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Revelation Space

Revelation Space

Scritto da Alastair Reynolds

Narrato da John Lee


Revelation Space

Scritto da Alastair Reynolds

Narrato da John Lee

valutazioni:
4/5 (149 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
21 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jan 5, 2009
ISBN:
9781400179558
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just as it was on the verge of discovering space flight. Now one scientist, Dan Sylveste, will stop at nothing to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself. With no other resources at his disposal, Sylveste forges a dangerous alliance with the cyborg crew of the starship Nostalgia for Infinity. But as he closes in on the secret, a killer closes in on him because the Amarantin were destroyed for a reason. And if that reason is uncovered, the universe—and reality itself—could be irrevocably altered.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Jan 5, 2009
ISBN:
9781400179558
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

  • (3/5)
    Stunningly imaginative space opera set 5 centuries in the future.

    A truism of hard science fiction is that (baring collapse-of-civilization scenarios) the farther into the future one sets a story, the harder it is to make it convincing. In this the redoubtable Mr. Reynolds succeeds amazingly well.

    In this future there is interstellar colonization, but not faster-than-light travel. Story time is bent intriguingly due to some characters journeying at relativistic speeds while others are planet-bound. Humanity too has evolved in interesting ways. Rather than nationalities or races we have tribal associations or factions (similar to the schema in Bruce Sterling’s landmark and comparably inventive Schismatrix). The star-faring crews (known as Ultras), have life-spans and value systems quite alien to planet- or sun-bound humans. Other strains are differentiated by the degree to which they have cyber implants boosting their biological functions—in other words, the degree to which they have gone cyborg. Still other characters are software simulations, former humans (or aliens) uploaded into various computer strata and capable of acting convincingly sentient.

    All of which makes for a wildly mind-bending novel, both thrilling and confusing. It is a challenge when a writer’s intelligence and complexity of mind is way beyond that of the average reader, and in this Mr. Reynolds is challenged indeed. But he is a skillful enough dealer of narrative tension, with frequent, exciting crisis’s, that the book kept me reading.

    My main dissatisfaction was that the so-far-beyond-me characters were often not only difficult to relate to, but difficult to like. To one degree or another they are all obsessive, cold-blooded and merciless. To imagine that humanity has progressed so far scientifically, while stalling or even regressing morally and spiritually, was just a little bit depressing.

    5 starts for extrapolation 3 stars for plot 1 star for character and human interest / 3 = 3 stars.



  • (4/5)
    Well written and very convouted story. Probably could have benefited from some editing, but that is just my thought. Reynolds manages to capture the vastness of space and incredible passages of time. I spent a good chunk of the book annoyed because I saw no reason for Sajaki to be so devoted to the Captain. The explanation was unexpected and a nice touch. Reynolds is comfortable with some horror in his short stories and that tendency is in evidence here, although not overly realised. Good reading, recommended.
  • (4/5)
    A classic space opera, well done. Interesting and well developed characters become slowly entangled in a quest to solve a mystery. The mystery is the Fermi paradox, the contradiction between the lack of evidence of extraterrestrial life forms and the apparent statistical certainty of it based on Drake’s equation. Reynolds builds up to a spectacular conclusion which would look good in an action movie, but which he also tries to explain with science. The explanation is complicated enough to make one wonder how real it could be. If there is a sequel to this, I’ll give it a try.
  • (5/5)
    Amazing space opera, with belivable characters, that evolve during the book. It touches all the important themes, like: aliens, lost civilizations, space travel, technology, weapons, large scale destruction. Manages to keep a great balance between explaining and allowing action to unfold and going "bigger and bigger" with the action/possibilities. The main characters Sylveste - "son" of an ex-magnate interested in cybernetical immortality, Khouri - a solider that become assasin and Voliova - crew member on a light speed ship have their destines interwined and manipulated by a race that 'ran away' 1 million years ago, from certain destruction. This is evident only at the very end, and a very dangerous outcome for humanity if avoided in the last second with great loses.
  • (4/5)
    This was a SantaThing gift from last year. Reynolds wasn't an author I was familiar with, and this was an interesting first look at his work.Nine hundred thousand years ago, something wiped out the Amarantin. For the human colonists settling on the Amarantin homeworld, Resurgam, its's of little more than academic interest. But Dan Sylveste will stop at nothing to get at the truth. - from the book descriptionThis was a very dense, if somewhat disjointed space yarn. Sylveste is an Archaeologist who is being pursued by the crew of a giant interstellar ship. The crew thinks that Sylveste and his father (who is a construct uploaded to a computer before he died) can cure their Captain of the nanotech virus that affects him and is merging him with the ship itself. He also has an assassin tracking him as well. That's to say nothing of the aliens rumored to have incredible tech riches hidden behind their shrouds of warped space/time.This book took me so long to read that by the end, I had forgotten how I got there. It has lots of good hard scifi tech, weaponry, mech suits, self-replicating/repairing machine technology. Ultimately it was a good read, just one that I had to work hard for.It looked like a biology lesson for gods, or a snapshot of the kind of pornography which might be enjoyed by sentient planets7/10S: 1/29/17 - 3/10/18 (41 Days)
  • (2/5)
    Difficult read
  • (3/5)
    This novel is about an exploration of an alien civilization and its death. The book opens at an archaeological dig on an alien world uncovering evidence of an alien civilization and its demise. The book, sort of, follows this exploration into space and artifacts. Alastair Reynolds is a scientist, and has stated that the technologies in his stories are conceivable with our current understanding of science. So space travel is sub-light speeds with people in hibernation, who face elapsed-time differences with the people they know. In spite of this, he does introduce a number of odd, strange and even peculiar technologies and associated problems.From a hard science fiction perspective, this is an interesting story. However, that's where it ends. The characters are a bit flat with weak dialog, and weak prose. There is no character growth, and the story seemed to drag on in the middle. The characters themselves are rather odd and include a virtual character. Much of the book involves mistrust between the different characters as they try to guess each others motives. This went on too long without showing much evolution. I felt it had the making of a good political struggle, but it didn't pan out. I did find the end somewhat compelling, but it didn't make up for the weaknesses. It is a good read for those interested in the hard science, but others will be disappointed.
  • (3/5)
    Interesting, but I didn't really care all that much about the characters -- enough that I don't remember much about them now.
  • (2/5)
    The overall story was intriguing, but it moved too slowly, and choppy, also there was no sense of urgency about anything that happened.

