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Blue Remembered Earth (Poseidon's Children #1)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  4,006 ratings  ·  410 reviews
With his critically acclaimed Revelation Space novels, Alastair Reynolds confirmed “his place among the leaders of the hard-science space opera renaissance.” (Publishers Weekly) With Blue Remembered Earth, the award-winning author begins a new epic, tracing generations of one family across more than ten thousand years of future history—into interstellar space and the dawn...more
Hardcover, 512 pages
Published June 5th 2012 by Ace Books (first published January 1st 2012)
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David Sven
This book is Reynolds take on The Lion King. Or so was my initial impression after listening to the Audible sample where the narration is accompanied by sweet African background music that had me humming some rendition of “In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight...”

No no no no noooo! What is happening! This is not gothic space opera. This doesn't even have John Lee as narrator. What is the universe coming to!? Suffice to say, I did not spend a credit on the audio version. It st...more
Mark
Much fuss in the SF publishing world has been made about the fact that in 2009 Alastair was given a large sum of money, allegedly £1 million, with his British publishers for ten books to be published over the next ten years. Though the steam-punky Terminal World was published in 2010, it seems that much of this advance was connected to this series, a hard SF tale of the emergence of Africa in the 22nd century as a superpower group of nations and Earth’s transcendence to the stars.

My initial thou...more
Jason
5 stars

I have been a huge fan of Alastair Reynolds for a long time thanks to his incredible Revelation Space series. Blue Remembered Earth is a very different type of novel from the series mentioned. This is a science fiction light novel told only the way that Alastair Reynolds can do it. This is an accessible starting point to those new to the masterful author. Blue Remembered Earth is tailored for a much larger audience as the science fiction is merely another character in the story, and not t...more
Chris
Imaginative at times, but mostly plays out like a game of cat and mouse that eventually has no bearing whatsoever on the overarching plot of the story.

There are many cool ideas buried in here (A planet found bearing signs of artificial life, for example!), but 98% of the story revolves around the politics of a few family members. I didn't exactly find this riveting, or even particularly entertaining.

I don't want to give too much away, but I will say that Alastair Reynolds has managed to produce...more
exatorp
Despite much pretentious band wagon jumping by armchair critics to pan the book; despite a curious lull towards the end of an otherwise excellent book; despite all the obvious tropes, cliches and well worn paths, this is still a good book.

While not space-opera galaxy spanning scale, the book encompasses much, and much of it is novel, well written, and (for me endearingly) optimistic. Personally I'm fu**ed off (yes I swore) with the current crop of apocalyptica. If I want anxiety, and fear, I nee...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Angels Weep For Goodreads)
Although this took a while to get going for me, Blue Remembered Earth was a very good book with some hard science. I didn't quite get all the physics, but it was still an interesting and enjoyable read.

Reviewed for Bitten by Books. http://bittenbybooks.com.
Rushi
"Blue Remembered Earth" is the first of a new series, Poseidon's Children, by Alastair Reynolds. Unlike his previous work in the Revelation Space series, this book is set in the Solar System. The main events of the book happen in the mid 22nd century as imagined by Mr. Reynolds. The book is also a departure in style from his previous work. It is lighter and more optimistic than any of the books in the Revelation Space series. The work is more character driven and has fewer information dense "har...more
Paul
Actual rating: 2.5 stars.

A potboiler with a humanity-spreads-its-wings theme, filled with hard sic-fi babble about nanotech and human/machine interfacing. The future societies and governments Reynolds describes are quite creepy, built around pervasive electronic surveillance of the population backed up by psycho-mechanical limits on individual human behavior: solar system-wide communitarianism gone mad. There is one small surveillance-free zone on the dark side of the Moon, and, frankly, I found...more
Lars J. Nilsson
I have to date read all of Alistair Reynolds books (at least I think I have, he is after all rather prolific). So. I'm a fan.

I've always seen him as slightly uneven though, and although a brilliant story-teller, not always the perfect craftsman, and his characterization leaves at times things to which for.

(Usual self-repeat: I won't cover the story in this review, plenty of others do).

So let's start with the major let down: characterization. The main character (Geoffrey) starts out a whining...more
Dylan
Honestly i believe Reynolds to be one of the greatest sci-fi writers of the last decade. His twin astrophysicists countryman; Peter Hamilton -the other. And so it came to a shock with how bored I was with Blue Remembered Earth. The beautiful imagination that shaped his other classics seems gone as Reynolds has the reader follow his boring character through a fated life in the near future where Africa is an interstellar powerhouse. Gone too is the hard science that made Reynolds universe so beaut...more
Robert
First of a projected trilogy, with the second available in hardback at the time of writing.

