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Absolution Gap

Absolution Gap

Scritto da Alastair Reynolds

Narrato da John Lee


Absolution Gap

Scritto da Alastair Reynolds

Narrato da John Lee

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (55 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
27 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jun 29, 2009
ISBN:
9781400179589
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

The Inhibitors were designed to eliminate any life-form reaching a certain level of intelligence—and they've targeted humanity. War veteran Clavain and a ragtag group of refugees have fled into hiding. Their leadership is faltering, and their situation is growing more desperate. But their little colony has just received an unexpected visitor: an avenging angel with the power to lead mankind to safety—or draw down its darkest enemy.

And as she leads them to an apparently insignificant moon light-years away, it begins to dawn on Clavain and his companions that to beat one enemy, it may be necessary to forge an alliance with something much worse.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jun 29, 2009
ISBN:
9781400179589
Formato:
Audiolibro

Informazioni sull'autore

Alastair Reynolds was born in Barry, South Wales, in 1966. He studied at Newcastle and St. Andrews Universities and has a PhD in astronomy. He stopped working as an astrophysicist for the European Space Agency to become a full-time writer. Reynolds is a bestselling author and has been awarded the British Science Fiction award, along with being shortlisted for the Hugo Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Award, and the Locus Award.


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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    Great read for anyone interested in hard sci-fi. Love everything so far by Alastair Reynolds. This is a long book, but worth it. Just when it seems things would start dragging, some twist or new exciting event would kick in.
  • (3/5)
    I hate giving Reynolds a pedestrian rating, but this one just did not work for me. The Way and the cathedrals just did not fit, in my opinion. The ending just felt forced or like he was tired of it all. His writing is good and his characters as well, the plot just fizzled for me.
  • (4/5)
    Kind of an in-progress review. I'm a bit less than half-way through this.Lest it be misunderstood, I love Alastair Reynolds. I loved the first book of this trilogy (Revelation Space), loved Chasm City even more, and liked the trilogy's second volume, Redemption Ark. Note the step down from 'love' to 'like'.Absolution Gap is still Reynolds and still entertaining, but ... somehow ... it's all become ... silly. I quickly became aware of a hammered-together feeling to the whole thing, specifically in the chapters concerning Quaiche: it all started feeling a bit ad hoc, as though Reynolds had been pacing back and forth, wondering "how am I going to justify/explain THIS ...?" and then hurriedly decided on a framework that ultimately failed to convince even himself. Good SF typically involves at least a soupcon of mind-blowing stuff of some stripe or other, but if a long-time reader starts thinking "ah, now -- that's just silly. Who would DO that?" it's possible something has gone off the rails and meandered over toward the abyss. This is what happened to me with the world-circling, keeping-the-planet-overhead-so-we-can-watch-it-disappear mobile cathedrals setup. It felt like Stephen Baxter in his uninspired moments, the moments when the reader thinks things like "OK, I know that had to be justified somehow, but your choice there totally failed to convince ... oh, look! sparkly tech!"I think it all finally fell over the cliff into thumpy melodrama and total jerry-rigged authorial machinery around the time the aged Quaiche (eyes mechanically perma-opened a la Alex in the film of A Clockwork Orange) barked at the aged Grelier to keep out of his sightlines (it would take ages to explain this to someone who hasn't read it already). Seriously. I recall throwing up my metaphorical hands at the moment I read this exchange ... it was like a switch being flipped -- suddenly, I couldn't take any of it at all seriously any more.Mind, it's still fun, and I still have a hard time putting it down. But now it all just seems cartoon-like, and the characters like cartoon characters ... and I feel as though Reynolds is there looming over it all wondering "am I done yet? I've got other things to do!"Your mileage may vary. Mine may vary before I reach the end -- I hope it does.UPDATE: revised up a star. Oh, Alastair! I still don't buy the whole Way/Cathedral thing, but ... you sure do throw in lots of good stuff.
  • (3/5)
    It's a well written book, don't get me wrong. But it's nowhere near a good ending. Most of what took place felt like filler spliced in with some really good plot moments. This honestly felt like Reynolds didn't fully know how to end the series. It's worth reading but just be warned.
  • (5/5)
