagues that render the microscopic tech a near death sentence for its users. A neutron star that has been turned into an inestimably powerful computer.Reynolds is a natural, and he spins a damn fine high-stakes narrative in a galactic society that has fallen below its technological high water mark at the same time that it faces its greatest challenge. If you're an SF fan and you haven't read Revelation Space (or the even better Chasm City) put down what you're doing and order a copy. You won't regret it, and you'll be starting a journey that in my opinion is one of the best multi-book stories in SF, up there with Dan Simmons' Hyperion.

  • Princessjay
    2019-02-25 09:30

    2.5 STARS that I cannot round up to 3.I like long books. After a while, there's a sense of familiarity that comes from having been immersed in a world, a situation, a set of characters, that is very soothing. However, I do need decent characters to latch on-to for maximum enjoyment.At 600-plus pages, Revelation Space is a comfortably long first novel in a trilogy. It is set in a dark, entropic universe, where the human race has populated or at least surveyed much of the galaxy, but seems to have past its prime, and everything is slowly falling apart -- political factions & civil unrest, a plague that infects technology itself, the trials of being stranded on a planet with no way out... A well-constructed, gloomy universe, with much room for exploration.Unfortunately, the characters themselves leave much to be desired. I could not, for the life of me, get a grasp on their degree of humanity. The main problem is this: there is not a clear and consistent moral outlook in this universe. Characters are described schizophrenically as bad-ass future space-farers who, in their centuries of life, have seen and participated in much routine violence & destruction, yet in the next paragraph experience horror and remorse at comparatively minor atrocities they must do by logic or circumstances -- without any kind of justification for merging these two facets together to form cohesive human beings.For example, one main character spends decades traveling through the cosmos seeking to cure her Captain from a disgusting plague, yet barely cares whether her fellow space-crew -- along whose side she had worked and lived for decades -- are alive or dead. A few words to explain why she can be so loyal to a Captain who has been cryogenically frozen for years yet sociopathic to her co-workers would do much to make her into a living, breathing, contradictory human being. As it were, she is a collection of traits & obsessions that does not come together to form a whole.And this is the case for most of the characters. This, and the frantic, unnecessary shifts of perspective to create artificial cliff-hangers, killed much of my enjoyment.Finally, I wouldn't really call this space opera -- it lacks the sweep of destiny, the giant emotionality, the sheer number of people and time that is implicit in the genre. This is a story about a couple of people, often trapped inside their own heads, over a couple decades & a few light years, converging into a single incident that may, theoretically, impact humanity...A good first novel, but I am hoping the next books in the series will be much improved.

  • David Sven
    2019-02-23 12:36

    This is a lot how I imagine Peter F Hamilton would read like if he never got sidetracked and had a manageable number of story arcs, with half the word count. Alistair Reynolds delivers a ripper that is part space opera part cyberpunk and a touch of horror. I’m guessing this is what you would call “hard scifi” – I’m not too sure because it lacks the poor and often cartoony characterization and bland prose style that has been my normal(though limited) experience with hard scifi – Yeah, I’m looking at you Asimov... and Niven, don’t you be ducking and trying to hide your three legged, two headed sock muppet - I’ve already seen it.The story throws us into a post human civilization in the 26th century where the development of near light speed travel has seen humanity spread out through the galaxy. Humans have further diverged as advances in nanotechnology and cybernetics sees some groups of humans swapping out body parts for integrated machinery and implants. Some, like the Conjoiners, have even changed out brain cells for nanotech cells to the extent where eventually the limitations of the brain’s processing power is transcended. And then there are those who have gone the whole hog and uploaded themselves into machinery, transitioning from thinking organisms to sentient software. The inner space battles in this book are just as intense as the physical fights.The first half of the book was a little slow and it took me a bit to get oriented in the Universe Reynolds has created – but coming into the second half the plot was flying at light speed and it was hard to put down. The star of the show for me, and arguably what kept me on the hook through the first half of the story was the Nostalgia for Infinity- a “lighthugger” ie a spaceship capable of travelling at near light speed. The Nostalgia for Infinity is a centuries old, four kilometer long generation ship. Once it held hundreds of thousands of travelers in cryosleep, but now it is crewed by a mere handful of militaristic types consisting of three Ultra’s,( ie part human part machine chimerics (cyborgs?) who have designed themselves for the rigours of living in deep space) as well as a couple of extras who the Ultra’s have usually kidnapped and subjugated with “loyalty implants.” And then there is the Captain - who is something else again, an extreme chimeric that could only be called human in the loosest sense of the word - One scary dude. Apart from the crew, the spaceship itself is pretty cool. I liked the janitor-rats. Rodents genetically engineered with biochemical receptors attuned to receive instructions from the ship. Then there’s the gunnery with planet slagging weapons, controlled by neural interface with a gunnery officer. And then there are places that even the Ultra’s fear to tread - Places where the dead speak or where viruses have taken over the machinery. Fascinating and intriguing.But, as scary as the Nostlgia for Infinity and it’s cyborg crew are, there things a lot worse out there. Alien things - Things that have been lying dormant for hundreds of millenia. Some secrets are best left buried. Some things just aren’t meant to be dug up. Surprisingly enjoyable given the slow start.4 stars

