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May 2016

The Bellinghman
Date: 2007-06-19 02:09
Subject: #150 Alastair Reynolds: The Prefect
Security: Public
Tags:books, reviews
Alastair Reynolds: The Prefect

Hardcover: 410 pages
Publisher: Gollancz (2 April 2007)
Language English
ISBN-10: 0575078189
ISBN-13: 978-0575078185
Category(ies): SF

Pardon me while I quietly rave about this.

This is Reynold's newest novel set in his Revelation Space setting, a place where, despite a lack of FTL travel, a space-based civilisation has taken root in the Glitter Band [sic]. This is a solar system full of habitats, with post-human Ultras, uploaded consciousnesses, Voluntary Tyrannies (it's so much easier if you don't have to bother with democracy), and a dazzling ten thousand different societies all co-existing, all agreeing on some basic rules, but all going their own ways.

Of course, in any feasible society, you need police. In this one, they're known as the Prefects, and they have a single responsibility - to uphold the legitimacy of the voting processes. But despite this, the story is effectively a police procedural, of a most unusual form. Our hero Tom Dreyfus has to cope with treachery, and a threat to the whole of humanity, as well as coming to terms with something from his past.

And one of his deputies is a real swine. Yes, a pig is a pig!

Reynolds is definitely up their with Banks and Co., one of a particular brand of British SF writers who've taken Sensa Wunda Space Opera and rebuilt it in a 21st Century mould..

It doesn't get much better than this.
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User: shriker_tam
Date: 2007-06-19 08:44 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Coo, I might have to get that. I really liked the Revelation Space series, though I haven't read any of the standalones.
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The Bellinghman
User: bellinghman
Date: 2007-06-19 09:05 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It works pretty well as a standalone in its own right - so you don't have to have read the previous novels.

(I picked it up at Stansted on the way out of the country on Saturday, had devoured it by the time we got back in on Sunday. The edition I read was an 'airport exclusive' - i.e. a Trade Paperback. The Mass Market Paperback is not out yet, so if you want it Right Now™, it's a hardback. You might get the paperback if you hang round Skavsta asking people heading for Stansted to bring you back a copy.)
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User: shriker_tam
Date: 2007-06-19 15:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Nah, I reckon I can wait - I'm used to waiting, seeing as how I only buy paperbacks :o)
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