Alastair Reynolds’ intriguing SLOW BULLETS is worth your time and money

A trio of fresh reviews for Alastair Reynolds’ Locus award-winning SLOW BULLETS.


At ALWAYS TRUST IN BOOKS, Stuart Simpson praises the tale.

I was amazed about the amount of plot that AR managed to fit into 182 pages. Scur is a survivor and nothing will stop her from getting home. She was not meant to be part of this war, and finding herself on a prison ship heading for oblivion kicks her into overdrive. Dealing with revolts, schizophrenic machinery, memory loss, revenge, scientific uncertainty and religion. At its core, SLOW BULLETS is a survival tale that relies heavily on science-fiction to draw the reader into a complex, brief and interesting tale. AR addresses an important and relevant question here, what would we need to prioritise in order to survive an extinct event?

I recommend SLOW BULLETS to all SF fans. It would suit those who like brief but engaging plot lines with small amounts of character development. AR’s focus is on both plot and a detailed science fiction setting. It was great to read a SF book that was not trying to be over-complicated but instead just being enjoyable and thought provoking. I don’t really have any negative comments on SLOW BULLETS or AR’s work. My one significant issue with this book (which is pretty common) is that I didn’t appreciate the fact that the whole progress of the plot relied on one person who needed to be awake, alive and have the right knowledge and technical know-how.

Overall I think SLOW BULLETS is worth your time and money. It is a great addition to the genre, with all the conflict, science, technology and space that any SF could want in a novella. I have given the book 4/5 stars as I thought the story was memorable, enjoyable and filled with conflict, graphic imagery and scientific detail. Pick it up and enjoy.


Photo: Barbera Bella

BRENHINES BOOKS praises the book.

Now, I’m a huge fan of survivalist stories and especially ones set in space, so of course I ended up loving this novella. The characters are great and the concept of a slow bullet – a bullet implanted in you that records your memories and past – is also really intriguing and ends up playing an important role later on.

I would definitely recommend this novella, I felt it was an excellent introduction to the writing of Alastair Reynolds and has definitely made me want to read many more of his books!


The bulk of the novella, which is written from Scur’s point of view, is set on the prison ship, a claustrophobic space populated largely by enemy combatants, or rather people who in their own timelines were enemies until recently, no matter how long they have actually been in hibernation. There are clearly problems with the ship, requiring speedy cooperation. Mistrust, old scores, religious differences all threaten to get in the way and there are several levels of tension at once. Impressive for such a short book, but then it did win the 2016 Locus Award for best novella.

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

Cover art by Thomas Canty

Design by Elizabeth Story