Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Book-A-Day #199 (1/31): Galactic North by Alastair Reynolds

This was Reynolds's second collection of last year (along with the essentially simultaneous Zima Blue and Other Stories), and I'm now, once again, essentially caught up on his books. (If you don't count the fact that I never finished Absolution Gap.)

This one was originally published in the UK -- the American edition is coming along in June -- and it contains stories set in his "Inhibitors" universe.

There are only eight stories here, but I think six of them -- all but "A Spy in Europa" and "Dilation Sleep" -- are novella-length. In fact, three of those novellas are original to this book, which is pretty uncommon. (They add up to nearly half the total length of the book.)

(The other reprinted stories are "Great Wall of Mars," "Glacial," and the title story, for those counting on their fingers.)

If you like modern space opera, you should be reading Reynolds. He's less violent than Asher, less depressive than Baxter, and I wish I could think of something else he's less of than another British writer whose name starts with C. (Oh, well.) More importantly, he's a good, thoughtful writer who can do both characters and Big Space Stuff. And, for those to whom this matters, the Inhibitors universe is obsessed with the Drake Equation in the modern manner and relies on purely STL travel.

The Fabulous Book-A-Day Index!


Anonymous said...

"less depressive than Baxter"

Sylvia Plath is less depressive than Baxter.

Anonymous said...

Less obscure than Clute, surely!

(And Appleseed is definitely Space Opera. Of course, whether Clute counts as British or Canadian or even American is a slightly tangled question.)

Rich Horton

Andrew Wheeler said...

Rich: Thank you; that's exactly what I should have thought of.

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