THIS REVIEW HAS BEEN CURTAILED IN PROTEST AT GOODREADS' CENSORSHIP POLICY

See the complete review here:

http://arbieroo.booklikes.com/post/69...
Ric

Read my share of technical papers, as part of the day job. Concise, spare expositions that have data, assumptions, analysis and conclusions, all within the 7 page length limit. And I'll admit, sometimes my mind has wandered, placing these in stories fleshed with human participants and human emotions. One way to find more meaning in the cool things that science makes.

I'm back in that place, listening to the audiobook version of Blue Remembered Earth. Lots of cool stuff --- golem personalities, ne

...more
Liviu
as I plan to have the full FBC rv in a day, just a few comments so far

I liked it quite a lot though I liked In the Mouth of Whale more as i thought the Reynolds novel a bit too long for its content, while the characters do not come as distinguished as they could, especially Geoffrey and Sunday.

There is a lot of great stuff though - the world building top notch, Africa as a major power comes off naturally and pitch perfect, the Aquatics, the Moon, the Martians, the Mech, the AI phobia of the soci...more
Chris
Let's start with the good:

1. Reynolds follows his usual, measured approach to technological advancement to some interesting ends.
2. There are a dearth of books that start with humanity puttering around the solar system that don't have people warping or worm-holing across the galaxy by chapter 4.
3. Giving the nature of the trilogy the next book may be much better.

Now the bad:

I found the book to just be meh with lots of components that seem poorly planned or undeveloped. The characters are more cl...more
Tim Hicks
There are better five-star books, but that didn't stop me. It's large, jammed with ideas, and tells an engaging story. Most of all, I enjoyed reading it.

It would be unfortunate to expect this to be like other Reynolds works. It's more like a book from one of the established stars of 30 years ago. I've read a lot of those, and maybe that's why I liked this.

What Reynolds adds is a wonderful casualness about all the whizbang technology, and an offsetting realism in areas where there has NOT been...more
Tom Merritt
What a thoroughly enjoyable story. From the respect of science, through the centering on Africa and China to the positing of how a world would be shaped by a loss of privacy and the experience of surviving catastrophe, I find very little unpleasant in Blue Remembered Earth. In fact at the moment I can think of nothing. It is. Mystery and adventure story with robots spaceships, intrigue and murder. And while you may guess certain points along the way it will surprise you often. Read it.
Ranting Dragon
http://www.rantingdragon.com/review-o...


Blue Remembered Earth, Alastair Reynolds’ latest novel, is everything its mesmerizing title and equally captivating cover promises: a utopian science fiction novel showcasing an optimistic daydream of our future one hundred and fifty years from now, where our grandchildren have battled global warming head on and turned the world into a better place for all.

Exorbitant daydreaming
I say daydream because, ultimately, that is what Blue Remembered Earth is: Reyn...more
Remittance Girl
I'm just at the beginning of this book, but the language is beautiful. It makes me so angry how unrecognized many sci-fi writers are as wonderful, literary writers.

The setting, the language, the big, big wide view. It's a pleasure to sink into it.
Tudor Ciocarlie
A quieter novel than Reynolds previous books but a very good read. Every journey that the 2 main characters take has a very real, natural texture and feels perfectly possible.
Mario
One-word review: Disappointing :((

If I did not know that Blue Remembered Earth is the first instalment in a longer series, I wouldn't have managed to reach the end of this disappointing book. I'm a big fan of Reynolds, I was really looking for meeting new characters in a non-Revelation Space universe, but Reynolds' newest work lacks in so many departments.

First of all, despite many people defending him and claiming otherwise, it seems that the famous deal Reynolds cut with publishers played som...more
Gerhard
This reminded me of Mike Resnick and Stephen Baxter (Manifold series). Given the popularity of dystopias that grapple head-on with current problems, like Wind-Up Girl, Reynolds takes as a starting point the unpopular notion that technology will solve all our problems. When this novel opens, over-population, global warming, HIV/Aids have all been relegated to history, while the Internet has expanded to a benevolent, solar system-wide Surveilled World charged with saving humanity from its own wors...more
SciFi Kindle
A great piece of Hard SF that keeps 'inside the lines' of the usual Space Opera tech tropes: no FTL or post-scarcity, transhuman society here, just perfectly plausible science your high school Physics teacher would approve. The magic comes in the human element of a family unraveling a long-held secret from the recently deceased family matriarch. Nowhere are our allies closer or enemies as ruthless as in our own families, and Reynolds' protagonists find themselves squaring off with their own cous...more
Psychophant
After enjoying a lot his first books, I had trouble liking his later works. That changes with Blue Remembered Earth, a book that has its roots in the classic science fiction, from 2001 to Titan with plenty others in between.

