That’s the family holiday over for another year so normal service can be resumed and I thought I start off with my holiday reading. I’ve mentioned before that Alastair Reynolds is one of my favourite sci-fi authors and ‘The Prefect’ is another good one. Essentially a thriller which reveals itself slowly most of the characters are motivated by good intent but choose different methods of protecting the Glitter Band, a massive belt of habitats in orbit around Yellowstone. Over the course of the book the various threads all come together to round off the story although there is undoubtedly the basis for a sequel in the conclusion.
‘The Prefect’ is Reynolds’ fifth novel set in the same universe as his debut ‘Revelation Space’ but it is a standalone book and can be read on its own although the references to his other stories are undoubtedly a reward for those who have read all the previous books. What I like is the way that he can develop parts of the background in previous novels into full blown stories in their own right. The Glitter Band for example has been mentioned before but its futuristic form of democracy has never been examined in detail up until now.
If you’ve got this far, you’ll like the book but it’s unlikely to convert non sci-fi enthusiasts even if its central theme is the extent that people will go to to protect their own citizens, an idea which is surely relevant in today’s world.
I’ve also mentioned Reynolds’ interest in music before and the central organisation in the book is known as Panoply. Whilst in its own right the word is perfect in the context of a police force with limited jurisdiction, I’m fairly certain that it will also be a sly (but incidental) reference to the fact that the Pixes were originally known as Pixies in Panoply.
Since Al’s last blog entry talked about Sugar here’s Bob Mould’s Pixes tribute along with a track from the band themselves:
Sugar – A Good Idea (from ‘Copper Blue’)
Pixies – Subbacultcha (from ‘Pixies at the BBC’)
Buy ‘The Prefect’ and other Alastair Reynolds books here. You’ll also get the Pixies and Sugar back catalogues there too.