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Sylveste is the only man ever to return alive and sane from a Shroud, an enclave in space protected by awesome gravity-warping defences: "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 defences to challenge the Infinity's planet-wrecking superweapons.
At the heart of this artefact, 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 --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The start of a very long science fiction trilogy , with hard core science fiction fans in mind.Published 7 months ago by Spencer21
The depth of the science part of this fiction just keeps getting deeper and deeper, to dizzying heights. Great read.Published 8 months ago by Jonathan McKinnell
This was one of the first sci-fi books I ever read a number of years ago. I thoruougly enjoyed it and most (admittedly, not all) of the other books he wrote afterward. Read morePublished on July 17 2012 by Blazed Linen
A complex set of sub-plots add up to a generally enjoyable "read". As others have pointed out, character development is a bit spotty, but that doesn't relly detract in any... Read morePublished on Jan. 3 2010 by Malcolm
Alastair Reynolds work is not for the illiterate or impatient Star Wars/Star Trek serial reading types. His work stands head and hands above the mundane SF pulp that's out there. Read morePublished on Jan. 13 2009 by eater of books
I had never read Alastair Reynolds before. This book is a true wonder of science fiction, but it also stands very well on its own simply as a novel. Read morePublished on Jan. 2 2006 by Aldo Ferrante
This is appallingly written. Some gems:
"Fire burned in their minds too, but this was the unquenchable fire of being."
"'Assassination tools! Read more
I take issue with those who say that Reynolds can't write or is unimaginative. It's amazing writing, and one of the most creative books I've read in some time. Read morePublished on May 1 2004
I really, really wanted to like it. I love hard sci fi, and Reynolds is a PhD. And I love time-spanning past/future space yarns. Read morePublished on March 20 2004 by Scott Moss