It’s not very often, but once in a while, I come across books that are so great
that I have to share them with everyone.
This time, it’s a science fiction
trilogy written by a British author named Alastair Reynolds. The books
I would qualify his science between "hard" (e.g. Arthur C. Clarke) and pure
fantasy (e.g. Perry Rhodan). A lot of the technology used in these books
are rooted in the latest physics theories (including brane worlds!) but from
there, he comes up with some very creative and innovative ideas that help carry
the plot along.
Reynolds’ writing is deep and detailed (as with most British
authors, I found) and his storytelling arcs over the three books with a lot of
cleverness and a sense of reflection that has made me like science fiction
literature again. I won’t disclose anything about these books except for
the general idea: if there is intelligent life out there, how come we
never encountered it?
Reynolds has his own interpretation to this paradox and he shares it with us
through colorful and complex characters thrown into chaotic events that advance
ineluctably with sophisticated twists and relentless action.
This is a saga with a background theme that is slowly emerging through the books
and that he advances by telling multiple unrelated stories at first but which
slowly converge toward their climax (not unlike Hyperion or Perry Rhodan).
Some of these unrelated threads are also told at different periods of time,
which reinforces the feeling of a grand odyssey that is rooted deep in our past
and that has sweeping and possibly devastating consequences for the future of the
Page turners that makes you think.