  • Warwick
    2019-02-27 12:55

    One day the world will be full of science fiction authors whose prose styles are as good as their imaginations. Yeah, there are a few. But on the evidence of this book, Alastair Reynolds isn't one of them.What this novel does have going for it is a great theory of how the galaxy might look in 500 years' time. The picture painted here – of a lonely universe, full of space and mysteries and still limited by barriers like the speed of light – feels distinctly plausible and, presumably, owes a lot to Reynolds's day-job as a working astrophysicist.There are other good points. Thanks Christ, here is a sci-fi author who writes good, strong women characters who are not just there to have a variety of unlikely futuristic sexual encounters. (...Although actually, thinking about it, one or two of those might not have gone amiss.)The problem is that it's just not written all that well. The dialogue never strikes you as very realistic, and often consists of characters sitting around explaining chunks of the plot to each other. The narrative is pushed along in brief third-person sections, which stop and start apparently for no other reason than to engineer some dramatic tension, and which tend to finish on portentous one-line paragraphs like "But she was not quite fast enough."Some sentences barely hold together. We are told strange things, such as when "Volyova dredged a clucking laugh from somewhere deep inside herself". Try visualising that if you can. And when Reynolds reaches for a suitably scientific metaphor, he has a way of bludgeoning the life out of it, with unintentionally comic effect.Sylveste examined his own state of mind and found – it was the last thing he had expected – total calm. But it was like the calm that existed on the metallic hydrogen oceans of the gas giant planets further out from Pavonis – only maintained by crushing pressures from above and below.I think that might be the worst paragraph I've read all year. It should be entered into some kind of competition.Anyway, I don't want to put you off too much. It's fun, it's interesting, it's just not doing much to fight for sci-fi's place in literature. Revelation Space: it's funky, but it's clunky.

  • Dirk Grobbelaar
    2019-02-22 05:51

    Delayed ReviewOK. I read Revelation Space back when the Rust Belt was still the Glitter Band (ho ho) so, again, I have to reserve some judgement regarding the literary aspects of the novel. Although, if memory serves, I seem to recall that it was actually written quite well.I’m sticking to the five star rating I gave it at the time. In fact, this book is also on my Favourites shelf, and there it shall remain. I really enjoyed the dark and gothic vibe of Revelation Space, which, by the way, is exploited just as magnificently in the other (related) novels, such as Chasm City. I also liked the apparently unrelated plots, separated quite literally by time and space, which eventually interwove and culminated as a single thread. I’m a bit of a sucker for xeno-archaelogical mysteries and artifacts in Science Fiction, so these aspects of the novel, in particular, appealed to me.Reynolds held me in thrall with his vision; I devoured all the sequels and prequels that were subsequently published. The mixed reviews here indicate that not everybody shared that sentiment, but I owe a debt of gratitude to the author for introducing me to the harder and edgier variety of Science Fiction, where the lines between Hard SF and Space Opera become a bit blurred. This was also the book, apart from Larry Niven’s Ringworld, that really kick-started my fondness for big idea SF.Nostalgia for InfinityThe Nostalgia for Infinity garners a special mention: a massive ship that used to carry hundreds of thousands of crew and passengers, now only crewed by a handful of genetically modified humans. The endless corridors on this cathedral-like vessel evoked all kinds of imagery of desolation, loneliness and outright creepiness.Fermi ParadoxI don’t want to go into this, since it is spoiler territory, but the Wolves (Inhibitors) were rather scary. It’s a frightening concept, no?The last wordAtmosphere

  • Megan Baxter
    2019-03-07 12:31

    This was quite enjoyable, and another book in the "I liked it but didn't love it" file. Revelation Space is a sprawling trip through time (in only one direction) through a universe filled with unknown and unknowable aliens, human factions, and a dead world, killed aeons ago by a solar flare that might or might not have been related to the spacefaring contingent of that world - according to the main character, Dan Sylveste, at least. No one else believes him.Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook

  • Bradley
    2019-03-02 08:47

    This was a great read if you're looking for a fully fleshed out setting populated by one delightfully egotistical protagonist/villain and equally morally suspect crew of an ultra's spacecraft. The scope was very large and I always love that. It took some time to get into many of the characters, but by the end it was worth it. I loved the ending so much that I picked up the next in the series, even though I knew that they were only tangentially related.Definitely books for when you need to throw yourself fully into an escapist space. It may not be the best I've ever read, but it was very fun.