    The author had a tendency to go trough the events of the last chapter once again, in the next one, just in case you'd forgotten what happened two pages ago, this didn't only happen between chapters but sometimes even within them.

    The characters didn't feel real in a sense, the story takes place over a few decades for some of the characters but you get no sense of development. Most characters don't even behave the same between chapters, one in particular (Khouri), seems to cycle between acting and speaking like a five year old, and a soldier. Though that could be attributed partly to the poorly written dialog, where it simply seemed it was a characters turn to speak, to move the story along, not that the character had anything real to say in a given situation. Exposition dialog.
    Simply put, the characters were so flat I felt nothing but indifference towards their predicaments, it did not matter to me if any particular lived or died.
  • (4/5)
    In three words: Lovecraft in Space

    What I liked:
    An incredibly gripping story, full of lots of images that stick with you

    What I disliked:
    The writing is immature - frequently, the writer withholds information from the reader as he gives it to the character. Normally, this wouldn't be a problem but it's used constantly to drag the reader along and by the 500th page, I was starting to become more aggravated by it than entertained. Cliffhangers are cool, but you've gotta fall down eventually.

    In the end:
    I'll definitely continue to read the series
  • (4/5)
    An alien artifact that was unearthed from nine hundred thousand years ago sets off a chain of events that connects a sequence of seemingly unrelated events and people. Secrets that have been shrouded in a veil of secrecy, and a pre-dawn war that involved the entire universe, are now brought to light and that knowledge comes with a warning - our violent beginnings may not just be a forgotten footnote in the annals of our history books, but may be the very threat that will once again extinguish intelligent life in our galaxy and those beyond. The breadth and scope of this book is breathtaking and mind boggling at the same time. The first 100 pages were rather difficult to get through as it seemed like all the people and the events had nothing to do with each other, but once you get past the introductions, the connections and relationships between the separate stories were well worth the wait. There were moments where the scientific jargon got a bit heavy, but luckily it didn't occur often enough to be a hinderance to the flow of the narrative. Overall, Revelation Space was a space opera of epic proportions with a time line that stretches from the dawn of civilization to a distant future we have yet to know. I will definitely be interested to see where the author takes the story in the subsequent books in the series.
  • (4/5)
    I liked two thirds of this book. The beginning felt like I had been dumped into the setting and I had to struggle to comprehend it. That always makes it more interesting. The book starts with multiple points of view and figuring out how they connect is part of the challenge. Once they become a unified story there are still enough surprises to keep it going.Unfortunately the pace slows down after the midpoint, partly due to repetitive scenes ("they visit the Captain and nothing happens" happens several times) and in the last third it seems like the ideas didn't fit in the plot and there's a lot of exposition about ancient history. Since this is his first book I'm willing to give the next one a chance.There are elements of horror in the second half that would actually make for a good movie.
  • (2/5)
    This was a book where I could engage with the ideas and the plot but not with the characters. I'd seen Reynolds compared to Ian Banks, Ken MacLeod and Neil Asher, so I had high hopes of this book. On the plus side: the ideas are bold, plentiful and on a galaxy-spanning scale; the plot is clever and well executed; the world/culture/technology mix is convincing and sometimes intriguing and the writing style is clear and accessible. The downside is that I couldn't bring myself to care what happened to any of the characters. The book is 567 pages and I read at least the last 100 pages just to find the answer to the riddle rather than because I cared if the characters lived or died. This book is the first in a series and, despite the impressive ideas and clearly described worlds in this one, i feel no desire to read the rest. I think I'll pick up something by Banks or Asher or Morgan instead.
  • (3/5)
    Reynolds portrays a fantastic future universe that teeters on the edge of comprehensibility. Unfortunately, the characters who inhibit this universe are all cut from the same tough-talking, cynical stock. One wishes that Reynolds had found a co-author who could suffuse Reynolds's marvelous technological setup with the human drama that is a necessary funnel for the human-limited brain in absorbing the unfamiliar.
