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Revelation Space Audio CD – Unabridged, January 5, 2009
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"[A] hard sci-fi tour de force...Reynolds' vision of a future dominated by artificial intelligence trembles with the ultimate cold of the dark between the stars."-- "Publishers Weekly"
"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."-- "Locus"
"Dense with information and incident, this longish novel has no surplus fat and seems almost too short. A sparkling SF debut."-- "Amazon.com, editorial review"
Ferociously intelligent and imbued with a chilling logic---it may really be like this Out There.-- "Stephen Baxter, coauthor of The Light of Other Days"
About the Author
Alastair Reynolds is a bestselling author and has been awarded the British Science Fiction Award and the Locus Award, along with being shortlisted for the Hugo Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Award. He was born in Barry, South Wales, and studied at Newcastle and St. Andrew's Universities to ultimately earn a PhD in astronomy. A former astrophysicist for the European Space Agency, he lives in the Netherlands, near Leiden.
John Lee, is a stage actor, writer, and a coproducer of feature films. An AudioFile Golden Voice narrator, he is the winner of numerous Audie Awards and AudioFile Earphones Awards.
- ASIN : B08XZDSF5D
- Publisher : Tantor Audio; Unabridged edition (January 5, 2009)
- Language : English
- ISBN-13 : 979-8200128501
- Item Weight : 3.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.2 x 5.7 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,998,551 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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Is the author detailed? Very much so. His handling of relative time and travel at near-light speed was done quite well. His descriptions of places were detailed and, in the case of the Infinity, bordered on visceral. But his characters all talked in the same voice with only one character overusing in the same Russish expletive, allowing a reader to know who is speaking without having to retrace the steps of the conversation to figure it out.
Some concepts made no sense, such as the interior of the lighthugger being covered in grime and knee-deep in effluent. You know, the same ship that can create robotic servitors of any kind at will and has an army of janitor rats (kind of a clever idea, that). How did the cache weapons get aboard a trading ship? I think I found that out on the wiki - not even a cursory explanation within the book. So many questions with woefully inadequate answers.
Finally, the most annoying aspect of the book was the author's almost compulsive need to let the reader know that he knows how to use the dictionary and thesaurus apps on his iPad. Sure, you could get the meaning of most words from the context in which they were used, but it still slows down the flow of the book. And... EVERYONE talked like that. Seriously? Khouri was a soldier then an assassin but speaks using the same archaic words that super-scientist Sylveste uses?
Then - the supremely-oddly-placed Hithchikers-esque quips? While some made me chuckle, they certainly did not fit with anything in the rest of the book.
All in all, I think the author's universe and his concepts are compelling, but the overall style of the books make it hard to say I'd read the rest of the some 4,000 pages in the series.
Actually, most of it.
The characterization is good.
The author leaves enough things unexplained to keep those hooks in.
There's so much going on that it can get a little confusing, but he recognizes that and throws in some well-placed review sections at times.
But it just kept getting weirder and weirder.
When I was done, I decided that I was glad to have read it, but that's enough Rev Space for me -- I won't be doing the follow ons.
However, this story was not without flaws. I think this may be up to personal preference, but I found the plot to be too complexed for the style in which it was delivered and the plot devices the author chose. There is constant movement in this story, and the bite-sized bits of information we're given come too infrequently. The result is a story that is hard to get into. The characters are interesting; however, the thick shroud (see what I did there...) of mystery that surrounds them for the majority of this book made it impossible for me to get invested in any of them. The last issue I had was how cumbersome the writing was. I was never at any point eager to pick this book up again, even after I got into the plot.
I am interested in this plot, I will definitely be picking up the next one in the series....... eventually.....
Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds is a stand alone novel and is also well-known as book 1 in the 6 book "Revelation Space" series published during 2000-2007.
In this story mankind has evolved into various conflicting factions and has established colonies on other planets all without the use of FTL - faster than light travel. Scientist-archeologist Dan Sylvester is excavating an alien artifact on the planet Resurgam. The hieroglyphical markings on this nine thousand centuries monument gives a picture of a planet destroying encounter with vastly superior alien technology. We learn that the aliens - referred to as the "Inhibitators" are ancient survivors of the "Dawn War". The Inhibitators, victors in a galaxy wide centuries long war are dedicated to prevent at all cost another species from spreading the seeds of conflict. Prevention is in the form of automatic sentinels that react with ferocious planet annihilating power if certain technological triggers are activated. Sylvester cunningly maneuvers himself to become involved in a fascinating and fantastical series of events that results in a mystical-like confronting with the Inhibitors artifact.
There are numerous ideas, characters and back story allusions peppered throughout this novel. At time I felt like I had mistakenly read the last book in a sequential series when I was in fact reading book 1. I can understand an authors' desire to materialize an all encompassing "outer space" theme for a series but without footnotes or a glossary this reader was somewhat dazed and confused.
Mr. Reynolds, with his Ph. D in astronomy is a master at technological extrapolation. Therefore this story exhibits many "hard" aspects of hardware type science-fiction that will cause long time fans weep with joy and others to whimper with annoyance.
My trades paperback edition of this title ran 600 pages with a small font. I enjoyed this story with one major reservation - it would of been a much better reading experience if the page count was 300 instead of 600. Mr. Reynolds takes three pages to describe an event or a dramatic situation when one concise page would do just fine. Where was the editor when this manuscript was submitted?
If you are ready to curl up with a snappy long winded tour-de-force of space war run amok then this is the book for you my friend. I will be on the look out for book 2 "Chasm City" (2001).
Top reviews from other countries
1) To pad out the story. e.g. a character is told to arm herself at a tense part of the story and we then get a 3 page explanation of how the armoury builds its guns...goodbye tension.
2) To hide the fact that, at its heart, it’s the simplest of plots driven along by people acting strangely just to get to point B. We are told so and so is brutal or so and so is a megalomaniac but this traits are never seen...the whole bunch of characters are bland plot following imbeciles.
It’s dull as dish-water and the author has a dreadful habit of dragging out the reveals by interrupting an explanation with a cut away to what’s going on with another character.
The wordiness is slightly too much for me. This writer has interesting concepts and can write a story (though he loves to bring several parallel stories together) and some of the reveals in the story are just predictable and not done in an impactful way. Also, I can't say I really felt much emotional connection with the characters. Thus, all the way through the book I felt that this is a person that could write brilliant work with a co-author. Really - with another eye and someone who could tweak the writing to bring out emotion and impact, this could have been brilliant. Indeed, it wouldn't surprise me if this was made into an interesting TV scifi series.
Should you buy it? Well, ignore the reviews about 'hard scifi'. I'd say, yes read this, and you'll enjoy it, but it's not special - not because it's not unique - but because it really just needed some tweaks to make the story telling better.
That being said I did really like the story; enough to give the book 4*'s, and will read the sequel:)
I liked the switching backwards and forwards in time, almost a necessity for the book given Einstein's universe. It helped to place the events oddly enough.
I don't often give five stars but this book deserved it. Quite a revelation one might say.
I felt the all the hopping between scenes and time points was quite tricky to follow early on (first half), but it all fitted into place eventually. As with so many long-ish novels, I also felt the tale untold at a leisurely pace until the end when we suddenly raced through the end.
I did like it though pitched as, I guess, hard sci-fi with plenty of science and imagination thrown in.
I look forward to his next one!