  • Stuart
    2019-02-22 04:57

    Revelation Space: Dark, dense, slow-burning space operaOriginally posted at Fantasy LiteratureI’ve been planning to read this series for many years, because Alastair Reynolds, Peter F. Hamilton, Stephen Baxter, Ken MacLeod, Charles Stross and Iain M. Banks are regularly mentioned at the forefront of the British Hard SF movement. Sure, there are many non-British well-known hard SF and space opera practitioners like Kim Stanley Robinson, Greg Bear, Gregory Benford, Vernor Vinge, Dan Simmons, Greg Egan, Peter Watts, and Hannu Rajiamieni, but it seems as though the Brits have had the upper hand in terms of numbers over the last decade or so. The authors typically have impressive scientific backgrounds to give their speculations credibility, having training in astronomy, physics, mathematics, mechanical engineering, computer programming, etc, much more-so than most authors in the Golden Age of SF. Science itself has come a long way since then as well, so it behooves the SF genre to evolve with it.Of the new British SF Invasion members, I think Reynolds and Hamilton are the most prolific and prominent names, and most interestingly, I have been told that they are diametrically opposed in their tone and approach: the far-future universes of Reynolds are generally dark, pessimistic, and frightening places, where the humans themselves are so technologically advanced that they no longer seem human; in contrast, while Hamilton creates incredibly vast and complex galactic milieus, his human characters remain familiar enough that we can cheer for them. So I was told that if I have a pessimistic view of humanity’s future I’ll probably like Reynolds’ works, and vice-versa for Hamilton. Granted, you cannot categorize the works of most authors so simply, but enough fellow readers have made the same comments that surely there must be an element of truth to it.Revelation Space is Reynolds’ debut novel, and the opening book in his REVELATION SPACE series of hard SF novels set in the far future, so it’s a natural place to start if you’re interested in his work. As a debut novel, it benefits from the enthusiasm of a new author giving voice to ideas they have been playing with for many years, but may lack the polished writing skills that may come with experience. Notably, the audiobook is narrated by John Lee, who does the entire series. He has the proper gravitas for serious space opera, but because several of the characters are of Russian decent, he gives them heavy accents that are difficult to understand at times, and get a bit tiresome during the 22-hour narrative.Reynolds’ future universe, starting in the year 2551, is fully developed. Mankind has colonized many worlds in our part of the galaxy, but has not developed FTL technology, so star travel is frequently done while in hibernation (“reefer sleep”), and the level of cybernetic technology has split humanity into a number of sub-species, including Ultras (highly-augmented cyborgs) and Conjoiners (mentally-linked humans with hive-mind traits). There are also some very advanced and mysterious aliens like the Pattern Jugglers (essentially a sentient ocean somewhat akin to Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris with a collective consciousness that can incorporate the minds of other species that come in contact with it) and the Shrouders, ultra-powerful aliens that have taken refuge in impenetrable shrouds of space that shred any that attempt to enter.Unfortunately, humanity has also encountered the remains of many dead alien civilizations, which recalls Fermi’s Paradox of why we have not been contacted by other alien species despite the billions of potentially-habitable worlds in the universe. One of those races, the bird-like Amaranti, are the subject of study of our of the books’ main protagonists, Daniel Slyveste, who is an archeologist examing the remains of the Amaranti on the barren planet of Resurgam in the Delta Pavonis system. When he discovers a buried obelisk (with overtones of the monoliths in Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey) that mentions a mysterious Sun Stealer god and signs of advanced technology that are at odds with their level of civilization, he seeks to learn more, but rival factions on Resurgam are opposed over terraforming of the planet, and a bloody civil war erupts.Following the rebellion, in virtually the first action after 175 pages, Sylveste and his wife Pascale survive a surprise attack but have to flee into exile. So many details of this sequence recall the betrayal of House Atreides and the flight of Paul and his mother Jessica into the desert in Frank Herbert’s Dune. In fact, many of the complex and baroque details of Reynolds’ future universe reminded me very strongly of that classic SF epic. Paul McAuley has called the book “gonzo cybergoth space opera,” and that certainly captures its unique flavor.Meanwhile, we meet Ana Khouri, a deadly assassin living in Chasm City who is hired to hunt down her own clients, reflecting the twisted ennui of decadent future societies in need of a thrill. If they can survive until a deadline stipulated in the contract, they can brag about this to their socialite friends. This reminded me of the decadent future milieu of Iain M. Banks’ CULTURE novels. Through an over-complicated plot involving the mysterious “Madmoiselle,” Khouri is forced to infiltrate the giant spaceship Nostalgia for Infinity, which is largely deserted and only manned by a tiny skeleton crew of cybernetically-modified Ultras. The ship is run by Illia Volyova, a weapons expert who has taken over because the Captain has been struck by a nasty cyber-virus that is slowing transforming him, so he is kept in deep freeze as they rush to Resurgam in the belief that only Daniel Sylveste can save him.Having set the stage for some interstellar space adventure in a vast galactic panorama in Revelation Space, Reynolds instead elects to pad the middle portion of his almost 600-page tome with layer after layer of intrigue and talking among the cold, cerebral, and ultra-intelligent mercenaries of the Nostalgia for Infinity, very reminiscent of the cynical post-human characters of Peter Watt’s Blindsight and Richard Morgan’s Altered Carbon. What is it with cyberpunk post-humans in hard SF? It seems de rigueur that as humans become increasingly wedded to technology and mods/neural implants, they become less sympathetic than ‘normal’ humans. This characterization was probably pioneered William Gibson, the widely-acknowledged father of cyberpunk. I think he has never written a single likable or sympathetic character in any of his novels, and that is a very deliberate authorial choice. Reynolds certainly subscribes to this approach, as do Watts and Morgan. Sylveste, Khouri, Volyova are not characters we can love, but they are certainly complex and deadly-serious.The ship harbors a secret cache of extremely advanced weapons, so there is much intrigue about who controls them, what the Mademoiselle wants in relation to the ship and Daniel Sylveste, the loyalties of the ship members themselves, the real purpose of their mission, and what they will find on Resurgam. The weight of obsessive details really bogged down the story here, and its a problem that seems to regularly occur for massive hard SF epics — instead of forwarding the plot through a series of inventive set-pieces on various planets, we are stuck with 4-5 characters endlessly scheming and discussing the situation, but nothing actually HAPPENING. It got really tiresome, even after they got Sylveste onboard.At long last the story enters its final act, as the Nostalgia approaches a mysterious system called Cerberus/Hades, where an artificial satellite orbits a neutron star. Since our crew continues to struggle over control, with some out to assassinate others and control the cache of planet-busting weaponry, they elect to risk everything by landing the satellite and discovering the secrets it hides. Here is where the story got interesting again, as there are a flood of intriguing reveals that relate to the long-dead Amaranti and other lost alien races throughout the galaxy. Reynolds is of course setting the stage for future events that will be covered in the sequels, so Revelation Space ends somewhat anti-climactically but with enough teasers that I think hard SF/space opera fans will be sufficiently intrigued to read further.