  • (3/5)
    Interesting book. I have some nitpicking that detracted from my enjoyment, and the last few chapters seemed rushed, and not as polished as the earlier sections.
  • (4/5)
    Wide-screen baroque space opera, as Brian Aldiss would have put it. The story takes a while to get going, especially as Reynolds keeps prefacing chapters with a location and and a date, some of which seem to be set out to confuse, given that spaceflight in this universe is relativistic; it also does not help when he says that a chapter is set in location A and then the action moves to location B half-way through. Perhaps if I'd read the first quarter of the book in longer sittings, I wouldn't have struggled so much with it to start with.But once things get into their stride, the story moves on pretty well. The main protagonist, Dan Sylveste, is an archaeologist but also dabbles in politics - think Indiana Jones meets Valdimir Putin. And his focus shifts from archaeology to politics very soon into the novel. He isn't exactly a sympathetic character; but then again, most of the characters in this book aren't; perhaps the exception to this is Pascale, Sylveste's wife - though she seems to be in the novel for other characters to bounce info-dumps off of.But the novel works very well on a nuts-and-boilts level, with the tech being very believable (I particularly liked the way that most of the tech was extrapolated from identifiable present-day knowledge, and some of the tech was recognisably present-day - after all, we use some things which are recognisably the same after 100, 150 or even 200 years; Reynolds recognises that and not everything in his universe gets a snazzy renaming to brand the book as "sci-fi"). At the end of the book - which I devoured in a late-night sitting that went on longer than I intended - the plot touches on matters relating to the Singularity (though Reynolds does not describe it as such) and the Fermi Paradox, suggesting that Reynolds tends towards the view that if the cosmic telephone rings, we'd be better off not answering it.So to sum up, a gripping read once you get into the mind-set of the writer and don't mind stumbling over occasional info-dumps, shoe-horning lots and lots and LOTS of ideas into the story, and heavyweight prose where Reynolds was perhaps trying too hard in his first novel.
  • (5/5)
    Wow, absolutely the best Space Opera I've ever read. From rogue AIs battling over a cyborg staffed ship to what is probably one of the best alien artifacts ever written about, this story has it all.Dr' Dan Sylveste together with a simulation of his father are investigating why the alien Amarantin species went kapoof 950,000 years ago. Meanwhile a contract killer has signed on with a Cyborg ship returning from deep space who is hunting Sylveste to help them save their captain from a deadly plague that attacks both machine and flesh. The contract killer's target? Sylveste.The book starts off as sort of a political drama localized to one planet and builds slowly but surely to a climax that affects the entire human species.5 stars!
  • (4/5)
    I've read everything that Reynolds has written to date and always get thoroughly engrossed in his stories. Yes the stories jump across millenia with a variety of characters that can sometimes get a bit confusing - but that's part of his appeal in my view. Another classic from Reynolds - also his short stories are well worth a look.
  • (5/5)
    Volyova had now less than five hundred metres to go before she dragged the cache-weapon into the flames. It was putting up a fight, thrusters going haywire, but its overall thrust capacity was less than that of the spider-room. Understandable, Khouri thought. When its designers had conceived the ancillary systems which would be required to move and position the device, the idea that it would also have to fend for itself in a wrestling match had probably not been uppermost in their minds.Well I finally finished after a couple of weeks reading on the train during my commute.The story takes place in the mid-25th century, and starts with three separate strands which gradually come together: Dan Sylveste, is the arrogant and single-minded former ruler of the human colony on Resurgam, which began as a scientific expedition from Yellowstone. He has been in prison since a coup eight years ago, fuming about being prevented from continuing his studies of the Amarantin, the dead race who inhabited the plant 900,000 years ago. Khouri is an ex-soldier now working as an assassin on Yellowstone, where she is hired to hunt the bored and rich, whose lives are given spice by their (usually successful) attempts to survive until the end of the contract. After a successful but unusual assassination a mysterious woman blackmails her into taking on a contract off-world. And then there is Volyova, one of the triumvirate running an Ultra trading ship whose captain is dying of the melding plague. the ship is heading for Yellowstone searching for the one surgeon who helped the captain in the past and may now be able to cure him with the help of a retrovirus engineered by Volyova.Although I prefer shorter books than this and the story didn't really get going until the protagonists got together, the plot was anything but predictable, the gradually unfolding of the central mystery kept my interest, and what the characters discovered near the end of the book was truly fascinating.
