I love discovering new space-based hard-sci-fi, and I've heard good things about Alastair Reynolds-- but I've got to say, this just looks like a more fleshed out sampling of Arthur C Clarke motifs so far-- lots of Rendezvous with Rama, plus a bit of 2010 with the Chinese as the bad guys racing to be first. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it does make me wish I were trying something a little more original of his. I do like reading fiction written by scientists (though I thought he must be a bit off having them exploring an asteroid with a ton of depleted uranium in their suits-- might make them weigh enough, but the inertia must be impossible to handle. But maybe I have something wrong, since Reynolds is an astrophysicist and I'm just a mythologist). Just read most of a chapter with several successive one-on-ones between captain and chief engineer-- maybe it was just supposed to reflect the empty time as they travel towards their destination, but it just felt like a poorly coordinated group of plot points. Well, the prose is way better than what I've been reading in Peter Hamilton's work, so I guess I can't complain too much. We'll see whether the overall plot in Pushing Ice matches up with the grandeur of Hamilton's-- though I will note, I wish I'd never picked up Hamilton-- worth reading once you've started, sure, and there is some intriguing and detailed world-building going on, but just doesn't do it for me enough that I feel like it's worth missing out on other books in the meantime. Reynolds, I'm reserving judgment on for the time being.