  • Cecily
    2019-03-05 08:56

    (Review from Mar 08, 2011, which had somehow ended up as a comment, rather than a review.)An epic "hard" sci-fi space opera (so my son tells me), with links to some of Reynolds' other novels, but which works well as a standalone book too.It opens with three separate storylines, which gradually come together: Dan Sylveste, an archaeologist, researching the extinct Amarantin of the planet Resurgam; a spaceship crewed by ultras, with a sick captain in reefersleep and the triumvirate jostling for power; an assassin recruited in Chasm City on Yellowstone. It does mean the early chapters jump around rather frequently, but generally it works.Reynolds is a good story teller. The plots are engaging, and he has a good balance between enough exposition to avoid confusing the reader, but withholding some to tantalise the reader so they are compelled to read on. However, there is one major prong of the plot (the ultra's mission) that involved a huge amount of effort for an apparently pointless reason. I found it increasingly frustrating, and when an explanation was eventually given, it wasn't very satisfying and felt more like a plot device (to bring the storylines together) than actual plot.The story has elements of thriller (the assassin and the spaceship), mystery (how the Amarantin died out, the Sylveste Institute and what happened to Cal's alpha sim) and psychological drama (what the Shrouders are, and what revelation space is).The weakness is in the characterisation, and I found it more noticeable in this than in Chasm City or The Prefect. There are plenty of strong female characters, but you wouldn't know they were female if he didn't tell you, and I was taken surprise by a relationship that developed and was never convinced by it, even when one partner mentioned their love for the other. I wouldn't want a slushy romance, but this lacked credibility.There are also places where it seems a little too derivative, mainly of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars, and like them, it would make a fantastic film: it is very cinematic.Yet despite these weaknesses, it's still more than 3* because I enjoyed it so much and wanted to know what happened and why. There were some wonderful ideas, e.g. "a fastidious neatness... like a poltergeist in reverse"; "always feel that Volyova had spent hours rehearsing, hoping she would sound off-the-cuff"; "most of woke up in the recovery suite"; "It looked like a biology lesson for the gods, or a snapshot of the kind of pornography which might be enjoyed by sentient planets", and "hanging sculptures which subscribed to no recognisable aesthetic tendency".Best of all was something to make an iPad seem dull: a virtual reality biography, "accessed in may ways, from different viewpoints, and with varying degrees of interactivity", so the subject gets disoriented by his own life story, because it was "constructed with no regard for the niceties of linear time" and included a "shattered mosaic of interchangeable events". I want one. But till such a thing exists, I'll move on to another Reynolds.

  • Ian
    2019-02-21 10:51

    I debated whether to write a review of Revelation Space on its own or wait until I finished the Revelation Space trilogy and write a single review of the whole story. This is a debate that goes on in my head any time I read a multi-book series and I haven't established a blanket policy one way or the other. For me, it depends.Take, for example, Dan Simmons' Ilium and Olympos. They are really one book that was split arbitrarily because it was too long to publish in a single volume. Think LotR or Connie Willis' Blackout/All Clear series. In the case of Ilium and Olympos I chose to write one review of both books since the storylines couldn't be separated; that is, neither book stood on its own as a complete story. My review, which I placed under Olympos on GR, discusses the entire story and differentiates between the two books where appropriate. (In that case, mainly, the differentiation involved quality. Even though they encompass a single story arc, Ilium was simply the better book.)On the other hand, consider Robert J. Sawyer's Neanderthal Parallax series. It's a trilogy comprising Hominids, Humans, and Hybrids. While they also encompass an overall story arc, the first and third books in that series also make decent stand-alone stories, so I wrote separate reviews for Hominids and Hybrids.The Revelation Space series, in my mind, is more like the latter example, where the books have an overarching theme and storyline but still make good stand-alone stories. (The comparison only goes so far, though; in particular Revelation Space is better writing.) As I write this review, I have finished the first two books in the series: Revelation Space and Redemption Arc, and I'm working on the third. Revelation Space in particular deserves its own review because, not only does it make a good stand-alone book, it also expertly sets up the framework for a universe that Alastair Reynolds will use for five novels and two short-story collections (indeed I hope that's just the start).Revelation Space is not perfect by any means. There is the occasional bit of overly dramatized cheese and some characters are oh-come-on too obvious. But I don't want to focus on the negatives. The positives far outweigh the few things I don't like.For starters, Revelation Space sets up an entirely believable future universe within the bounds of physics and, just as important, within the bounds of human nature. There's no warp drives or transporters, just like there's no loss of all high technology, and there's no utopian or dystopian extremes in society. The technology of the future human civilization falls within imaginable limits—maybe stretches the limits a little, but what good sci-fi doesn’t? The important thing is that it still has limits and things like relativistic effects and time dilation play a role. The technological limits that Reynolds places upon his universe also have practical effects on the human societies he built within its framework. Sub-light travel (near-light speed, but still not FTL) has limited the growth of human civilization to a reasonable degree, say a few dozen light years in any direction, and the limits of sub-light space travel result in human societies growing diverse through their isolation. The ships which travel the space lanes between worlds develop a society and culture of their own, as their lives are so much different from those who live on or around planets. Even within systems, there are societal differences between the planet-side cities and those in orbit. In essence, human civilization and society are not one, big, happy "Federation." Another thing Reynolds does well, and along similar lines to the things mentioned above, is his projection of contemporary human society on a future, higher-tech, space-faring framework. Call it the holographic principle at work—the projection of a planet-bound society into the depth and breadth of space—and it's a projection I can believe. Like any good sci-fi work Reynolds' writing isn't merely predictive, but descriptive. In Revelation Space you'll find all the familiar human attitudes and motivations, which makes the characters much more relatable than they would have been had his work pushed the utopian or dystopian extremes. (Think of Star Trek and The Road, both of which have relate-ability issues because people are too good or too bad, respectively).Speaking of characters, they are, for the most part, pretty three-dimensional. There is the depth and realism to the major characters that is required for a epic space opera to really take hold in the reader's mind. I don't know about you, but epic-scale adventure and big boobs and big booms is not enough for me; that stuff is great and all, but only if I can believe what's happening. The major characters in Revelation Space each have their own life histories that brought them to this point, and I really felt as though Reynolds drew up their life histories in advance, thinking about how each person's history affected his or her personality and attitudes. The characters' histories aren't revealed to you all at once, but rather layer-by-later. You learn more about them as you get to know them, as you would any friend or enemy. I'm not saying there are no cardboard-thin characters in Revelation Space; there are, but the big ones are sufficiently deep for me.Let's stay on the character theme and talk about the women: Pascal Sylveste, Ilia Volyova, and Ana Khouri. For a long time, sci-fi lacked female characters who were both strong and believable. Too many male sci-fi writers created fantasy women with big tits and big guns … Laura Croft in space … women who were "strong" insofar as they threw a good punch and played dominatrix in the bedroom. Reynolds doesn't fall into that trap. He creates women that I can believe, and believe in; women who are real leaders and exhibit real strength of character and will. It's not that he's a pioneer in that area, but I'm glad to see another writer continue the trend of producing quality, equal-opportunity hard sci-fi.The quality of the underlying storytelling I thought was excellent and on par with what I've come to expect of Alastair Reynolds. My first experience with Reynolds was House of Suns, which was all the rage a couple years back. That book was alright—pretty good but not great. Then I tried Terminal World, which was not great at all and lost my interest less than a hundred pages in. And then I read The Prefect, which really impressed me, making me think Terminal World was probably an aberration. I didn't know it at the time, but it turns out The Prefect also is set in the Revelation Space universe. Fortunately The Prefect is a completely self-contained story (not part of the Revelation Space trilogy), set in only one corner of Reynolds' fictional future universe, so I had no trouble understanding it. I wanted to mention The Prefect because of something I wrote in my review of that book, to wit:"… The Prefect … has its subtleties and complexities [and] has some unique angles on classic sci-fi themes that I enjoyed immensely. But The Prefect is anything but frustrating to follow; it weaves many threads and then brings those threads together at the end, tying them up in a neat and satisfying conclusion that leaves no questions unanswered. This is an impressively well executed book, gratifying from beginning to end. And it was worth my time, which, ultimately, is one of the best compliments I can pay."That is exactly how I feel about the storytelling in Revelation Space and I don't think I could say it any better now. It's just a darn good, solid, well executed work of hard sci-fi. The "Big Idea" itself isn't original (the idea of a powerful alien intelligence trying to wipe out other space-faring civilizations) but Reynolds' specific take on it is, and he gives us some very human characters and storylines to drive the underlying big plot forward.Finally, I really appreciate that Revelation Space ends in a satisfying and self-contained way. Obviously the ending leaves open the possibility—even need—for a sequel, as I assume it was always his intention to write a trilogy. But one can still read Revelation Space by itself and feel satisfied. Of course, if you enjoyed it as much as I did, you'll want to pick up the sequel and get started straight away.