It shares that period optimism and feeling of hope in the future, something that has been lacking in Science Fiction lately. Yet instead of the bland WASP future, Reynolds has extrapolated his future from what we know now, with some realistic science and the optimism I mentio...more
Bryan
This is by far the most disappointing book I've read by an otherwise brilliant author. In over 500 pages, nothing actually happens - there's a wild goose around the solar system that doesn't seem to accomplish anything, ending in a 'big reveal' that is vague and uninteresting. There is none of the brilliant imagination, sympathetic characters, or pure moments of grotesque horror that normally make anything by Reynolds a must-read. Much of the book is set in Africa, but bizarrely Reynolds admits...more
Shane Smith
Engaging mystery, satisfying payoff, terrific worldbuilding- especially enjoyed the different factions: aquatic, moon, terran, evolvarium. But that couldn't outweigh my dislike for the two main characters. Sunday was self absorbed, Geoffrey was a wimp. Character development aside, what really irritated the shit out of me was how *reactive* they were. They accepted financial and operational help from various parties knowing full well there were strings attached the aid but trotted off with nary a...more
Michele
Oh golly. It is just so simple to make me happy:

1. human/elephant direct brain/brain connection
2. simulated people derived from all their life information that are almost as real as the actual person
3. ability to inhabit an android on another planet so you can be there even though you're not there
4. ability to change into a whale and live as a whale and speak to humans, if you choose
5. aliens, alien technology, and an alien world

and so much more.

And there was a nice little genre-jumping mystery...more
Susanne
Oh my. I liked this a lot. A LOT. I understand why fans of the Revelation Space universe who expect similar space opera come away disappointed: This is an entirely different beast. Blue Remembered Earth starts like a near-future, pre-contact sci-fi story - humans have barely settled the solar system, deep space travel is still way out of the question, neural implants are real (FTW! you know you want one), and so is long-distance communication via proxy. Also, there are elephants. And merpeople....more
Clay Brown
Blue Remembered Earth by Alastair Reynolds is his newest foray into the world of Science Fiction. We’ve been an admirer of Reynolds tomes (especially the Revelation Space books) for a long time now. With RS (Revelation Space) seemingly over, Mr. Reynolds’ last two books, House Of Suns and Terminal World did seem a bit ‘lost’ in this reviewers mind.

Fair attempts were those last two books but Mr. Reynolds seemed almost to lack the necessary scope, passion and heart these last few years that made T...more
Traci Loudin
I really wanted to finish this book because I haven't read many modern future science fiction books lately. By "modern" I mean written in the last 10 years or so. However, I had difficulty in doing so because I didn't really care that much about any of the characters. I didn't care about Geoffrey's fascination over elephants or Sunday's love of art. And they didn't have very high stakes either, since they were already fairly self-ostracized from the family.

The only driving question for much of...more
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New Universe? 4 44 Aug 21, 2012 02:11AM  
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51204
Alastair Reynolds, former scientist and now full-time writer. Most of what he writes is science fiction, with a strong concern for scientific verisimilitude (although he is prepared to break the rules for the sake of a good story). He has lived in England, Scotland and the Netherlands where he worked as an astrophysicist for the European Space Agency until 2004, but now makes his home back in his...more
More about Alastair Reynolds...
Revelation Space (Revelation Space, #1) Redemption Ark (Revelation Space, #2) Chasm City House of Suns Absolution Gap (Revelation Space, #3)

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“I've seen marvelous things, Sunday. I've looked back from the edge of the system and seen this planet, this Earth, reduced to a tiny dot of pale blue. I know what that feels like. To think that dot is where we came from, where we evolved out of the chaos and the dirt. And I know what it feels like to imagine going further. To hold that incredible, dangerous thought in my mind, if only for an instant. To think: what if I don't go home? What if I just keep traveling? Watching that pale-blue dot fall ever further away, until the darkness swallowed it and there was no turning back. Until Earth was just a blue memory.” 9 likes
“How did you . . . pass the time?’ Sunday asked. ‘You couldn’t just ching out of it, could you?’

‘We had a different form of chinging,’ Eunice said. ‘An earlier type of virtual-reality technology, much more robust and completely unaffected by time lag. You may have heard of it. We called it “reading”.”
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