House of Suns

House of Suns

by Alastair Reynolds

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An “engaging and awe-inspiring”(SF Signal) space opera from the critically-acclaimed author of the Revelation Space series.

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. She sent them out into the galaxy to observe and document the rise and fall of countless human empires. Since then, every two hundred thousand years, they gather to exchange news and memories of their travels.
Only there is no Gathering. Someone is eliminating the Gentian line. And now 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...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101061275
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/02/2009
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 576
Sales rank: 138,959
File size: 628 KB
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Alastair Reynolds is the author of the Poseidon’s Children series and the Revelation Space series. Born in Barry, South Wales, he studied at Newcastle University and the University of St. Andrews. A former astrophysicist for the European Space Agency, he now writes full-time.

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From the Publisher

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

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House of Suns 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 66 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!
bwbrooklyn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed House of Suns by Alistair Reynolds. He is one of my favorite Sci-fi authors right now.
TheAmpersand on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Some people say that you learn something from every book you read. If that's true, "House of Suns" taught me that hard science fiction might not be my cup of tea. As others have noted, Reynolds does a good job of demonstrating the very enormity of both space and time. His characters, who are often millions of years old, often place themselves in stasis for centuries at a time while their ships carry them across the unfathomable distances that separate the stars while civilizations rise and fall around them with depressing regularity. They can essentially speed up and slow down time as they see fit, but also face the problem of trying to maintain coherent personalities while they sort through millions of years of communal memories. This is an interesting idea, and literature has touched on it before: we might consider Reynolds's characters to be hypertrophic versions of Clarissa Dalloway, who only had to organize six or so decades of experience during the course of a single afternoon. Still, Reynolds only skims the surface of this material without really exploring how this might affect human consciousness. It doesn't help that his own writing isn't any more than serviceable, and that his pacing is somewhat inconsistent: he seems to skip ahead during sequences that might bore some readers and the book's last few scenes seem rushed. "House of Suns" isn't a short book, but I think it'd take a few volumes to properly flesh out all of the ideas that Reynolds has introduced here. Reynolds doesn't seem to have the time, even if his characters might. Another thing that bothered me about "House of Suns" was its universe's riotous abundance. Literature, like most of human life, is usually defined by its limitations, and one of those necessary limitations is material: there just isn't enough stuff for everyone, and it's unlikely to last forever. Jane Austen wouldn't have had a career if it was otherwise. In "House of Suns," though, the galaxy seems to have been completely colonized by a set of technologically advanced first-world civilizations, and most people can order up just about whatever they want from the nearest "maker," which organizes matter into anything you might need, be it a cool glass of white wine or a laser gun. This unbelievable prosperity seem to rob this narrative of much of its meaning, though. In a world where both death and poverty have been roundly defeated, how could anything that happened be taken particularly seriously? In short, the formless ennui that threatens some of ennui that threatens some of this novel's characters began to threaten me. I've seen some reviewers say that it was nice to read a contemporary science fiction tome that didn't assume that our future is necessarily dystopic, but I feel that "House of Suns" moves the goalposts ¿ or redesigns the playing field ¿ a bit too much. "House of Suns" isn't completely without its admirable qualities, though. The author skilfully weaves in a storyline concerning the founder of a "line" of clones playing a medieval-themed virtual reality-style game into the book's central plot, and the book is briskly paced and fun to read, with space battles and galaxy-wide conspiratorial intrigue to spare. Its treatment of science is, as far as I can tell, relatively realistic, and Reynolds introduces a fine selection of post-human or quasi-human intelligences, interesting and beautiful alternatives to the sort of consciousness we're familiar with. Still, I suspect that I'll leave this one for the genre's real fans and beam back to literary fiction. I'm gonna leave the interstellar adventures to somebody else.
Homechicken on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Absolutely amazing. This is now my favorite Reynolds book.House of Suns is a standalone book, and doesn't need to be read with any other of Reynolds' work. It is an epic in every sense of the word, and it's all done in less than 500 pages.It is the story about several "lines" of family throughout history, but mainly just about one. As you read, more details are unfolded about the origins of the lines. It's hard to even describe what this story is about in a broad way without writing pages and pages of details and giving away some of the mystery of the story.If you like science fiction and "space opera," good writing, excellent stories about people and individuals, you will love this book.
pretygrrl on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I am a bit surprised to see all the glowing reviews by fans of Alastair's, as I thought it wasnt one of his better efforts, not by a long shot. It seemed rushed to me.I admit his output has been staggering, with substantial novels at least once per year. And hey, man's gotta eat, I'm sure.With that said, sure, the story and concepts were interesting but it wasn't hard sci fi. There wasn't alot of serious contemplation of how much of the stuff in it could be accomplished. Often it felt more like fantasy.For example, Spirit of the Air was utterly fantastical. Not alot of thought given or explanation provided for what tech he used and how he evolved, really.Same of the space battles and such. Usually, the space battles / missions go on for a while, with detailed descriptions of the physics and geometry. In this case, I can't say I even had a clear picture of what everything looked like.Anyways, I, for one, was disappointed.
sunwukung on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Starts brilliantly, with typical Reynolds flair - but then slows down in the middle for some (IMO) distracting whodunnit style shenanigans, and terminates in a rather unsatisfying and glib resolution, rather like Banks' "Algebraist". Still, the journey is as important as the destination, and some of the creatures and devices the author describes are typically wonderful creations that demonstrate the ingenious imagination behind this otherwise flat book.
voodoochilli on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Amazing! My first introduction into Alistair Reynolds, and after this I read revelation space 1,2 and 3. Truly great read, full of spaceships, immortality, robots - you name it. 5/5
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story based on known science. I have read this and 1000th night several times now and each time I find a few more details I didn't notice before. Highly recommend this book
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.