Chasm City (Revelation Space Series #2)

( 21 )

Overview

Named one of the best novels of the year by both Locus and Science Fiction Chronicle, Alastair Reynolds's debut Revelation Space redefined the space opera. With Chasm City, Reynolds invites you to reenter the bizarre universe of his imagination as he redefines Hell...

The once-utopian Chasm City—a domed human settlement on an otherwise inhospitable planet—has been overrun by a virus known as the Melding Plague, capable of infecting any body, organic or computerized. Now, with ...

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Chasm City (Revelation Space Series #2)

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Overview

Named one of the best novels of the year by both Locus and Science Fiction Chronicle, Alastair Reynolds's debut Revelation Space redefined the space opera. With Chasm City, Reynolds invites you to reenter the bizarre universe of his imagination as he redefines Hell...

The once-utopian Chasm City—a domed human settlement on an otherwise inhospitable planet—has been overrun by a virus known as the Melding Plague, capable of infecting any body, organic or computerized. Now, with the entire city corrupted—from the people to the very buildings they inhabit—only the most wretched sort of existence remains. For security operative Tanner Mirabel, it is the landscape of nightmares through which he searches for a lowlife postmortal killer. But the stakes are raised when his search brings him face to face with a centuries-old atrocity that history would rather forget.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Melding Plague transformed Chasm City from a thriving utopia into a diseased hulk where lowlifes battle for existence. Pursuing one such abomination, Tanner Mirabel discovers an atrocity far greater than first meets the eye. Stephen Baxter called Reynolds's writing "ferociously intelligent." He was right.
From the Publisher
"Another intoxicating draught of cutting-edge biology, AI, and alien intrigue.... Reynolds is on fire." —-Booklist Starred Review
From the Publisher
"Another intoxicating draught of cutting-edge biology, AI, and alien intrigue.... Reynolds is on fire." ---Booklist Starred Review
Publishers Weekly
In this worthy follow-up to his well-received first novel, Revelation Space (2001), an especially intelligent far-future foray, British author Reynolds transmutes space opera into a noirish, baroque, picaresque mystery tale. Honor requires that Tanner Mirabel, a weapons specialist/bodyguard, track down and destroy the man who killed his boss. Tanner's pursuit takes him to the planet Yellowstone, where a nano-plague has mutated the glittering human cultural showcase of Chasm City into something bizarre, dark and extremely dangerous. He's aided or threatened or both, at different times by a host of human and not-quite-human characters. Relying on his own combat skills and hard-boiled attitude, Tanner keeps seeking revenge even though he begins to wonder why he's doing it, especially after intrusions of other people's memories lead him to suspect he's not who he thinks he is. Inventiveness and tone are Reynolds's strong points. Presented in a sustained burst of weirdness, the novel's details are consistently startling but convincing in context, and the loose ends eventually tie neatly together. The narrator's tough-guy stance works too, both as an expression of Tanner's personality and as a defensive reaction to the setting's intimidating strangeness. Think of a combination of the movie Blade Runner and one of Jack Vance's ironic SF adventure novels. If the ending feels a bit flat, that's probably inevitable after the exuberant display of wonders earlier. Reynolds remains one of the hottest new SF writers around. (Apr. 2) Forecast: Science Fiction Chronicle chose Revelation Space as Best Science Fiction Novel of the Year; Locus selected it as one of its Best First Novels of the Year. Expect this one to receive similar kudos. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
When security specialist Tanner Mirabel loses a client, killed by an assassin named Argent Reivich, he sets off on a manhunt to bring Reivich to justice. His search leads him to the domed community of Chasm City, located on the planet Yellowstone. There he confronts the city's strange, mutated inhabitants victims of a nanotechnological virus and ultimately comes up against his own worst fears and inner demons. The author of Revelation Space combines sf noir with technothriller in a dark vision of the future that belongs in most sf collections. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781400139569
  • Publisher: Tantor Media, Inc.
  • Publication date: 12/14/2009
  • Series: Revelation Space Series , #2
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Library - Unabridged CD
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 7.00 (h) x 1.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Alastair Reynolds is the author of many short stories and eight novels, including Chasm City, winner of the British Science Fiction Association's Award for Best Novel, and House of Suns.

British narrator John Lee has read audiobooks in almost every conceivable genre, from Charles Dickens to Patrick O'Brian. He has won numerous Audie Awards and AudioFile Earphones Awards, and he was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile in 2009.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 21 )
Rating Distribution

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(13)

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(4)

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 28 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2003

