Alastair Reynolds “Slow Bullets” (Tachyon, 2015)
When you hear the name Alastair Reynolds, who thinks of tightly plotted novellas? A lean, mean, storytelling machine? Show of hands? Yeah. Me too. I think of big doorstopper space opera. Complex plots with lots of characters, advanced tech.
Well Slow Bullets is a tightly plotted novella, that basically takes place in a single ship. Rather than the expansive feelings that I expect from space opera, this enclosed story felt more claustrophobic.
Technically, this novella was great; just as I would expect from Reynolds. But the setting & what felt like a dark grim tone set me off this basically from the beginning. When the novella opens, our protagonist is a POW & is being tortured. I found I just couldn’t recover tonally from that place.
So yes, well done, but just not for me.