Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Prefect - Alastair Reynolds

Alastair Reynolds - Barry's answer to Arthur C Clarke - has a new book out in hardback called The Prefect. It is his seventh novel.

Reynolds hasn't really been given the acclaim he deserves in Wales for his excellent Space Operas. His 2001 epic Chasm City (which won the British Science Fiction Award for best novel) is one of the most accomplished books written by any Welsh author in the last couple of decades.

Reynolds' brilliantly sustained imaginative fictions continue to impress. With nods toward the gothic and hardboiled crime writing his work transcends mere hard sci-fi. It's more fun too. Here's the blurb for his latest opus:

Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect, a policeman of sorts, and one of the best. His force is Panoply, and his beat is the multi-faceted utopian society of the Glitter Band, that vast swirl of space habitats orbiting the planet Yellowstone, the teeming hub of a human interstellar empire spanning many worlds. These days, his job is his life.

A murderous attack against a Glitter Band habitat is nasty, but it looks to be an open-and-shut case - until Dreyfus starts looking under stones that some very powerful people would really rather stayed unturned. What he uncovers is far more serious than mere gruesome murder: a covert takeover bid by a shadowy figure, Aurora (who may once have been human but certainly isn't now) who believes the people of the Glitter Band should no longer be in charge of their own destiny.

Before long Dreyfus and his team are fighting against something worse than tyranny . . . and Dreyfus discovers that to save something precious, you may have to destroy part of it.

The Prefect: a rollercoaster ride through the dark and turbulent universe of Revelation Space; an interstellar thriller where nothing - and no one - is what they seem ...

The Prefect by Alastair Reynolds is published by Gollancz and is on sale now.