  • Paul
    2019-02-26 06:46

    I used to read a lot more science fiction 20 years ago than I do now, but I've had this on my shelves for a while and the other Reynolds I read was ok. Reynolds is an Astrophysicist and clealry knows his stuff. This is the first of a trilogy and is on a grand scale, what is termed space opera, I suppose. The plot is complex with a number of narrative strands and focuses on why there appear to be few extant spacefaring civilisations and many more civilisations that appear to have ended/been destroyed. There are lots of interesting ideas related to how humans get around in the vast emptiness of space. The possibility of living on in digital form is not a new one, but Reynolds takes it a little farther. Like Iain Banks, Reynolds also uses the idea of a level of sentience in machines and does some interesting things with it. The space suits with views of their own and a good line in sarcasm are quite amusing. All of the three main protagonists have their own particular agenda and Reynolds weaves their coming together very well.Two of the three main protagonists are female, and that was refreshing. The whole thing is a bit noir and at times there is a clautrophobic feel. There is also a bleakness to it, which wasn't a fault and at least Reynolds didn't use Banks's trick of slaughtering all of his main protagonists in his sci-fi novels. The characterisation is a little thin and two-dimensional at times and more emotional depth would have been welcome. The descriptions of the ship; a massive one, with a skeleton crew, in a sort of graceful degeneration, are very good. The timeline is confusing all the way though, but does manage to come together at the end. However the very end of the book is a bit of a fudge, but as it's the first part of a trilogy, that is forgiveable. If you like your sci-fi a bit gothic and on a big scale with big ideas, then this may be for you. 3.5 stars

  • Robert
    2019-02-18 12:49

    Does Reynolds get a lot of inspiration from films? Chasm City's Mulch is reminiscent of Blade Runner. John Brannigan's Nostalgia for Infinity ends up looking like the Alien queen did the decor. Eraserheads delete back-ups (of your mind). Reynolds openly admits that much of the inspiration for his finest work, Diamond Dogs, comes from gorno movies.Some writers slowly develop into good novelists over a span of several, even a dozen, books. Others burst into print with a debut novel that shows a full grasp of the technicalities of writing. Reynolds is one of the latter, his only mistake in this debut novel being that none of the main protagonists is sympathetic. In fact, most of them are completely nutso in one way or another and some of them are dangerous psychos - and there are 40 Really Big Guns and a Swarm of Genocidal Machines in the vicinity, too...

  • Claudia
    2019-02-19 06:52

    Marvelous hard space opera.Slowly built, with three story lines which at some point merge together, it depicts a very dark universe, full of technological wonders, both human and alien, but not all in the best interest of life.Very well developed characters, plenty of descriptions of the surrounding worlds and technologies. I don't know if it will be on everyone's taste, for it is not quite full of action. The focus is mainly on the choices which have to be made, the struggle behind those choices and human behaviour when faced with major difficulties.But, if I were to describe it with one word, this would be unpredictable. Yes, you can guess where is going, but there are turnarounds at every corner and not everyone is what's supposed to be.Highly recommended.

