Elysium Fire: new Revelation Space book!

Discussion in 'Alastair Reynolds' started by Boreas, Jul 26, 2017.

  1. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Reynolds has been consistently putting out quality work since 2000. And he especially seems to have been on a roll since 2012. He's put out a trilogy (linked by setting but all self-contaned), 3 separate novels, 2 novellas, and a new collection of shorts.

    And now, after a decade, he's finally returning to that most awesome of settings that is Revelation Space with another completely stand-alone novel (like all his works) called Elysium Fire that is set some years after the events of The Prefect! It should be released at the end of this year or the beginning of the next.

    Great news for RS fans.


    And then you have authors like George R. R. Martin and Patrick Rothfuss...
  2. kenubrion

    kenubrion Well-Known Member

    That is great news, thanks. Just pre-ordered it. I couldn't remember The Prefect at first but now I do.
  3. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    I'm hoping we'll finally see the onslaught of the Melding Plague and how the Belle Époque of humanity in the system of Yellowstone finally ends. I'm excited just thinking about it. The Revelation Space setting is definitely one of my favourite future histories of mankind. So well fleshed out, so many levels to it, and while there are some outrageously fantastic bits, there is also enough degree of plausibility in many of its elements that makes me want it to be true, albeit without the onset of dystopia that the Melding Plague ushered in. The Glitter Band of Yellowstone at its height in The Prefect was just brilliant. And now we might get a taste of how it all ends...
  4. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    All this excitement about Reynolds and I haven’t tasted his work yet.
    So, for a Reynolds novice, I have picked comments up from @kenubrion and @Kanly regarding where is best to start, as Revelation Space trilogy can be too complex and demanding. I have taken note of these two books: Galactic North and Chasm City.
    Any other suggestions?
  5. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    It's not that it's all that complex, it's just that Reynolds is a dense writer. Revelation Space was his very first novel, and such an excellent space opera it is, but some people are put off by its slight dryness.

    Honestly, you could start pretty much with any of Renolds' books you find interesting. Chasm City and Galactic North are both good introductions. Pick up CC if you want a more convoluted, totally noir type space opera - it takes place some years after the onset of the Melding Plague which has left the civilisation of Yellowstone, previously humanity's high point of achievement for approximately 200 years, in ruins, and where the imagery of the Glitter Band - now called the Rust Belt - is grotesquely beautiful.

    Pick up GN if you want an introduction to the RS setting through ten great stories (all of them very good!), the first of which introduces a major character with key roles in books 2 & 3 of the trilogy and also introduces two major factions of humans, the Demarchists and the Conjoiners. The Demarchists were the people who made Yellowstone such a high point of human civilisation in terms of progress and prosperity. The Conjoiners provided the special engines that makes travel between the stars possible - achieving 99.9% of c with consistent 1 g acceleration over a period of time, and then consistent 1 g deceleration from the halfway point of the journey - and most settled systems are relatively close to Earth, but since we're talking slower-than-light, it still takes decades to travel between systems.

    You can also pick up The Prefect, a hardboiled detective tale, this time taking place before the arrival of the Melding Plague in the Glitter Band of Yellowstone. Yellowstone is based around the star Epsilon Eridani, which is approximately 10 light years from Earth and visible to the human eye.

    Or pick up Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days, a collection of two great novellas also set in the RS setting. "Diamond Dogs" is particularly good, one of those stories that combines mystery, exploration of alien artefacts/structures, puzzles and body horror.

    This new book that's coming out will take place after The Prefect. You could even just wait for it and read the new one first. Reynolds' stories don't require reading anything else to follow a particular book.

    Another reason why the RS trilogy can be a little...I wouldn't say confusing, maybe just requiring a tiny bit extra effort...is because different plot threads take place between two different systems, plus on ships in transit to systems. So, there is relative time to keep track of. This is why most space opera uses magic to travel to places pretty much instantaneously, so you don't have to deal with the actual nature of reality/time. For me, nothing exemplifies top quality New Space Opera quite like Reynolds' RS series of books.
    Diziet Sma likes this.
  6. Diziet Sma

    Diziet Sma Administrator Staff Member

    Thank you, @Boreas! This is great!
    Once again, I'm getting distracted and changing my reading plan. Love it though!
  7. Safari Bob

    Safari Bob Well-Known Member

    Looks like I have a new author to read.
    Kanly likes this.
  8. Kanly

    Kanly Regular Member

    I haven't read The Prefect yet but I'll probably read it before this new one comes out.

    Diziet Sma, I kinda found Revelation Space hard going at first because it felt a little complicated plus it moved slowly. Chasm City was easy for me to get into because it moved a lot faster and only had one point of view (Revelation Space had many), and by the time I was done I was so blown away by it that I immediately wanted to to start Revelation Space again. And looking back now, it's not like Chasm City was a simple book - it had a lot going for it plotwise and with its twists and turns.
    Diziet Sma likes this.
  9. Kanly

    Kanly Regular Member

    This sounds great! I love mystery and exploration in my sci-fi. Pretty much all four of the books I've read now by Reynolds, also Slow Bullets which I just finished, are grounded in mystery and having to figure things out.

    Have you read any Jack McDevitt? He writes these great mystery/space archeology adventures. His Pricillia Hutchins books are super fun.
  10. Boreas

    Boreas n log(log n) Staff Member

    Of the Hutch books, only Engines of God, which was actually the first McDevitt book I picked up. Have you read any of his others, either the stand-alones or the Alex Benedict books?

    You'll definitely like "Diamond Dogs" if you like the McDevitt mysteries, but Reynolds' story is much more of a haunted house of horrors.
  11. Kanly

    Kanly Regular Member

    I've only read the Hutchins series by McDevitt. At some point I'll start on his Alex Benedict series.

Share This Page