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The Six Directions of Space

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  278 ratings  ·  29 reviews
An original novella by the modern master of space opera, limited to only 1000 signed hardcover copies.

What if Genghis Khan got his wish, and brought the entire planet under the control of the Mongols? Where would he have gone next?

A thousand years after Khan's death, Yellow Dog is the codename of a female spy working for a vast Mongol-dominated galactic empire. When she le
Hardcover, 85 pages
Published December 31st 2008 by Subterranean Press
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Jul 20, 2009 Terence rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: A. Reynolds fans, alternate-history fans
Shelves: sf-fantasy
ADDENDUM (7/20) - I realized last night, after writing this review, that I probably should have mentioned that there are two scenes of animal and human abuse (aka "torture") that might disturb/distress some readers. Happily, Reynolds doesn't dwell on either scene. The human torture scene isn't gratuitous and makes sense in the context of the story; I'm not so sure about the animal torture scene. Seems Reynolds might have been gilding the lily in establishing the "bad guy's" bona fides.

In keeping
Anthologized in The Year's Best Science Fiction Twenty-Sixth Annual Collection by Gardner R. Dozois The Year's Best SF 26

"Reynolds is a master of fitting large-scale space opera into just a few pages, and this novella is no exception... short but intriguing universe-spanning mystery." - Publishers Weekly

"Impressive... Set in a solidly built universe, full of excellent espionage and adventure... a surprisingly small package to contain such a lot of entertainment." - Booklist
Typically a short story focuses on a single concept, and while The Six Directions of Space essentially follows that template, it feels far more expansive then its 88 pages. This is accomplished through efficient storytelling and a couple clever methods. (Warning – the following may crossover into spoiler-ish territory for some readers, although aligned with my expectations).

We are introduced to our protagonist, Yellow Dog, as she is traveling from outside a Mongolian vanguard into its political
Kate Sherrod
Revising my earlier opinion of this one. It should have SIX STARS.

A prized possession of mine is a limited signed edition of The Six Directions of Space in hardcover, and not just because it is a limited signed edition, my only signed Alastair Reynolds (to date; hope springs eternal while there is life, etc.), but because it is one of the coolest stories ever, and I do not engage in empty hyperbole there.

Three words. MONGOLS. IN. SPACE.

Yes, that's right, oh my blogettes, this story concerns the
Septima Severa
I came to appreciating the short stories - they can be easily read and they can be read even among all those other things that demand to be done on time. That's probably the main reason I've finished reading two graphic novels and this book in last two days.

I've waited so long for Alastair Reynolds stories. I've got his Revelation Space on Kindle since February, but regrettably, there have been other things I've attended to (although it doesn't seem like that when you look at my reading list - y
Travis Mueller
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It is one thousand years since the founding of the Mongol Empire, and it now spans both the Earth and a vast galactic empire. A secret agent is sent to a remote sector to investigate problems with the interstellar transit system used by humanity; a system left behind by an ancient race.

The setting is interesting and the twist is well executed. An entertaining novella.

The hardback version of this book seems pretty hard to come by; they are going for very high prices used on Amazon,

I didn't actually get the hard copy; I fortunately found the story in the "Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year 2008" anthology, where it is featured.

This is a darker and more brutal tale an some of his others, although it does fall in the same vein as many of his short stories. There is almost a horror aspect to the universes he creates, usually with some kind of chilling r
Scott Schiffmacher
Another little gem by Reynolds. Not my favourite of his stories, but still engaging and entertaining. It's a nice mental exercise to imagine all the different paths that life from earth could have taken to the stars..
Kae Cheatham
Another Science Fantasy, where Galactic Space is broad and multi-populated, with a twist that the dominate human culture is Mogul based (and they still love their horses even with space travel! Yea!) A spy codenamed Yellow Dog is sent to the galactic edge to investigate a series of anomalies showing up in the intergalactic transfer stations. This is a novella (85 pages) and could almost be a setup for future books.

Interesting concepts that I've seen in many recent books: the movement between tim
Not a whole lot there. Not bad for how short it is, but it feels like it's missing some exposition and was heavily edited.
I don't think I'll ever tire of the writings of Alastair Reynolds. I haven't much to say in review of this novella except that it's like a snapshot of space opera, a moment taken, a fly in amber. Here we have not the sprawling epics of his other works, but an extract from the tale of another incarnation of the universe. Perhaps, though, that other universe is really our own, that is, the universe as we perceive it? A lovely exploration on the nature of space and the consequences of empire.
Caroline Berg
I'm a huge fan of Reynolds short stories. In fact, that is how I was first introduced to his works: through reading the short story "Diamond Dogs" - I was hooked. With the Six Directions of Space he explores what space would be like if the Mongols had conquered Earth, and then throws in an alien nexus and intriguing phantom ships. What happens next is pure Reynolds: delightfully dark, a touch disturbing, and always making you think.
Mar 03, 2009 Andreas rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: die-hard Alastair Reynolds fans
Shelves: science-fiction
This was a disappointing read. Alastair Reynolds came up with an interesting setting but forgets to tell a real story. The characters stay flat and are pushed like pawns from left to right - it's all show with nothing behind.

The novella can also be found in the anthology Galactic Empires.
Relatively good, but slightly predictable. Could see that reynolds was going to have a bunch of parallel strands of humanity collide around a quarter of the way into the book. Still, well written and makes you want to keep going regardless. Still worth the read, though I'd suggest a library rather than buying.
Brian Richardson
Good short novella by one of the masters of modern space opera. A full length novel or even a series set in this Mongol dominated universe would be fantastic. My only complaint...what's with all the torture? Fortunately reading a book lets you skim right past that stuff, but still...
David Marshall
This is an excellent novella managing to combined, space opera, a Big Dumb Object and alternate history all in one neat package.
Reynolds is one of my favorite authors, and in this novella he maintains that standing very well. Its amazing just how much story depth he can pack into so few pages.
La Tricia Ransom
I've only been able to find this in my public library as part of "The Year's Best Science Fiction: 26th Annual Collection," ed. Gardner Dozois
Sean O'Hara
Why is this only a novella? There's an entire novel -- an entire series -- worth of ideas.
A solid enough Reynolds novella - far from his best, but a reasonably interesting read.
not bad. not amazing either. interchange. parallel universe.
How I wish this story would continue....
Very cool concept! Too short.
Josh Zeringue
4.5 of 5 stars.
Jason Burkhardt
Quick, fun, scifi.
Mike Hardy
Mike Hardy marked it as to-read
May 26, 2015
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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
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