  • Barbara
    2019-03-07 12:32

    "Revelation Space" takes place in the 26th century, when humans have achieved space travel and can journey vast distances in 'lighthugger' ships that fly at almost the speed of light.The story opens on the planet Resurgam, which was inhabited by the Amarantin civilization until nine hundred thousand years ago. At that time, just when the Amarantin were about to attain space flight, a catastrophe wiped out the entire race. Now, small human settlements populate Resurgam, one of which is led by Dan Sylveste - an archaeologist obsessed with studying the Amarantin and what happened to them. Dan Sylveste is famous for being one of only a few humans who have visited two mysterious alien worlds: the Pattern Jugglers - an obscure oceanic race that can imprint information on the brains of visitors; and the Shrouders - hidden beings who guard the most dangerous devices in the galaxy. In fact, Dan is the only human who ever returned alive from a trip to the Shrouders. Dan is also well-known for being the son of the brilliant deceased scientist, Calvin Sylveste. The thing is, though Calvin is dead, Dan can still see him and talk to him. Calvin's neural patterns have been saved and Dan can call up his father's image - which usually shows up reclining in a comfortable chair - when he needs to consult with the great man.While Dan is going about his business (voluntarily and involuntarily) on Resurgam, a decrepit lighthugger called 'Nostalgia for Infinity' - which has lost almost everyone onboard - is trawling the galaxy looking for the archaeologist. The spaceship is infected with the Melding Plague, a nanotech virus that attacks both organic and inorganic substances. The Plague - which has badly damaged the ship - also infected the Nostalgia's skipper, Captain Brannigan, while he was in reefersleep (suspended animation). The unfortunate Brannigan is now a grotesque being who's expanding, mutating, and merging with the spaceship. Dan Sylveste once came aboard the Nostalgia to treat the Captain (with dead Calvin's help).....and the crew wants the archaeologist to help Brannigan once again. Meanwhile, the Captain is being kept at a temperature of absolute zero to retard the spread of the virus.The Nostalgia's leading crew members are a Triumverate consisting of: Volyova - a female munitions expert who controls a ginormous cache of weapons that ranges from guns to star-destroyers; Sajaki - the defacto captain of the ship; and Hegazi - Sajaki's yes-man. Sajaki and Hegazi are extreme 'Ultras' - humans who have been exponentially enhanced with technological implants and bionic devices. The ship also carries a myriad of robotic servitors - including janitor rats - that function as auxiliary help. The last major character in the story is a woman named Khouri. Khouri is a former soldier who was accidently transported to the planet Yellowstone while she was in reefersleep. On Yellowstone, Khouri became an assassin in a kind of 'Westworld' game. Bored rich people looking for excitement could arrange for an assassin to hunt them down while they tried to evade the killer. But if Khouri is the assigned assassin, the patron is a dead duck because Khouri never fails. Thus, Khouri attracts the attention of a woman called Mademoiseille, who 'hires' (extorts) Khouri to kill Dan. Mademoiselle alleges that the future of humankind depends on Dan's death. As the story plays out Khouri eventually gets on board the Nostalgia - which is also searching for Dan. And that's all I can say without spoilers. Other characters in the story include Resurgam residents who want to thwart Dan's research into the Amarantin; a journalist who's compiling Dan's biography; a Nostalgia gunnery officer who goes completely insane; a wily cyber-being with an agenda; Dan's deceased wife; and more. The book is almost 600 pages long, and there's plenty of techno-speak that describes planets, stars, spaceships, shuttles, weapons, bionic devices, alien races, alien artifacts, space-time, objective time, subjective time, alpha and beta 'copies' of dead people, sophisticated spacesuits, esoteric discoveries, etc. The book also has a number of sub-plots; some exciting shootouts; plenty of twists, turns, and surprises; and an innovative and compelling climax.The author tends to be a bit verbose and over-descriptive at times, which slows down the story - and I occasionally had to resist skimming. Overall though, I enjoyed the book, which is imaginative and well-written. Highly recommended to science fiction fans.You can follow my reviews at http://reviewsbybarbsaffer.blogspot.com/

  • Stephen
    2019-03-03 10:34

    4.5 stars. I really struggled with whether to give this a 4 or 5 star rating. On the 5 star side (or even the 6 star side as I give those books I think are truly special) the ideas, concepts, technology, world-building (or better stated, galactic civilization building) and descriptions of the various factions of humanity are amazingly original and incredibly entertaining. Put simply, there are a lot of "WOW" moments where I said "this guy is brilliant." Also on the level of a 5 star novel is the plot itself, which is complex, slowly unfolding and very, very good. The only aspect of the book that kept it me from giving it a 5 star or higher rating was the characterization. The characters were a little hard to relate to in any meaningful way. Their interaction with one another and their underlying motivations were difficult to feel and so the reader (i.e. me) was not as emotionally invested in the plot, and thus not as interested in the characters' eventual fate, as I would have liked to have been. Still, overall, this was a superb 21st century space opera and the authors ability to wow readers with original concepts and amazing technology is as good as it gets. Definitely worth a read. Recommended!!!Nominee: Arthur C. Clarke Award for Best NovelNominee: Locus Award for Best Science Fiction NovelNominee: Locus Award for Best First Novel

  • Adam
    2019-03-14 12:36

    If your fan of the wing of scifi represented in the mainstream by movies like Ridley Scott's Alien and John Carpenter's The Thing(or more recently Danny Boyles'Sunshine)than this book will be endless entertainment for for you. Barely human nightmare show characters you wouldn't want to be in a dark alley with, discovering a universe filled with lovecraftian horror. Similiar to Delany's Nova and Swanwick's Vacuum Flowers with identity confusion straight out of Gene Wolfe land plus aliens as weird as Lem's or Lovecraft's. Mind bending tech meets horror and non stop tension and a rising feeling of of dread mixing a sense of absolute wonder. A space ship designed Edgar Allen Poe, barren moons, Boschian cities, huge alien machines, all add to the grim, doomy atmosphere making this thrilling gothic sci fi. Along with Meiville,Reynolds is a new author bring some new vibrant life into genre fiction.

