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Galactic North (Gollancz S.F.) Hardcover – 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Gollancz (2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 057507910X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575079106
  • Product Dimensions: 18 x 3.3 x 25.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 798 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,500,629 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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'You realise you might die down there,' said Warren. Read the first page
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Barazzuol on Jan. 18 2008
Format: Paperback
Don't read this one if your not familiar with the universe of this author. Even being a great fan of Alastair Reynolds, "Galactic North" was not so great. It didn't enrapture me like his greater works have. Some stories were more gripping then others. Some had hidden elegance that was not revealed until you had finished and reflected upon it. Do buy and read it if you love this author's work but this shouldn't be your first or even second Alastair Reynolds book.
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By John M. Ford TOP 100 REVIEWER on Feb. 20 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Alastair Reynolds presents eight stories from his Revelation Space universe. They are a good introduction to this universe and some of its defining early history. Readers encounter his various techno-socio-political factions--Conjoiners, Demarchists, Ultras, and such--and enough background to jump less painfully into his longer novels.

My two favorites:

"Glacial" stands alone as a classic science fiction mystery. We look over Nevil Clavain's shoulder as he puzzles out the reason everyone on a remote, ice-covered planet suddenly died. As a fan of other Nevil Clavain stories, I have conflicting feelings about encountering Nevil, Galiana and Felka as an odd, but close-knit little family.

"Nightingale" smuggles us along as a carefully-picked assault team works to bring a war criminal to justice. Any mission the whole team can walk away from is a success, is it not?

This book is recommended to science fiction fans, particularly those who enjoy hard science fiction and complex space opera. It is required reading for Alistair Reynolds fans.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 27 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
A Future in Smaller Doses April 27 2008
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Galactic North (2006) is a collection of SF stories set in the Revelation Space universe. It contains eight stories and an Afterword by the author.

Great Wall of Mars is a Conjoiner story about Nevil Clavain and Galiana in the home nest. Glacial relates another Clavain and Galiana tale about a failed outsystem colony. A Spy in Europa recounts a Demarchist tale about an enemy agent who gives his all. Weather describes the rescue of a Conjoiner from a pirate ship and how she returns the favor.

Dilation Sleep tells of a refugee from Yellowstone who operates on a crewmember with the Melding Plague. Grafenwalder's Bestiary features a collector of rare beasts in the Yellowstone Rust Belt. Nightingale is about a mission to retrieve a Sky Edge war criminal from a lost hospital ship. Galactic North takes a ramliner captain on a millennia long pursuit of a pirate ship.

These stories convey various short subjects within the RS milieu. It covers all the several technological/political groups found within the novels, but develops their characteristics in greater detail. Since the novels are packed with strange technologies and politics, this collection makes a great introduction to the longer works. Enjoy!

Highly recommended for Reynolds fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of lightspeed ships, exotic technology and outsystem colonies.

-Arthur W. Jordin
21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
Short stories set in the Revelation Space universe June 7 2007
By Woofdog - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This review may contain spoilers.

This book presupposes some familiarity with the Revelation Space series, as some stories lose a lot of their meaning or significance if you don't understand persons or events referred to. Others depend much less on any familiarity with RS.

Along with the recent publication of The Prefect, Alistair Reynolds has begun publishing in the RS universe again. Stories here include background stories on Nevil Clavain, Felka, and Galiana, stories set in the Sol System, a story set on Yellowstone post-plague, one on Sky'e Edge, and a somewhat bizarre story which finally gives more than a name to Greenfly, (which was tossed into the very end of Absolution Gap with no explanation whatsoever, one of several defects in that title,) though the temporal telescoping in the last story reminds me more of something Poul Anderson might have written.

I wonder if Reynolds himself had decided on the origin of greenfly when Absolution Gap was published; the 4-page epilogue which substituted for actual resolution of that book gives few if any clues...