    Absolution Gap is the concluding volume in the Revelation Space Trilogy, though the author’s Chasm City is sometimes listed as book two. Chasm City, though appearing in the same universe as Revelation Space is more of a stand alone novel and need not be read in conjunction with the other three. I found Revelation Space to be a bit tedious and overly difficult in its allegiance to explaining all the physics involved in the many technical aspects of the far future universe. Redemption Ark was much more approachable, while still containing scads of hard science fiction concepts. Absolution Gap continues in the Redemption Ark moldAs with its predecessors, Absolution Gap is replete with “rock hard” science fiction. The author goes to great pains to explain the physics behind many of his far future technology, though not to the detriment of the story, as I felt occurred in Revelation Space. If you enjoy space opera and hard science fiction, this will be right in your wheelhouse
  • (3/5)
    There's a character called Quaiche, a religious devotee who sets up the giant Cathedrals. Their function is to traverse Hela (the moon of the gas giant Haldora) so as to observe its parent planet in the hope that it will disappear for a split second, showing what's within. Quaiche uses a special in-doctrinal virus to maintain religious faith among his supporters, though I'm not sure that would be strictly necessary ;-) Given that science occupies the position Religion used to in our belief systems, it’s probably inevitable that ultimately each informs our perception of the other. I think SF links to the Religious via Philosophy. The conclusion Reynolds comes to is that if you know the future, you lose it, it becomes like the past so you have no future. It’s also about how knowledge is not enough, just really a factor in a bigger equation of the soul, involving communion with others. The conclusion being that to miss the bigger equation is to fail to really understand.From a philosophical and religious perspective this justifies our not knowing the future as the future is really the wick upon which our life flame burns. I think that’s what Reynolds is aiming for.Not everything has seemed equally reasonable in Reynolds' writing. This novel has at least two defects. One is that it has not finished managing well the 600 pages: after a patient work of spinning of threads everything accelerates towards the end where some of the collateral elements are revealed too instrumental in the final development and there are some situations too banal, without explanation given, that point to in-congruence, which slightly tarnishes the result. The other is the excessive taste of the author for the 'soap opera gimmicks': too often a chapter ends in a cliffhanger where only two things can happen. Do it once or twice, you like it and it makes you say "what a clever chap!", but when you accumulate so many situations like these, you get tired and what you say is "what a moron!"All this is narrated, in a Titanic style, by an old lady of 400 years (humans of the two thousand seven hundred are more long-lived, which also help the relativistic effects of space travel) in an apparent flashback that puts into perspective the facts and places the conflicts of Humanity with its mechanical nemesis in a kind of endless spiral. Clever narrative plot device. Too bad about the Deus-Ex-Machina ending.
  • (5/5)
    This is perhaps the least inventive of the whole RS series, but it's still a tour-de-force in hard sf. The pro- and epllogues tie up the long future of humanity, and the consequences of the actions the characters have taken. There's still much that could be written in this universe, and Reynolds has done so with some spin out novels and short stories, but this is the conclusion to how it all ends up, and the final details of the various alien plots to stop the Inhibitors are revealed.None of which is immediately apparent. We follow several interleaved timelines, and it requires a bit of concentration to remember what events precede each other, even without the difficulties of light limited space travel. Earliest we follow a new lighthugger that's found something interesting in an unremarked ice moon. Quaiche is dispatched by the triumver to go an investigate it, but he triggers an ancient sentry and nearly dies. Meanwhile Antoinette, Skorpio and Calvain are shepherding the community on the Jugglar world the Captain deposited them on. They're waiting for word from Remointoire and Ana. Lastly on the ice moon of Hella a young girl is investigationg what happened to her brother. Two of the storylines converge quite quickly, bit Skorp et al take a long time to arrive, even though their story is interleaved with the others.It's perhaps less imaginative in world building than the previous books, there's nothing really new other than the gigantic gothic cathedrals trundling around Hella. Quiache's religiosity quickly gets annoying, but there's always a new quirk thrown our way to keep the reader interested, and then we flip back to Skorpio who's facing all sort so of new challenges. I was least impressed with the future voices, I suspect Reynolds is pushing the 'possible if unlikely' dial right to the very limits here. -Brane descriptions of the universe are certainly a known mathematical solution proposed to some of the quantum mechanical weirdness that have been observed, but even there very existence is unlikely, let alone the possibilities raised here.It is fun though and many authors should learn from Reynolds' ability to write a definitive ending.
  • (5/5)
    This book is just so awesome, you'll need a few days after you finish of just silently thinking about everything. I have nostalgia for what I experienced in this story.
  • (4/5)
    Early in the book: Poor editing is killing me; I've already had my rhythm thrown off by two or three paragraphs that start with open quotation marks but aren't speech. (One wasn't anywhere near speech.)

