Revelation Space (2000) Mini-Review

Revelation Space tells the story of Dan Sylveste, an archaeologist in the far future who uncovers a startling find on a desolate planet called Resurgam. The find points way back in the past and warns of dangerous world-changing events that happened, and might happen again.

Being the first book in a series of 5, Alastair Reynolds sets up his universe of the same name. It’s a ‘verse populated by intricate characters who lead very long lives; be it through medicines, nanotechnology or machine consciousness. Super-high technology and multiple identities permeates the entire series, of which I’ve also read Chasm City—book 2. While other authors, both Arthur C. Clarke, Greg Bear and Larry Niven have explored these areas of science fiction, Reynolds details it in a depth I haven’t seen before. Which works really well.

Revelation Space is an alright book. It’s fairly easily digestible, and the cover of the book has a space-ship on it. It’s the kind of book that you’d buy prior to a long flight or train ride. That earns it 3 hearts. For the potential this holds for subsequent books (a potential I sneakingly know will be fulfilled already in book 2), it’s very much worth reading, more so than the three hearts suggest.

Responses to “Revelation Space (2000) Mini-Review”

  1. It’s sooo looong. I started out great though, alien dig site and all. But man, I nearly never got through it.

  2. Joen says:

    It is long, yes. In fact, I remember passages where I thought: hey, what was this for? Throw away passages that did little to further the story. Then I’m reminded by a comment my cousin made, that US authors are paid by the page, so a lot of them pad their books with filler.

    So Reynolds is certainly no Clarke, what with one of Clarkes best books — Rama — being an early evenings digest in length.

    Still, the potential is there.