This year, I plan on reading many of the authors I have not tried yet. First on my list is Alastair Reynolds. Adam, at Visions of Paradise, recommended Galactic North. The first story I read was "Great Wall of Mars".
I was very impressed with Reynolds. It did not take me long to get into the story. The background is filled in and was easy to pick up. Humanity has divided into 3 groups. The humans, the Demarchists (who use implants to create an "instant" democracy) and the Conjoiners(similar to Star Trek's Borg). Neil Clavain is sent on a peace mission to the Conjoiners base within the Great Wall. The Great Wall is an interesting concept. It is the only thing that is protecting the Conjoiners on Mars. Neil's brother ambushes his brother's ship and makes it look like the Conjoiners did it. Neil makes it to the base and meets up with his former captor, the Conjoiner Galiana. Neil's interaction with Galiana and the young Felka is the backbone of this story.
An excellent story that definitely made me a fan of Reynolds. I will be looking for his other works.