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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Review: Galactic North

Galactic North (kindle edition) is Alastair Reynolds' collection of short stories about the Revelation Space universe. Sorted in roughly chronological order, the stories range from the founding of the Conjoiner sub-race of humanity, to the far future where intelligent races have to flee the Milky Way because of a mistake made by two people.

Every one of the stories is excellent and worth the time. Many of them are quite haunting, including one in which the secrets of the Conjoiner light-hugger drives are revealed. Others seem a bit love-craftian, which isn't really a bad thing. Ironically, the story I liked the least is the last one, Galactic North.

All of the issues that I have with Reynolds' first novel are gone in the short stories --- in a short story, the plot trumps characterization, and the ideas trump all, and Reynolds proves himself as the master of both, over and over. Highly recommended, and in fact, this is probably the best introduction to Reynolds' universe.

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