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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Review: Troika

I'm slowly working through the Hugo Voting packet. Alastair Reynold's Troika was next in the pipe. If you've read any of Reynold's previous stories you'll be impressed. (I recommend starting with Revelation Space)

Troika is set in a fictional Soviet Union, one very different from the one which we know now. An obviously alien object has been injected into the solar system on a wildly eccentric orbit, and a manned expedition has been sent to explore and investigate it. The results of the expedition sends one of the cosmonauts mad, and we see another one escape to try to tell his story to a dis-credited astronomer.

The plot and story is interesting, but the characters are not, and the conclusion feels empty. Upon noting that the piece first showed up in Godlike Machines, I realize that the problem is that Reynolds was writing to spec. Definitely not one of his best works. Not recommended.

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