House of Suns

House of Suns

4.4 58
by Alastair Reynolds
     
 

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Six million years ago, at the dawn of the star-faring era, Abigail Gentian fractured herself into a thousand male and female clones, which she called shatterlings. But now, someone is eliminating the Gentian line. Campion and Purslane-two shatterlings who have fallen in love and shared forbidden experiences-must determine exactly who, or what, their enemy is,

Overview

Six million years ago, at the dawn of the star-faring era, Abigail Gentian fractured herself into a thousand male and female clones, which she called shatterlings. But now, someone is eliminating the Gentian line. Campion and Purslane-two shatterlings who have fallen in love and shared forbidden experiences-must determine exactly who, or what, their enemy is, before they are wiped out of existence.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Entertaining...This is warm hearted science fiction with big ideas."
-Interzone

"A thrilling, mind- boggling adventure."
-The Times (UK)

"Reynolds's approach seems new, exciting, vibrant."
-SFX

"A sweeping, audacious slice of galactic-scale intrigue and subterfuge."
-Andromeda Spaceways

"Reynolds has once again created a galaxy-spanning, mind-boggling stage on which to set a gripping, thoughtful, intelligent drama."
-Concatenation

Publishers Weekly

Reynolds (The Prefect) returns to the universe of his 2005 novella "Thousandth Night" in this sprawling novel of intergalactic intrigue. It is 6.4 million years in the future and humanity has spread throughout the Milky Way. Some cultures have established transient empires across space; others, the Lines, have used relativistic travel to colonize deep time. Clone-siblings Campion and Purslane are delayed on their way to a Gentian Line reunion, a coincidence that saves them from a massacre. Allied with potentially hostile Machine People and an enigmatic post-human god called the Spirit, armed only with fragmentary records and hints that Campion's research provoked the mysterious House of Suns, the Gentian survivors struggle to find and stop their enemies before the genocide can be completed. Intriguing ideas and competent characterization make this a fine example of grand-scale relativistic space opera. (June)

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Kirkus Reviews
Far-future, galaxy-spanning space opera involving clones, robots, mass murder and hundreds of post-human cultures, some alive, most extinct, set in a universe different than Reynolds' Revelation Space yarns (Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days, 2005, etc.). Six million years ago, from a civilization known as the Golden Hour, the House of Flowers-comprising the thousand male and female immortal clones, or "shatterlings," of Abigail Gentian-set off to explore the galaxy. Every 200,000 years they meet up to celebrate and share memories. Since they travel at sublight speeds, most of this time is spent in stasis, so they do not so much live history as tunnel through it, as one of the characters observes. It's often a weakness, since readers are afforded glimpses of dozens of cultures without being offered involvement in any. Our alternating narrators-a third narrative strand features Abigail becoming addicted to a simulated-reality role-playing game, for reasons that only become clear much later-impetuous, courageous Campion and smarter, more empathic Purslane, are an item, against House rules. They're running late for the next reunion and need ship repairs. A piratical post-human named Ateshga attempts to trick Campion, but Purslane outwits him and rescues memory-impaired Hesperus. The three reach the reunion site 50 years late, only to learn that the Flowers have been ambushed and all but wiped out. Campion and Hesperus rescue a handful of Gentians-50 out of a surviving 900-odd. But why the slaughter, and who did it? Believe it or not, the Andromeda Galaxy is a major plot issue. Absorbing, but lacking the edgy brilliance and almost desperate urgency of the Revelation novels.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780441018864
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
05/25/2010
Pages:
576
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Intriguing ideas and competent characterization make this a fine example of grand-scale relativistic space opera." —-Publishers Weekly

Meet the Author

Alastair Reynolds was born in Barry, South Wales, in 1966. He studied at Newcastle and St. Andrew's Universities and has a Ph.D. in astronomy. A former astrophysicist for the European Space Agency, he lives in the Netherlands, near Leiden. He is now writing full-time.

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House of Suns 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 reviews.
tstrother More than 1 year ago
From time to time a genre changing writer comes along. Reynolds has hit SF hard enough to shake the galaxy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was an excellent book! I am a huge fan of Mr. Reynold's Revelation Space books as well as every single stand alone novel that he has written. In his most recent work, two characters take the first person perspective which provides an interesting depth to the book. This book will not disappoint, whether it is the first read from the author or whether you are already a fan, this will be a book for the permanent library. Enjoy!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Other_envious_writer More than 1 year ago
There is a basic problem with interstellar travel slower than the speed of light. Everything takes so goddamn long. Reynolds bypasses this restriction by having his main characters enjoy a really long life span, and spend the centuries between star systems in one form of stasis or another. Therefore, this tale consumes centuries like others do days. Rather than give the story scope however, it tends to rob it of import. Who cares what is going to happen a hundred centuries from now? Yes, I know that sounds a little like attention deficit disorder but the unrelenting sameness of each traverse between star systems starts to wear. When everything else is possible, like "damming" stars (whatever that means exactly,) the plot starts to seem arbitrary and a little contrived. Yes, I know, on some level, that all fiction is "contrived" but some more than others. Three stars aren't bad, though.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very enjoyable read. I couldn't put it down once I got started.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was fantastic. On a recommendation I picked this up and was absolutely blown away. I've had mixed feelings about Reynold's writing. The Prefect was decent, but not all that great. Chasm City left me wanting. But this book has a depth not seen in the others. It spans an epic amount of time and space, is well written, and very captivating. He presents ideas about the future that intrigued and excited me, which is rare. He also explains some of the mysteries left in his other books (like the Shrouders in the Prefect). I can't recommend this enough.
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bznook More than 1 year ago
Wide ranging story, with at least two subplots. Not sure I get the full connection between them, but I am sure it is there. A little slow to develop, like other of Reynolds books, but in the end captivating and well worth the time.
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