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Monday, June 05, 2017

Review: Beyond the Aquila Rift

I'm a huge fan of Alastair Reynolds, having read most of his short story collections and his novels. Beyond the Aquila Rift is a collection of short stories from over his careers. Many of the stories in the collection are pretty long, and the book itself is physically huge, making the Kindle edition the preferred means of reading this.

I'd read many of the early stories in this collection before, especially those set in the Revelation Space universe. As you can imagine, the stories are great, with a breadth of imagination that's hard to beat (including several robot stories that hold true, even in the light of recent developments in AI). I then got to Thousandth Night, which is a novella set in the same universe as House of Suns, featuring two of the same characters, and that was such a great story that it made me go back and start reading House of Suns again.

The last few stories in the book were a reminder that in recent years, Reynolds has focused on novels (novels make money, short stories don't), and the last few stories feel more like filler, without the verve of the earlier work. Nevertheless, if all you have is a few minutes a night of reading time, this is a great collection with which to start your introduction to one of the great science fiction authors in modern times.


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