  • (4/5)
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I agree with other reviewers' opinions about not knowing what Henry was thinking through the second half of the book. I sometimes wondered if he wished both women would just leave him alone with his cows. I thought the reactions of the people around them were appalling, yet probably appropriate to the time of the novel. I also agree with the reviewer who said the cover art is a little to "romantic". I don't care for the woman on the cover at all. I love historical novels and I would recommend this one to anyone else who also likes the genre. This book was well written and engaging, it held my attention from the first page.
  • (3/5)
    I'm torn by this book. On the positive side, it's a good story and an interesting universe. On the negative side, he write as if I'm an idiot - telling us the same thing in three or four different ways in the same paragraph and seeming to expect each time to be a revelation. Hint, if you call something a "cache-weapon" I already know it's a weapon.
  • (3/5)
    Although the science and sheer epic stage this book revolves around is very interesting and imaginative, the over-written dialogue and descriptions of technologies, bantering between characters, and drawn out plot made this book drag for me. Finally, about page 600 or so it begins to explain things. It does make you wonder though. Why aren't there more known civilizations out there? Revelation Space presents one idea. I'll probably read the other 3 in the series.
  • (3/5)
    Although I found the storyline and technologies in this universe quite imaginative, at some point about a third into the novel, I couldn't help but feel that the haphazardly constructed dialogue and cookie-cutter tough guy/girl characters severely reduced the pleasure I had reading it.A few passages consisting of essentially objective descriptions of locations and creative technologies left me wanting more, but instead I ended up having to drag myself through the rather muddled and cliffhanger-ridden final two thirds. Some interesting thoughts about artificial intelligence, sadly few and far between. Still, I might end up reading some more novels by this guy.
  • (5/5)
    chain-smoking sociopathic female spaceship captains of ambiguous orientation, women that carry their heads around on their hips like a basketball, cybernetic control systems so elaborate, extensive, complex and near-biological that the software viruses that get into them evolve into symbionts, then parasitic pervasive creatures that may or may not have agency of their own, disturbing rifts in once-human societies undergoing divergent social (and physical) evolutionary paths, then coming into conflict with one another over the light years difference -- hey! What's not to like?
  • (5/5)
    Alastair Reynolds is a fantastic new voice in the world of speculative fiction. Although this book was first published in 2000, I did not read it until this year. And boy, was I missing a wonderful book.But first things first: A little bit about Alastair Reynolds, born in Wales, England. He has a Ph. D in Astronomy. For some reason, many scientists make good science fiction writers. I dunno why. Alastair has done a wonderful job here. This book tackles that eternal question people seem to ask in different ways: "Are we alone in the Universe?"Now, it is true that question has been asked before, by many Science Fiction authors in many different versions. I always enjoy reading these different "takes" (as they are called) on this theme. What's new, or refreshing in this story is neither the setting or the build-up behind it, but the originality of the characters.You know, a long time time ago, a science fiction editor by the name of John W. Campbell, decided that characters were just as important to a Scientific speculative fiction story as the underlying science, the story itself. Without characters indeed, there is no story. Alastair Reynolds achieves this in spades. It's the characters that draw you into the story. Oh, there is enough scientific exposition to make you believe that you are 500 years in the future. But Dan Sylveste and Ilia Volyova will make you believe that you are there.Dan Sylveste is investigating the "Amarantin puzzle", an extinct race, whose archaeological traces humanity has been investigating for years on different worlds. Yet, on this world that humans have colonized, the "Amarantin" seem to have accomplished