Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days Paperback – Dec 11 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Astronomer Reynolds's two far-future space exploration novellas, set in his Revelation Space universe (Chasm City, etc.), confirm his mastery of noir SF. Antihero Richard Swift of "Diamond Dogs" joins Mephistophelian Roland Childe's expedition to scale the Blood Spire on the planet Golgotha. As they climb, they must solve increasingly intricate mathematical puzzles, replacing limbs and mental processes with cybernetic constructs as the Spire changes the rules of its lethal game. Naqi Okpik of "Turquoise Days" loses her sister Mina to the sentient ocean of the planet Turquoise. Naqi abandons her humanity, uniting with the ocean to find Mina and save their world from destruction. Spire and ocean are both artifacts of Revelation Space's alien Pattern Jugglers, who form a living gestaltinterstellar entity that in these brilliantly executed parables represents the vehicle for humanity's choice between self-immolation and evolution and the author's postulated solution to the riddle of Faustian man. Reynolds's allegory: if humans embrace science and technology so fervently that body and soul sacrifice themselves to overweening greed, humans will eventually perish in bitter suicide; instead, abandon selfish individuality, immerse the soul in the warm sea of homecoming where minds meet and meld into oneness, and survive, changed forever.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
'Alastair Reynolds occupies the same frenzied imaginative space as Philip K. Dick or A.E. Van Vogt; that he occupies it as a working scientist is what makes it so exciting'―M. John Harrison in the GUARDIAN
'Reynolds's narrative is truly breathtaking in scope and intricate in detail, making him a mastersinger of the space opera'―THE TIMES
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Turquoise Days, on the other hand is far more prosaic and character based, starting slowly (compared to the almost frantic pace of Diamond Dogs) but building to a satisfyingly Reynolds climax. As with the short stories in Galactic North, this novella adds further depth to his Revelation universe, this time focussing on the Pattern Jugglers. With lots of action and a classic Reynolds plot, Turquoise Days is an all-round excellent read and a fine counterpoint to Diamond Dogs.
A definite must for any Reynolds fan, but not a book to read as an introduction to his work.
In "Diamond Dogs" we join a team of explorers on an unusual quest. They must climb and work their way inside of the planet Golgotha's Blood Spire. As they progress through its maze, the puzzles they solve become more complex, that passages forward smaller, and the consequences more extreme. Once you start reading, it is very difficult to stop.
In "Turquoise Days" we encounter a planetary ocean which contains all of the building blocks of life. It can change those who swim in it. Sometimes it is hard to understand, let alone appreciate, the nature of the gifts it bestows on the swimmers. Or what they can be used to accomplish.
These are good stories, especially for fans of Alastair Reynolds' longer works in this universe. Readers may also enjoy Galactic North, a collection of eight shorter stories with the same background.
Reynolds and Stephen King are not in the same category. Stephen King writes mass market potboiler horror. Reynolds writes interesting science fiction with novel storyline. Reynolds needs to work on characterization, but his thin characters are better than the montage of cliches that King frequently relies on.
Unfortunately, I'm Finding Myself In The Latest Years Finding Less And Less Good Reading Material, And I Find Myself Ditching Or Skimming The Books I Try To Read.
One Of The Exceptions Were "Chasm City" And "Diamond Dogs / Turquoise Days" By Alastair Reynolds.
The Reasons For That I Think Are 3.
1. Alastair Reynolds Is A Good Writer, Nor The "SCI-FI Fan" Type, Nor "The Scientist That Like To Expand Our Knowledge" Type , Or The "I'm A Failure Writing Fiction Stories, So I Will Write SCI-FI Instead" Type, But Actual Writer.
2. Alastair Reynolds Knows How To Tell A story That Will Entice You, The Reader, Like Stephan King Does.
3. Alastair Reynolds Can Still Imagine And Innovate In This Almost Dead And Berried Genre.
This 2 Stories Are A Great Example Of It's Complex Work : They Are All Happen In Is Chasm City Universe - The First "Diamond
Dogs" Is Sort Of "The CUBE" Movie Style Plot Combined With Biomechanical And Advanced SCI-FI Technology.
The Other Is More Related To Is Chasm City, And Tells A Story About The Mysterious Pattern Jugglers.
One Of The Uniqueness About Reinolds Creation Is It Ability To Create A Very Rich Universe In Which Everything Is In Big Proportions, And Every Thing Is Posible : Advanced Technology, Aliens, Mutations, hundred Of Space ships, Ghotic And Gigantic Cities, Killing Dieseases, Endless Chases, Secrets Waiting To Be Explored Below Ground, Below Oceans, In Space, In Remote Planets, Really Every Thing Can Happen In Every Given Moment, And Whole Is Woven TiTightly In A Convincing Way.
I Think This Is Worthwhile Purchase, And It Is Also Come In Hard Cover !
I Also Believe That Reinolds Is Very Talented Writer, And We Will Hear More About Him In The Future !