House of Suns — Alastair Reynolds.

I finally got round to reading this (I really needed the escape) and enjoyed it immensely. Mr Reynolds also got double royalties from me due to my increasingly disfunctional memory – I bought one copy through either Amazon or The Book Depository, and then picked up another in Waterstones.

It has everything I want from him: huge concepts played out on a vast stage, enjoyable characters, gobsmacking technology (bollocks to nanotech, he goes straight for the jugular with femtotech) and a great story extending across aeons. I particularly liked the way, at one point, that he sneaked around causality. Some might think, with his adherence to the galactic speed limit, that he’s made a rod for his own back as far as story telling goes. It strikes me that a consequence of him limiting himself to sub-FTL travel is that the stage expands to somewhere approaching its true size. What Reynolds does best is give some sense of the true scale of what lies out there. Maybe that’s something difficult to achieve without spending years peering through a telescope and letting the vastness of what you see settle in your bones.

I’m probably speaking to the converted when I say, ‘Highly recommended,’ since most of you reading this blog have probably already read this book.

Footnote.

The character Purslane in this book received a hologram of an emerald beetle. I can’t find that particular section at the moment but it sticks in my mind because this bugger landed in Caroline’s lap only a week before I started reading the book.

The interconnectness of things? Just the inevitability of human brains full of experience and knowledge interfacing with large books full of … experience and knowledge.

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