Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days (2003) Alastair Reynolds, Gollancz, £6.99, hdbk, 231pp, ISBN 0-575-07526-0
This title collects together two of Reynolds' novellas set in the Revelation Space universe. The first, Diamond Dogs, appeared in the anthology Infinities edited by Peter Crowther (also published by Gollancz). In this Richard Swift is drawn to the enigma of the Blood Spire, an alien artifact/puzzle which has so far resisted all attempts to reach the supposed treasures inside, killing all who have tried. Turquoise Days follows the young researcher Naqi Okpik who is studying the Pattern Jugglers, semi-sentient oceans that record the minds of those who swim in them. She has barely come to terms with the loss of her sister who died while swimming with the Pattern Jugglers, but is distracted when her work becomes threatened by visitors to the world of Turquoise...
Gollancz has done as much as anyone to keep the novella alive, and this is a nice little hardback at a very reasonable price for fans of Reynolds. Anyone who has read his novels will certainly not be disappointed with this offering which, while adding little to the plots of those novels, nonetheless fleshes out the universe in intriguing ways. Diamond Dogs may seem familiar to fans of the movie Cube, but shows considerably more flair, while Turquoise Days is probably the better of the two tales, or at least more satisfying in terms of examining one of the more curious aspects of Reynolds' creation. Highly recommended.
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