SLOW BULLETS has it all

Photo: Barbera Bella

As part of their reading of the Hugo nominated works, 50 BOOK CHALLENGE reviews Alastair Reynolds’ SLOW BULLETS.

Dang, but Reynolds can write. This sci-fi novella grips from the start as you follow Scur, a conscripted soldier in a war that is finally at end. She is caught by a sadistic thug and tortured briefly. When she awakens, she’s on a ship in a hibernation chamber. Something has gone very, very wrong on board, and Scur and other characters slowly find out how dire their situation really is. The whole scenario is truly horrific. It’s almost soothing to be in Scur’s perspective. She may not have chosen to be a soldier but she’s a darn good one. She is cool and calculated, even when she finds out the man who tortured her is also on board. The novella threatens to become a dark revenge tale, but the story is much deeper and complicated than that. Again–dang, Reynolds can write. This has it all: a fantastic premise, a solid protagonist, and incredible tension to carry everyone along.

At TOR.COM, Niall Alexander posits that there’s never been a better time to be an Alastair Reynolds fan.

Just yesterday I was singing the praises of The MEDUSA CHRONICLES, a surprisingly substantial and suitably excellent extension of Arthur C. Clarke’s last short story of note, which the former astrophysicist co-authored with fellow speculative superstar Stephen Baxter.

Fast forward a few weeks and fans of the fella are sure to have their hands full with BEYOND THE AQUILA RIFT, an appropriately immense collection of the best of Reynolds’ short fiction. Not long after that, we’ll learn whether or not SLOW BULLETS—which I called “an excellent effort from one of British science fiction’s finest” in my review last June—can beat out the likes of Bintiand The Builders to take home a Hugo Award for Best Novella. And then, in September, Reynolds’ next novel proper will be upon us. It’s called REVENGER, and it’s said to be “an epic story of adventure set in the rubble of a ruined universe.”

For more info about SLOW BULLETS, visit the Tachyon page.

Cover art by Thomas Canty

Design by Elizabeth Story