    A little further along: A glaring typo.

    Almost halfway through: There are now enough editing errors that the book will be unable to get five stars.

    Done: Though it started weird, and couldn't quite live up to Redemption Ark, and even counting the horrible copyediting, this was a very satisfying end to the Revelation Space trilogy.
  • (2/5)
    You know, when you get to read an entire series, and after reading the last word of the last book, you wonder "why did I bother reading all this...?" It started so well, it ended so wrong.
  • (5/5)

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    I fell into a bit of a trap with this one. i'd read quite a few of Reynolds' other books set in the 'Revelation space' universe and assumed that all his novels were stand-alone. I quickly realised on starting this book that I was wrong. This is a direct sequal to 'Redemption Ark', which i haven't yet read. Whoops!But I fairly quickly picked up on the events and plot points of the earlier novel, so things weren't too bad. The only point where I stumbled a bit was the re-introduction of the character Remontoire, who suddenly pops into this novel about a third of the way through, and then hangs around for a while, playing a part that is both key and walk-on, before bowing out again.I also had a bit of an issue with the hyperpig Scorpio. This character, a genetically enhanced pig intended to have traits closer to human, is well-drawn and a key charcacter. But I kept worrying about practicalities - and although Reynolds does the same, commenting often, for instance, on the difficulty of Scorpio's handling human artefacts with his modified trotters, a little voice inside my head kept asking difficult questions - how would this work, how would Scorpio do that?But all these objections were overwhelmed by the MacGuffin of the plot. What makes a whole planet blink out of existence for a fraction of a second? And what are the implications for the way this miraculous event is viewed? Reynolds engages in some fascinating world-building for the world of Hela, from where the wonderful vanishing planet can be viewed. Another reviewer has compared this to Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars books, and it's a useful analogy. The mobile cathedrals that track across the surface of Hela are vividly described; and as I got closer to the end of the book, I could hardly wait to see how matters resolved themselves. Reynolds uses the mechanics of time dilation in relativistic spaceflight very precisely as a plot device which I didn't twig to until shortly before the denouement began to unwind. My excitement at finding out how the story ended more than made up for some of the issues I identify above, and despite everything, I enjoyed the book and have no hesitation at awarding it five stars.

