Six million years ago, at the very dawn of the starfaring era, Abigail Gentian fractured herself into a thousand male and female clones: the shatterlings. Sent out into the galaxy, these shatterlings have stood aloof as they document the rise and fall of countless human empires. They meet every 200,000 years to exchange news and memories of their travels with their siblings.
Not only are Campion and Purslane late for their thirty-second reunion but they have also brought along an amnesiac golden robot for a guest. But the wayward shatterlings get more than the scolding they expect: they face the discovery that someone has a very serious grudge against the Gentian line, and there is a very real possibility of traitors in their midst. The surviving shatterlings have to dodge exotic weapons while they regroup to try to solve the mystery of who is persecuting them and why-before their ancient line is wiped out of existence forever.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I just finished reading the book, and am seriously considering the audiobook version.
It is a space opera of the grandest scale, spanning thousands of years and lightyears in distances, incorporating spaceships 50 kilometers in length.
A very compelling story, well told.
It begs for a sequel.
SF on a scale only Reynolds can achieve
Another great book from my favorite SF author. It's a story of betrayal, survival, guilt, and love across unimaginable time scales and distances.
This is a great book.
Alastair Reynolds is my new favorite science fiction writer. I’ve read all but one of his works available on audiobook and he brings some of the most intriguing sci-fi universes to life that I’ve ever read.
“House Of Suns” is just simply a great sci-fi novel. In some of his books, Reynolds imagines a galaxy nearly devoid of higher intelligence, leaving humanity to puzzle over what happened to alien civilizations of the past. This novel envisions a galaxy lush with life. A few small groups of humans are able to defy death and survive for millions of years, observing galactic civilizations wax and wane like flowers in a vast garden as seasons roll by. There’s a pretty good story that is told along the way, but what I love about the book is the view it affords of the great galaxies, their fullness and emptiness, their size that can only be measured by the speed of light. Reynolds conveys a sense of time and scale that feels real, and that is actually awe-inspiring. It’s that feeling, the ideas, that made the book so powerful for me.
The story is a cerebral blend of mystery, politics, romance, ethics, technology and brutality that keeps a pretty good pace throughout. It’s a bit of a page-turner.
“House Of Suns” was first published in 2008 and was narrowly beaten out for the 2009 Arthur C. Clarke Award. I had to look up the book that won, it’s also on iTunes, it seems to be based on a passage from a Salmon Rushdie novel and sounds so dull that I can’t bring myself to listen to it even just so I can trash it. Reynolds was robbed!
I’d really highly recommend “House Of Suns” to anyone who wants to try a great, hard sci-fi novel with a vast, epic scope. It’s a book that can set you dreaming.