  • Ryan
    2019-03-17 12:33

    The Good:Awesome characters, awesome setting, awesome ideas, awesome awesome awesome. I haven’t read much hard scifi (this has no FTL travel but it does have aliens and other weird theoretical shit so how hard can it really be?) because I assume it makes for boring stories about physics. Revelation Space was not boring. This is set about 550 years in the future, and it is about people, incredibly driven and well resourced people – ones that might even resemble people you’ve sat next to on the bus. As well as the people there is just so much cool imagery here. There’s a gigantic haunted spaceship for fucks sake!The Bad:The ending was a bit WTF.'Friends' character the protagonist is most like:Everyone in this story is pretty dark and ruthless. Sylveste is a cross between Rachel and Joey, Volyova is Rachel and Ross, and Khouri is Rachel/Chandler.

  • Krbo
    2019-03-06 10:32

    Jedan dobar primjerak "tvrdog" SF-a.Kako je Reynolds astrofizičar osnova za dobar znanstveni dio je postojala i odlično je iskorištena.Prilično brzo me je "kupio" na početku time što ne podilazi i tetoši čitatelja.Već na samom početku lagano ispaljuje rečenicu otprilike "živjeli su u geodezijskoj kupoli" bez ikakvog objašnjenja.Ako ne znam što je geodezijska kupola onda baš i ne pripadam u ovaj SF podžanr, a ako sam početnik onda ću lako pretražiti internet.Isto vrijedi i kada zađe u kvantnu fiziku. Vrlo rijetko je nešto kratko objašnjavao.Drugi trenutak je bio kod uvođenja glavnog ženskog lika (koji je u biti i glavni lik knjige) kroz atmosferu čistog Blade Runner grada.Kasnije sam ovo potvrdio i u recenzijama drugih čitatelja (koje ne konsultiram prije nego sam formiram mišljenje o knjizi)Svijet koji je Reynolds zamislio je vrlo zanimiljiv. Ne postoji pogon brži od svjetlosti tako da dimenzije pozornice i nisu tako velike (osim za neobično izmijenjene ljude koji putuju ogromnim kilometarskim brodovima i obavljaju neku vrst trgovine) no ima puno zanimljivog od "hermetika" u tjelesnim kontejnerima preko "ultri" obogaćenih raznim dodacima do "himerika" koji se samoliječe.Tu je nešto intrigantnih aliena, jedni su mrtvi 900.000 godina, a susret s drugima (i trećima) ili ubija ili ostavlja obogaćen mozak u mogućem rasulu.Tako pripremljen teren je izgleda zahtijevao i dosta cyber komponenti pa će i ljubitelji tog podžanra doći na svoje.Radnja je prilično dinamična s ne previše daveža u koje valjda nužno odu svi koji pišu debele knjižurine. Ispadi dosade su bili obično ograničeni na nekoliko stranica zaredom.Knjiga je svakako trebala biti kraća i s malo pažljivije dotjeranim poglavljima (često skače s jedne radnje na drugu poput skakavca)Najveću zamjerku imam na poveći nivo koncentracije koji mi je bio potreban za čitanje s razumijevanjem, u ovom trenutku ("a vani studen, snijeg i zima.") mi je bilo malo naporno tako da ću morati ohladiti nabujali mozak nečim benignijim.Hoće li se otkriti tko je pomlatio cijelu jednu civilizaciju i zašto - da, hoćeHoće li radnja biti završena - da, sasvim zadovoljavajuće do želje za idućim nastavkom Revelation SpaceaHoćemo li dobiti još jedno moguće rješenje Fermijevog paradoksa - da, vidjet ćemo kako je to Reynolds zamislio.Meni jedna jača trojka i svakako preporuka za ljubitelje podžanra hard-SF

  • Lightreads
    2019-03-17 10:31

    Humans of the twenty-sixth century live in a galaxy more empty than it really should be, haunted by the ghosts of species long extinct. There's 550 pages of intricate plotting here, so I'll just say it's a hard SF novel that jumps from an archaeological expedition to an alien plague to quantum mechanics to neuroprogramming.The good: Women! who are cool! and who do very cool things! Shiny hard SF ideas. A scattering of really disturbing and effective images that will stick with me. Excellent and creative worldbuilding. The meh: Choppy timing. A few stupid writer tricks. Over-stretched dramatics.I think hard SF is like a gecko. I'm like, "ooh, you're an awfully cool little reptile, aren't you?" and it totally is, but at a certain point I start thinking, "you know, my dog is nice and furry. I like furry." Which is an overtired way of saying that I enjoyed this book and will be getting the sequel, but it suffers from the perennial hard SF problem -- characters who are so futurified, there's very little to latch onto.But really good, for hard SF -- definitely my favorite of the recent reads (Stephen Baxter, Greg Bear, etc). Also see above re: women, because that really can't be over-emphasized.

  • Sarah Anne
    2019-02-18 11:41

    A Space Opera Mystery story... I need more of these in my life!

