cover image Blue Remembered Earth

Blue Remembered Earth

Alastair Reynolds. Ace, $26.95 (512p) ISBN 978-0-441-02071-3

Reynolds (Terminal World) cements his status as one of the preeminent writers of hard SF with this gripping and intelligent kickoff to the three-book Poseidon’s Children sequence. It’s 2161, and Africa is the Earth’s “dominant economic and technological” power. Geoffrey Akinya has used major scientific advances to enhance his research into elephant intelligence, preparing to mind-meld with wild pachyderms. His studies are interrupted by the death of his 131-year-old grandmother Eunice, which catalyzes events that takes the biologist to the Moon and beyond to decipher a series of clues Eunice left behind. Akinya’s quest further enmeshes him in some very complicated family dynamics. The futuristic science, which includes expansions of virtual reality and a convenient mode of travel from Earth to the Moon, is plausibly conveyed. Beyond that, Reynolds’s creative imagination uses current and speculative science and technology as the underlying structure for a thoughtful exploration of humanity’s place in the universe. Agent: Robert Kirby, United Agents. (June)