Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Author: Alastair Reynolds
First Publication: June 2015
Publisher: Tachyon Publications
Cover Artist: Thomas Canty
42 Challenge 2015
The author is one of my favorites of the “new space opera” movement. His “Revelation Space” series is a favorite of many readers. Which reminds me that I need to get back to reading it. So far, I have only read the first book. I have read a few of Reynolds’ short stories that were very good. “Slow Bullets” is a novella published by Tachyon Press. At 192 pages, it is more the length of many of the science fiction books I read in the seventies. The novella is one of my favorite story lengths. It has more meat to it than the short story but is not overly padded to reach the massive length of many of today’s novels.
“Slow Bullets” features Scur from the “Revelation Space” series. She is a soldier at the end of the war when she is captured by a sadistic enemy, injected with a slow bullet, and left to die. The slow bullet was created as a futuristic dog tag that can be destroyed and kill the soldier. Her enemy puts it on a path to slowly make its way to her brain and painfully kill her. Scur wakes up on a spaceship and that is when this adventure begins. Her tormentor is also on the ship which helps set the stage for the conflict.
Reynolds’ tells the story from Scur’s point of view. The reader is not sure if she is a reliable narrator or not. While not as good as “Great Wall of Mars” it is still a very good story.