  • Jim
    2019-02-25 07:35

    It's a long, winding, interesting journey that's rich with scientific & social concepts. It starts with a few characters, intertwines them in rather chaotic ways. Not all are human, but that's a personal distinction that's blurred thoroughly enough that I'm not sure it has any meaning. At times, there seems to be a bit too much coincidence involved, but that is only because the information is incomplete - or wrong. People lie & they're duplicitous, even if they mean well. That occasionally works out, even among selfish barbarians (for all their technical prowess) living in a decaying ghetto & highly cultured liberals rebelling for/against their totalitarian ideals. From the purely personal of half a dozen well painted characters, the story immerses us in several societies & describes more, both past & present. What we see isn't often what we get, though. Is it a lie or just a difference of perspective? Both? Lies of omission are often the worst since they contain enough truth to fool everyone so thoroughly.The story expands still further until it encompasses galaxies & billions of years & then it tightens back down into the purely personal again. Doesn't make much sense, does it? It's not supposed to. This isn't a story so much as an epic SF quest for the Holy Grail where Sir Gawain doesn't really exist ... maybe, sort of. It's a tough call. While there are several Green Knights, are there any villains? Of course there are. Many of them. Some are quite despicable until circumstances make them far too understandable. Can I really blame them? Sure, depending on the perspective. There are certainly plenty of perspectives to go around.Overall, it was a fantastic story, so why only 3 stars? Because there was too much story that left plenty of loose ends & even a cliff-hanger. If it had been 2/3 the length, I certainly would have given it an extra star & been eager to go on to the next book. I detest repetition & there was a fair amount, not to mention aimless wandering that didn't add much to the story. The other issue I had was with the tech. There were some fantastic ideas, but then the author droned on about them & reduced many to magical constructs. If he had done that from a perspective that encouraged the theme of technical barbarism, it would have worked. He didn't. He took Saberhagen's Berserkers & ghosts in the machine, to new heights, though. Very well done indeed.Maybe 3.5 stars. It was just so bloody long, even fantastically narrated by John Lee, possibly my favorite narrator. If I could have skimmed at times, this probably would have been better. As it is, I'll recommend it to anyone that loves epics. I'm not a real fan of them. Has anyone read further in the series? I'm curious if the writing is any tighter. Please let me know.

  • Szplug
    2019-02-22 12:51

    Three and a half stars, rounded up for the excellent final stretch and the fertile imagination exhibited throughout. Reynolds also proves himself a quality penman. However, the characterization—as so often seems to be the case in this genre—has room for improvement, to say the least, while the selectiveness and inconsistency of those character's morality and actions, untethered as they may become within a subluminal civilizational archipelago amidst an unbounded cosmic ocean, nagged and nibbled away at my enjoyment; and a more diligent editor trimming away at the fat would have been appreciated. Still, as far as space opera goes, this is about as good as it gets: Reynolds delivers entertainment, speculation, dark mystery, high tech savvy, and downright satisfaction in ingenious fashion.As an addendum—and one which contains spoilage—the more I think about this novel, the more I am simultaneously impressed by Reynolds' cosmic creativity and writing skill and irritated by the character and story inconsistencies, particularly those annoying plot bubbles that were inflated for dramatic effect and then left pinned to the textual corkboard, receding to invisibility as events propelled the reader forward; plus, the Amarantin bifurcation doesn't make any sense. As for the ending, in the rapid crush of trying to wind it all down I neither sufficiently appreciated how cleverly Reynolds brought things to a head, nor how silly that whole Walkin' on the Moon...Da do do coda was. If only Reynolds had cut that final cropping of picnic basket dunciad, Revelation Space would have ended on a high note—well, after I learned what happened to Khouri and Ilia. Notwithstanding that Reynolds failed to establish any coherence to their actions, outlook, or purposes, I have to admit that I was pretty fond of those two ladies by the time Sylveste makes his big play for stardom—indeed, Ilia Volyova continuously reminded me, for reasons I cannot readily concretize, of GRer-on-sabbatical Knig-o-lass. It turns out that I guess I am fine with the fate Reynolds determined for that saucy, plucky, and resourceful pair; it's the remainder that just slightly curdled.

  • Scott
    2019-02-28 09:29

    Sprawling, energetic, idea-packed, and ambitious as hell. I really did enjoy this one, despite some fairly strong qualms, and I plan to keep reading in the sequence. Reynolds has an attractive habit of trying to end each major scene in the novel with some sort of cliffhanger or interesting hint, and an equally unattractive habit of then giving us the conclusion or the revelation as a flashback within a future scene. For a hypothetical example, imagine a scene ending with a character staring at a bomb that is about to explode. The next scene will feature that same character calmly eating breakfast, and after four or five pages of breakfast, we'll get an omniscient digression back to how they handled the bomb. This disjointing of the narrative flow is repeated, over and over again, and at times it pounds the novel's sense of story progression into fragments. As a narrative device, it tosses aside the advantage of straightforward chronology but doesn't add any particular artistic or thematic character in return... it's merely annoying, the authorial equivalent of a nervous tic. The final portion of the book suffers, as an awful lot of contemporary big-concept hard SF novels do, from an unnatural acceleration in its last few dozen pages as action upon action and revelation upon revelation are crammed into an exceedingly tiny space. It's a classic, cautionary example of the dictum that just because a novel has stopped does not mean an ending has been written. Still, it's got an awful lot to recommend it, including a colorful refusal to allow FTL travel or communication and a lot of fascinating speculation relevant to the Fermi Paradox. One thing I will grant Revelation Space is that it, moreso than any other science fiction novel I've ever read, does a bang-up job of simultaneously expressing how imponderably huge our galaxy is, and yet how very, very small it is on a universal scale. Reynolds' astronomical background is richly expressed in his work, and a thoughtful reader's mind will be bent in many directions.

  • Karl
    2019-03-01 08:34

    This hardcover copy is signed by Alastair Reynolds.