This is an enjoyable collection, well worth getting!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Something of a Revelation June 26 2010
By sft - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Galactic North is redolent of some of the best space opera from the 50s and 60s. Reynolds's nicely-honed baroque pulp fiction is brimming with inventiveness and is grandiose in scope. He creates convincing worlds that you will want to explore and technologies that are truly ingenious. His writing style is evocative while remaining clear and controlled. My two reservations are that his characters are rather clichéd and the denouements are sometimes disappointing. The bottom line, however, is that this is an entertaining and well-written book. I shall be reading more. And that says something, as space opera is a genre I'm not normally partial to.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Sprinkling of Gems July 28 2008
By Avid Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Although Reynolds is best know for his detailed, long and literate space operas, I found this collection of related tales quite satisfying. Think of a series of vignettes stringing into the future with occasional references to the past and that's the nature of this book. Each tale is a complete story in itself although knowing a little background is helpful.

Many of the stories are simply mysteries to be solved; others highlight a new direction for mankind or choices we will one day be forced to make. All of them draw the reader into the action and the characters until, at the end, a sort of surrealistic haze covers the landscape. He has gone beyond words and yet there they are, describing almost unimaginable creatures and events. Yet, after all is said and done, after all the smart matter, new intelligences, nanotech, discovery of the inner secrets of the universe, it is still the human relationship that excites and drives and makes us want to read more.

My Grade: A
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Tasty REVELATION SPACE Tidbits May 1 2010
By Michael Lichter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
GALACTIC NORTH collects eight of Alastair Reynolds' short stories set in his REVELATION SPACE universe. Also included is an informative "Afterword" where Reynolds names some of his influences and discusses the genesis of his "future history." The stories are good and can be enjoyed by newcomers to Reynolds' work or die-hard fans, although there are two minor revelations here that will be of particular interest to fans.

Two of the stories feature the Conjoiner hero Nevil Clavain, who, despite his heavy neural augmentation and integration into a near-hive-mind, is virtually the only decent, good-hearted human being in the REVELATION SPACE universe. The story "Great Wall of Mars" shows how Clavain came to be with the Conjoiners; a different take on the same events is included in ABSOLUTION GAP (I think). In "Glacial," Clavain and the Conjoiners encounter a human colony on icy world and must piece together the events that left all but one of the colonists dead.

While Reynolds is very much a mainstream SF writer, there is a strong streak of Horror running through his work. "Diamond Dogs," a novella collected elsewhere, differs from the typical man vs. haunted house tale only in its SF trappings and its cruel inventiveness. "Nightingale," in which a team searches an abandoned hospital spaceship for a war criminal rumored to be hiding there, is in much the same vein (no pun intended). Horror is full of twisted what-goes-around-comes-around comeuppances, and that is what we see in "A Spy in Europa," about a cold-blooded mercenary doing undercover work on Jupiter's moon, and "Grafenwalder's Bestiary," which concerns an obsessive creature collector in the post-Melding-Plague Glitter Belt. Not entirely by accident, "Grafenwalder's Bestiary" also ties in to "Diamond Dogs." "Dilation Sleep," which takes place in the early stages of the Melding Plague, features a horrific psychological twist worthy of Philip K. Dick.

In "Weather," a Conjoiner woman rescued against her will from a doomed ship performs a heroic act and in the process reveals something unsuspected about the Conjoiner engines that power the galaxy's lighthugger ships. (That's revelation #1.) There's not a lot to "Weather," but it's probably the most rewarding of the stories in this collection.

At the opposite end of the scale is the tedious "Galactic North," notable mainly for explaining the origins of the deadly "greenfly" infestation introduced at the end of ABSOLUTION GAP. (Revelation #2.) In a tale of terribly overblown obsession, the captain of a lighthugger robbed by pirates pursues the crewman who betrayed her across the galaxy and through tens of thousands of years. Conjoiner fans will be pleased to see that Remontoire appears in the story, albeit as a minor player.

Fans need not feel obligated to pick this up, but they'll probably enjoy it. Newcomers should start with REVELATION SPACE instead.

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