something. They seem to have achieved a level of technological sophistication, maybe at the humanity's current level or even beyond, a completely unexpected development. WHY? All previously extinct races that humanity had come across had never reached this level, EXCEPT for humans themselves.There are of course the "Shrouders", an unknown conglomeration of Alien entities or Alien intelligences hiding behind a physical shroud in space which is impenetrable...and then there are the "Inhibitors". Who are the "Inhibitors"? And what do they want with humanity?I do not want to give more of the plot so as not to spoil it. Suffice it to say, that A.I.s are central to this book, as well as Light-Huggers (ships that accelerate UP TO the speed of light) -- no FTL crap in this book. Dan Sylveste's father was one of the first people capable of downloading his mind into a computer. He was also the first to make contact with the "Shrouders". Since that time, Dan Sylveste himself attempted contact with the "Shrouders". And with this set-up we're thrown into a whirlwind, action whodunit with lots of mystery. The crew of the light-hugger Nostalgia for Infinity is of course central to the plot, as well as events set in motion hundreds of years in the past.I highly recommend this book. Although, it will leave some questions unanswered, the book reaches a satisfying conclusion -- yet it leaves you hungering for more! Good thing then, that Alastair Reynolds has written 4 more books set in the same universe as "Revelation Space": 1. Chasm City (2001) 2. Redemption Ark (2002) 3. Absolution Gap (2003) 4. The Prefect (2007)
  • (3/5)
    Enjoyable space opera, and quite imaginative peri-singularity society. Overlong, but a page-turner.
  • (4/5)
    I thought the first two thirds of this books was superb, and the last third was rather disappointing. At one point in the story I was thinking this is the best space-opera-with-a-hard-science-veneer I have read since A Deepness in the Sky. But in the end Revelation Space is a much less satisfying read on several levels. The novel follows three main characters who start on vastly different paths but inexorably are brought together as the story builds to its climax: Dan Sylveste, the son of an infamous genetics experimenter, who is driven to unearth the remains of an ancient civilization nobody else seems to care about; Ana Khouri, one time soldier and current assassin-for-hire who finds herself serving a mysterious new master; and Ilia Volyova, cyborg weapons master to a massive interstellar ship. These characters are initially interesting and enigmatic (as are many of the supporting cast around them), but I found them to be less and less sympathetic as the story progresses. And I found the doomed romance between Pascale and Sylveste to be utterly unconvincing. The plotting is at times clever, and offers a few nice surprises, and more than its fair share of inventive and intriguing concepts. But, as mentioned above, I felt the ending failed to deliver on the early promise of the book (indeed the ending seemed to make much of the earlier plot largely irrelevant). Despite my disappointment with some aspects of the book, there is no denying that this is pretty impressive for a first novel. I will definitely plan to read more by Reynolds.
  • (5/5)
    Wow, what an amazing first book is all I can say. I don't usually read "hard scifi", I prefer to stay on the lighter side with humorous scifi, or just plain fantasy novels. This book was, indeed, a revelation. Reynolds is an excellent writer, and extremely knowledgeable about what he writes. His excellent explanations never get too boring or in the way of the story, though. He writes of a splintered humanity in the distant future, and of its discovery of an ancient civilization and its abrupt end. Some try to understand it, others are afraid of what it might mean, and that the same thing that eradicated the Amarantin civilization will destroy humanity as well.I'm very excited to have the next several books in this series, and expect to be reading them very soon. And I highly recommend it to anyone that likes to read science fiction.Books in the Revelation Space series:Revelation SpaceChasm CityRedemption ArkDiamond Dogs, Turquoise DaysAbsolution GapGalactic NorthThe Prefect
  • (5/5)
    A far future space opera on relatively small scale. The story takes place in a small corner of known human space, but the feel of the story is grand.This is a theme throughout the book. Reynolds has a knack of making the small in reality seem large and grand.
  • (3/5)
    My first experience with Reynolds. First hundred pages were a tough go; I had trouble keeping characters and dates straight at times. I decided to trust that he had a plan, and that the narrative threads would come together. They did. The first third of the book felt like an academic exercise, the second was intriguing, and the final third was compelling. I'll move on to Chasm City next.