The Big Think

May 22, 2006

Current Reading

Filed under: Current Reading — jasony @ 1:36 pm

I’ve read every one of Alastair Reynolds’ books. Starting with Chasm City, then his Revelation Space trilogy, and his short story book “Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days”. Reynolds favors large canvas, epic, science fiction with a heavy emphasis on how future technology changes humanity, and the repercussions our society faces with Singularity-type advances. What happens when some people adapt to and adopt advancing technology while others reject it? How do we deal with societal schisms? What does it mean to be human in an increasingly technological landscape? He poses some profound questions as only a member of the generation seeing this type of change first-hand can do.
I have mostly enjoyed his books (the exception being the final book of his “Revelation Space” trilogy- Absolution Gap), but it seems to me that he is getting better and better at plotting and pacing the more he writes. In his most recent book,Century Rain, Reynolds keeps a tangle of plot elements in the air while still telling a very fast-paced story, and wrapping the loose ends up in a satisfying way while still leaving room for future sequels (please!). He weaves a great yarn while staying thematically cohesive. Part noir, part hard-boiled private detective story, part who-dun-it, part race-to-save(one of the) Earth(s), and all set against a future Nano-tech landscape, this is the best book I’ve read this year. How quickly I read a book is often a good indication of how much I like it. I plowed through the 500 pages of this sucker in less than 24 hours. Great read!

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