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  • (3/5)
    I sort of aband oned this somewhere along the way, it was longish and I was getting tired of the storyline I guess. I read the wikipedia to hear the end
  • (3/5)
    Not as good as I expected - maybe I should have read the earlierbooks in the series. Some nice ideas, especially the core ideas, but other parts too bizarre
  • (4/5)
    Over the last century, the reality of the Inhibitors had come to be accepted. But for much of that time the threat had remained comfortably distant: a problem for some other generation to worry about.Recently, however, things had changed. There had long been unconfirmed reports of strange activity in the Resurgam system: rumours of worlds being ripped apart and remade into perplexing engines of alien design. There were stories that the entire system had been evacuated; that Resurgam was now an uninhabitable cinder; that something unspeakable had been done to the system’s sun.But even Resurgam could be ignored for a while. The system was an archaeological colony, isolated from the main web of interstellar commerce, its government a totalitarian regime with a taste for disinformation. The reports of what had happened there could not be verified. And so for several more decades, life in the other systems of human-settled space continued more or less unaffected. But now the Inhibitors had arrived around other stars.The crew of the Nostalgia for Infinity and the refugees from the destruction of Resurgam have been living on the Pattern Juggler planet of Ararat for twenty years, long enough for a new generation to have been born and grown to adulthood, even though they never planned on staying there permanently. But Ararat may no longer be a safe refuge, as the wolves are heading their way .so it may be time to leave. Far away and fifty years later, a teenage girl ruins away from home in search of the brother who left to work on the mobile Cathedrals that circle the equator of Hela.This book did drag quite a bit. I don't think it really needed to be 662 pages long and there was one really annoying character, who spoiled it for me. Vasko "Mr Tactless" Malinin has a real talent for stating the obvious and putting people's backs up every time he opens his month. For some reason a couple of the other characters seemed to think of him as a potential future leader of the Ararat colony - which I found frankly unbelievable.The ending of the main plot was again quite abrupt, but it was followed by a final chapter that hinted at some intriguing possibilities for further stories. I was also left wondering who the amnesiac refugee from Yellowstone recognised by Scorpio (who was my favourite character in this book) might turn out to be. "Revelation Space" is a good series. I just wish the books were a bit shorter.
  • (2/5)
    I really wanted to like this book. I loved all of the others in the series and other books by Alistair Reynolds, but for some reason I just got bored of this one. At over 700 pages long, maybe the book was just too big. I gave up about 100 pages to the end, no longer really interested in the conclusion.
  • (5/5)
    In this next installment of the Revelation Space series, the story continues basically from where we left off in Redemption Ark, on the pattern juggler planet Ararat, but a couple of decades later. Clavain has stepped back from day-to-day running of the colony, but is called back to manage a new crisis: a reefer sleep casket was found in the ocean. Turns out it contains Khouri, who is chasing Skade after she transplanted her child from Khouri's womb to her own. Khouri's daughter is special, and is a link to developing technologies that will help the human race fight the inhibitors.Roughly during this time, a small moon is colonized by a man named Quaiche who is infected with an indoctrinal virus, and when a miraculous momentary disappearance of a gas giant saves his life, he founds a religion based around the odd planet, around which the moon Hela orbits.The story progresses to a showdown between humans and two other alien races besides the inhibitors.I think my favorite character from this book has to be Scorpio, the hyperpig. His part in the story was great, and his character was amazing. I loved the writing, and how things ended with him were better than I thought they'd be.I stand by my earlier reviews, and would highly recommend this entire series to anyone that enjoys good science fiction. Reynolds is a good author, and knows how to keep a reader turning pages.
  • (1/5)
    A peculiarly unsatifying conclusion to a trilogy well-begun. Disappointing all the way.
  • (4/5)
    The three titles in this trilogy: “Revelation Space,” “Redemption Ark” and “Absolution Gap” indicate the weightiness of the epic plot lines that are woven therein. In each book we do get revelations, redemption and absolution, although not always for the same characters throughout. Even in this one book the plot spans almost two hundred years (there are three plotlines running concurrently until near the end where the later two converge); over the entire trilogy it must be at least five centuries. Not all the characters from the first book have made it this far, and some new ones join us for this final push.The focus of the entire epic, to the extent there is one, is the role of the ship Nostalgia for Infinity in the battle against the “Inhibitors.” These are alien machines that seem to exist to prevent any space-faring culture from expanding into the galaxy. They’re a little rusty, and humans colonize dozens of worlds before they come for us. With incredible high-tech weapons and a lot of luck, the ever-shifting crew of Nostalgia try to aid humanity’s survival.In that sense the ending is a little anticlimactic (a seeming dues ex machine is invoked, which was disappointing), but really the journey is the important part here. Throughout the trilogy, each book contained vignettes that would easily be stand-alone novels in their own right. The Inhibitors war was really only consistent wallpaper. The same is true here. Characters’ individual stories get resolved. Some characters who are introduced only in this volume also lend powerful arcs to the overall tapestry. Oddly enough Reynolds occasionally allows the plot to hiccup in favor of the character arcs, sometimes writing scenes that are totally random in order to illuminate a character more clearly.There’s plenty here for the tech-geek though, don’t worry! A whole new round of technological innovation accompanies the battles in this concluding volume, as well as some brane theory of universes and some stellar engineering. And the amazing texture that Reynolds gives his future, where almost nothing is shiny and lots of things are old and don’t work right, is continued throughout.It’s hard to know what to say upon the conclusion of this huge, sprawling science fiction epic. After three books, an enormous cast of characters, too many crises to count, planets, weapons, religions, how can it possibly be summed up? This epic is not for the casual reader: I read the three books over the course of three years, but I wish I’d read them back-to-back. Hopefully someday I will. It would have made following the characters and their nuances a little easier. If you have the option, either read these within close proximity or go back and read the first two before starting this one.
  • (3/5)
    A strange book. It starts out extremely slow and just as it builds up momentum, it ends leaving a lot of open questiones. Although its two predecessors (Revelation Space and Redemption Ark) were not exactly character driven either, Reynolds gets rid of most of the characters in this one, just as you become comfortable with them. This makes reading this book slightly annyoing, even more so, as the main theme turns out to be just another dead end.I gave it three stars only for the scale and detail of the story and the innovative mix of religion and science fiction, otherwise I doubt it would be worth two.
  • (4/5)
    Not as keen on this one, I felt that the religious stuff was a bit over done. Ok so religion sucks, well I'm already an atheist and I didn't need to be told that! Still worth a read though.