Nicholas (nwhyte) wrote,

Galactic North, by Alastair Reynolds

I had intended to spend this weekend with Alastair Reynolds and many others at CapClave in Washington DC, but alas something came up and I must stay in Europe. I have read shamefully few of his books, though I have greatly enjoyed his company when fate has thrown us together - I particularly remember a rather hungover but very collegial train journey to Dublin after the infamous 2007 Octocon (best wishes to organisers and attendees there this weekend).

Anyway, Galactic North, slightly to my surprise, turned out not to be a novel but a set of short stories set in the universe of Revelation Space. I had read a couple of them before - I particularly remembered "A Spy in Europa" from when it was first published in Interzone - though I see that three of the stories were published only in this volume. The whole is greater than its parts (and the parts are pretty good). Out of the context of the framing narrative of Reynolds' future history, they just seem like neat, vivid ideas; grouped together, the overall plan becomes clear. Reynolds explains the order and method of composition in an afterword; I guess if I'd stopped to think while reading I'd have spotted fairly easily which the first written story is, but I was enjoying it too much to reflect. Good hard sf in that distinctly British voice that Reynolds shares with Stephen Baxter.
Tags: bookblog 2015, writer: alastair reynolds
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