Revelation Space

Reynolds, Alastair

Published by Ace Hardcover
ISBN 10: 0441008356 / ISBN 13: 9780441008353
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Synopsis: This highly-acclaimed first novel is destined to establish Alastair Reynolds as one of science fiction's most intelligent and revolutionary new voices. Revelation Space is a sprawling operatic novel that ranges across vast gulfs of time and space to arrive at a terrifying conclusion.

When human colonists settled the Amarantin homeworld, few of them bothered to question the disappearance of its native population almost a million years before. But one man, Dan Silvester, is convinced that solving the riddle of the Amarantin is vital to human survival. As he nears the truth he learns that someone wants him dead. Because the Amarantin were destroyed for a reason-and if that reason is made public, the universe-and reality itself-could be forever altered.

Review: 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 defenses: "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 defenses to challenge the Infinity's planet-wrecking superweapons.

At the heart of this artifact, 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, Amazon.co.uk

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Title: Revelation Space
Publisher: Ace Hardcover
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New

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