    Awesome spectacle, inconsistent characters

    If you're looking for a book to lift up your spirits, stay away from this one. I introduced myself to this author with Chasm City based on the Hard SF/Space Opera classification the publisher advertised and though I found a lot to like, there was a little bit more that I didn't like. What worked for me were the large-canvas spectacles of an advanced society (mostly) reduced to rubble by a nanotech virus, a wild ride on a space elevator, a race across the the galaxy by three starships that are able to squeak out 8 percent of the speed of light, and cool alien fauna that reminds all of the natives somehow of giant snakes. However, the characters in here are mostly forgettable and the ones that aren't are certainly not likeable. I'm old fashioned in that I prefer reading a story where I root for the protagonist. After about a third of the way in, I was pretty disturbed by the behavior of pretty much everyone. The author admirably weaves together some personalities in one character, but the end result lost its credibility with me. Also, the author just is not able to telegraph plot hints without making them too explicit, while on the other hand coincidences seem to happen serendipitously to further the plot. I'll read the author's next book because I see lots of potential here, but also lots of room for improvement.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2002

    space opera at its fantastic best

    In the twenty-sixth century, mankind may have conquered the stars and found the secret to immortality but it hasn¿t been able to eliminate war. Since humanity colonized Sky¿s Edge there has always been war and arm merchants like Cahuella, who sell munitions to both sides have become rich men. Tanner Mirabel, former soldier and mercenary, is now a security consultant to Cahuella. When an ambush in the jungle kills his employer¿s wife, Tanner vows to avenge their death. <P>He knows the man who was behind the killing is a rich aristocrat whose family was killed by ammunition Cahuella sold to the enemy. Tanner¿s search leads him across the galaxy to CHASM CITY on the planet Yellowstone, a place decimated by the nano-technological Melding Plague that changed the political and social structure of that world. In the course of hunting down his prey, Tanner has many life threatening adventures and discovers things about himself that are extremely shocking to him. <P> CHASM CITY is a space opera at its fantastic best. The story line is so intriguing that the audience will want to read all 528 pages in one sitting. Tanner, the flawed anti-hero, is likable despite the fact that when he gets into mercenary mode, he has no compunction about killing people. If this novel is any indication of his talent, Alastair Reynolds will attain the skies of Robert Heinlein and Andre Norton. <P>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 30, 2012

    Not bad

    Slow moving, sometimes cliche, but overall rather interesting.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2003

    Needs a *lot* of work

    Chasm City was a tough book for me to review, especially without spoilers. Let me say up front that this is the first book I have read by this particular author. The novel basically has two story lines, there is the Sky Haussmann storyline and the Tanner Mirabel storyline. I liked most of the Haussmann storyline although it did start to get weak towards the end. Overall the pacing of the book is sluggish. The author plods from one plot point to the next, never really building up momentum or tension about how things will work out in the end (more on this later). Like I said, I did like the Haussmann parts of the book for the most part. What I didn't like about the Tanner Mirabel storyline can be summed up as follows: Pace: most of the sluggishness of the book exists in the Tanner Mirabel part, although even the Haussmann part starts to slow down as the two plots start to merge in the last quarter of the book. The pace also comes across to me as choppy. We race from place to place never really seeming to accomplish much. There was more than one event in the book where I finished reading and thought 'what was the point of that?'. I assumed that these events would become important later in the story but they never really seemed to. Character development: Other than the main character, most of the people (and things) that we are introduced to are kept 2-dimensional. Even main characters that are crucial to the plot aren't really developed very well. Two of the characters that make it to the ending are kept so shallow that their personalities seemed to merge by the time the characters were brought together. I think they were meant to be 'bookend' characters, personality-wise but ended up being interchangable. By the end I couldn't really tell them apart. Telegraphing plot-twists: Reading this book I kept expecting to see a commercial for Western-Union, no joke. Every major plot twist is telegraphed well in advance. One plot point that I assume was supposed to be part of a 'shocker' ending was pretty much spelled out about 230 pages in and believe me, I groaned when I read that particular passage. The rest of the 'shocker' parts were also spelled out well before the ending. Remember when I mentioned building tension? It's hard to build tension when you insist on making the ending so painfully obvious halfway into the story. Deux Ex Machina: Every time our hero gets himself into a fix he has to rely on someone else to come along and save him. Now, if you read the book the hero is made out to be someone who would never have to rely on someone else. Eventually you have to wonder why. This would actually be my second example of telegraphing because once I noticed it the rest of the ending fell into place. The last couple of sections of the last chapter: Ick, ick, ick. There's nothing else to say. One of the lamest wrap-ups that I've seen in a long, long time. In conclusion, I give this book three stars. I'd give the Haussmann storyline maybe four stars on it's own. The rest of the book only deserves a one.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 12, 2003

    I want more books like this one!

    This is a great story-it reminds a bit of a Micky Spillane novel. Reynolds unfolds a story with a bunch of surprises, and something new to think about every cupla pages. If I have any complaints, its that the book was either viciously edited or ar needs some work on consistency / transitions. I recommended this book to three friends into the genre and they all tore into the book with as much as gusto as I. Thanks Alastair!

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    Posted October 27, 2008

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    Posted March 27, 2013

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    Posted February 21, 2010

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    Posted November 29, 2009

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    Posted April 23, 2010

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    Posted January 24, 2010

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    Posted May 18, 2011

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    Posted May 18, 2010

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