The Guardian called Alastair Reynolds’ work “a turbulent, wildly entertaining ride” and The Times acclaimed him as “the mastersinger of space opera”. With a career stretching back more than 25 years and across fourteen novels, including the classic ‘Revelation Space’ series, the bestselling ‘Poseidon’s Children’ series, Century Rain, Pushing Ice, and most recently The Medusa Chronicles (with Stephen Baxter), Reynolds has established himself as one of the best and most beloved writers of hard science fiction and space opera working today.
A brilliant novelist, he has also been recognized as one of our best writers of short fiction. His short stories have been nominated for the Hugo, British Fantasy, British Science Fiction, Theodore Sturgeon Memorial, Locus, Italia, Seiun, and Sidewise Awards, and have won the Seiun and Sidewise Awards.
The very best of his more than sixty published short stories are gathered in Beyond the Aquila Rift: The Best of Alastair Reynolds, a sweeping 250,000 word career retrospective which features the very best stories from the ‘Revelation Space’ universe like “Galactic North”, “Great Wall of Mars”, “Weather”, “Diamond Dogs”, and “The Last Log of the Lachrimosa” alongside thrilling hard science fiction stories like Hugo Award nominee “Troika”, “Thousandth Night”, and “The Star Surgeon’s Apprentice”. Spanning more than fifteen years, the book also collects more recent stories like environmental SF tale “The Water Thief”, powerful and moving YA “The Old Man and the Martian Sea” and the brilliant “In Babelsberg”.
Beyond the Aquila Rift: The Best of Alastair Reynolds has something for every reader of science fiction, and easily meets the challenge of delivering stories that are the hardest of hard science fiction and great entertainment.
This collection of 18 long and short stories by Reynolds (the Poseidon's Children series), one of the most gifted hard SF writers working today, displays his facility for building fascinating settings and integrating romance and mystery plots into space opera. Even readers completely unacquainted with his various universes will have no trouble getting acclimated. For example, no prior knowledge of the Revelation Space books is required to enjoy the longer stories "Great Wall of Mars" and "Weather," which immerse readers in a future where the human achievement of "neural communion" led to bloody warfare; Reynolds uses that backdrop to explore what the unlinked humans still have in common with Conjoiners, who share mental communion with each other, rather than as an excuse for dramatic space battles showing off imaginative weaponry. The stories are often moving and surprising. When Reynolds resorts to twist endings, the final revelations are logical and never gimmicky, serving a larger purpose than simply causing shock or surprise. Readers will greatly appreciate the breadth and variety of this deeply enjoyable collection.