Zima Blue Paperback
A fabulous collection spanning the galaxies and career of SF superstar Alastair Reynolds Reynolds' pursuit of truth is not limited to wide-angle star smashing - not that stars don't get pulverised when one character is gifted (or cursed) with an awful weapon by the legendary Merlin.
Reynolds' protagonists find themselves in situations of betrayal, whether by a loved one's accidental death, as in 'Signal to Noise', or by a trusted wartime authority, in 'Spirey and the Queen'.
His fertile imagination can resurrect Elton John on Mars in 'Understanding Space and Time' or make prophets of the human condition out of pool-cleaning robots in the title story. But overall, the stories in ZIMA BLUE represent a more optimistic take on humanity's future, a view that says there may be wars, there may be catastrophes and cosmic errors, but something human will still survive.
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 464 pages
- Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
- Publication Date: 08/04/2010
- Category: Science fiction
- ISBN: 9780575084551
- EPUB from £4.99
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Review by reading_fox
A collection of Reynold's short stories written over many years inbetween his work in the Revelation Space novels. None of these stories are set in that Universe. The content varies from deep dark space opera, to almost lighthearted themes sometimes set in the very near future. Each story has an afterword from Reynolds, descriing how he came to write it, or what he was thinking at the time.As always with such a collection some stories work better than others. There are several looking at death in various forms that work quite well, leaving you somethign to ponder. Some however, particularly when Reynolds attempts to come to grips with the complexities of Quantum Mechanics fail to properly engage the reader - I'm also not quite sure that Reynolds' grasp of QM is quite correct. Many of these stories have been published elsewhere, in various SF magazines such as Interzone, but this is, as far as I'm aware, the first publication in book form.A few characters re-occur in sucessive stories. These Reynolds notes may oneday become the basis for further Space Opera novels, and especially those of Carrie the reporter in the title named story Zima Blue (which comes last in this collection) will be interesting to read.Reynolds' attempts at writng near Future SF - which is a very different beast from his normal Space opera, still work very well. If he can find a full length novel in this vein it will prove to be very interesting indeed.