Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Those suspended animation chambers never quite work, do they?

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.

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