Fiction Reviews

Chasm City

(2001) Alastair Reynolds, Gollancz, 10.99, trd pbk, 524pp, ISBN 0-575-06878-7


Set in the same universe as Revelation Space, this is the story of Tanner Mirabel, a bodyguard who failed to keep the woman he loved alive. He pursues her killer, Argent Reivich to the domed settlement of Chasm City on the inhospitable world of Yellowstone. Once a high-tech utopia, the city and its inhabitants have since become the victims of a nano-virus, and now deadly games are played out on its streets. Mirabel, himself infected with an indoctrinal virus that gives him visions of an ancient atrocity, is hunted by the citizens of the city's upper strata while he searches for his prey.

Reynolds has created a rich and plausible universe which certainly has scope for many more stories yet. Revelation Space was an excellent debut, and Chasm City does not disappoint. I suppose 'cyberpunk meets space opera' is as good a description as any, at least as far as the feel of the book is concerned, but it doesn't really do justice to the richly detailed universe Reynolds has created. I strongly recommend you read his work for yourself (if you haven't already).

Tony Chester

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