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Blue Remembered Earth

(Poseidon's Children #1)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  9,632 ratings  ·  718 reviews

BLUE REMEMBERED EARTH is the first volume in a monumental trilogy tracing the Akinya family across more than ten thousand years of future history ... out beyond the solar system, into interstellar space and the dawn of galactic society.

One hundred and fifty years from now, in a world where Africa is the dominant technological and economic power, and where crime, war,

Kindle Edition, UK Edition, 512 pages
Published January 19th 2012 by Gollancz
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Donald It is a trilogy, but each is a stand alone story, set in the same universe, with overlapping characters and themes. Rather than 1>2>3, it's more…moreIt is a trilogy, but each is a stand alone story, set in the same universe, with overlapping characters and themes. Rather than 1>2>3, it's more 1>4>7 if that makes sense?(less)
Nathan Chattaway The Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI) for Metallic Hydrogen is dicey when used for escaping gravity wells (massive short term burn required).…moreThe Energy Return on Energy Invested (EROEI) for Metallic Hydrogen is dicey when used for escaping gravity wells (massive short term burn required). This is because MH is found down on the surface of gas giant planets, so mining it requires the burning of nearly as much energy as you obtain from the MH to get it off planet. It's less useful as an inter system fuel, where the dense storage doesn't matter, and is outweighed by the risk of the unstable MH exploding, and the high cost of the fuel.
Metallic Hydrogen (MH) is to spacecraft what Nitrous Oxide (NOS) is to drag racing, Fast and Furious style. You use it for short bursts of power, but wouldn't try to drive a 50 tonne semi trailer across the continent using NOS.(less)

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Average rating 3.87  · 
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David Sven
Feb 06, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
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
Feb 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Excellent novel that left me tearful, but perhaps not for the traditional reasons. There are certain sci-fi ideas that always kick my ass, and one of them are stories about how the stars open up. I certainly got very emotional by the end of this novel, and that might have been a little more surprising, had someone asked me how the novel was shaping up by the half-way mark. It had become a scavenger hunt with interesting elements, and that's fine and fun, but I hadn't expected the huge ...more
Jan 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2013
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
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings about this one. Used to the immense depicted universe in Revelation Space series, this one felt too real and airtight. And the focus is changed from technological wonders, enhanced humans and a vastness almost incomprehensible to a mystery story, action driven and family dispute. It has its wonders (it wouldn’t be AR’s work otherwise) but they’re nowhere near the ones from the other novels.

The writing is as beautiful as in all the others I have read so far but, given the
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Grand scale, many different SF topics and settings. Artificial intelligence, the Moon, Mars, elephants, robots, human modification, take your pick.

My main gripes—quite a door stopper and the plot idea of a scavenger hunt across space felt a bit gimmicky and forced. What was the point of that? I know where it led, but it felt a bit too contrived for my taste.

The hard sci fi info dumps went over my head once or twice as well. Maybe reading them instead of listening to them might have made it
Dec 03, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
Jan 20, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
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.
Tom Merritt
Jan 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Apr 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible
Fantastically fun space opera with aliens and a mystery to solve.
Jun 26, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction, 2012
"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 ...more
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
A solid 3.5 Stars for this book. It doesn't deserve a 3 star rating, but I can't bring myself to go with the 4 stars due to the slow build up of the story that at times had me contemplating not finishing it.

Imagine a time in the future where we have removed our aggression, where the 'system' enforces its no aggression to others. So if you went to hit someone, then the system will quickly shut you down. Well that actually leads to very little conflict, mainly verbal, which makes for a story that
Tim Hicks
Apr 17, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
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
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.
Aug 19, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
It took me a really long time to slog through this book. There's a lot of good ideas here buried under boring, reactive characters and an annoying scavenger hunt of a plot.

Blue Remembered Earth takes place 100 or so years in the future. Africa has become a leader in technology and space exploration. I appreciate a different view on the future but Alastair Reynolds somehow made solar system travel, genetic enhancements, and space ships boring. This book is soporific. If you can't sleep, read this
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
Dec 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Shane Ross
Sep 09, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-sci-fi
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
Jan 13, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson
When, about halfway through this book, I realized its similarities to 2312 by Kim Stanley Robinson, I hoped this would be better. It wasn't but at least I finished this book. Its clear that I'm not a fan of the niche science fiction sub-genre of "the grandchild following the dead grandmother's clues around the solar system, while taking in the technological wonders humans have created".
First of a projected trilogy, with the second available in hardback at the time of writing.


See the complete review here:
Ranting Dragon
Jun 07, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephan

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:
Mar 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

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,

Dec 25, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
...Overall I quite liked this first book in the Poseidon's Children series. Despite being a bit too well padded, Blue Remembered Earth is one of Reynolds' better novels. I very much appreciate the way he focuses on Earth a bit more in this novel, as a starting point for what undoubtedly will develop into a deep space adventure later on in the series. The plot itself may be a bit weak but in other respects the novel has a lot to offer to the reader. It's probably a book that requires a bit of ...more
Paul Nelson
Jan 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012-books-read
First book read by Mr Reynolds and will certainly read his earlir stuff. The story, characters are both engaging and interesting. The level of tech is good infact the only area this book lacks in is the gritty action side. Final opinion not enough to thoroughly grip me, the revealed secret at the end just didnt seem big enough - a solid 3.5
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great environments, pacing, cool future tech, and an interesting family mystery. The thing Reynolds does so well in creating sci-fi scenarios is that amidst the tech jargon (which he doesn't info dump) he crafts narratives that are fluid and easily readable. Looking forward to book two.
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Alastair Reynolds is a former research astronomer with the European Space Agency, and now prolific hard-sf/space opera writer, best known for his Revelation Space novels and stories, most of which I have previously read. This 2012 novel is set in the near future (maybe 150 years), and is distinct from Revelation Space. In fact, it is the start of a different series of related novels, known as “Poseidon’s Children.” The follow-up novels are On the Steel Breeze (2013), and Poseidon's Wake (2015).

Aug 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t hardly ever give 5 stars to a work of fiction, but I’ve done it at least three times this year and here’s another. I selected this book because I had a free book coming to me and I got sold on the write-up describing this as the first in a new series that would span a thousand years or so of a family’s history; I had just finished the Earth’s Children series, and I am a very strong fan of David Webber’s Safehold series, so this seemed a natural step.

This novel spans more than a
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New Universe? 4 51 Aug 21, 2012 02:11AM  

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I'm Al, now a Goodreads author. I used to be a space scientist, and now I'm a writer, although for a time the two careers ran in parallel. I started off publishing short stories in the British SF magazine Interzone in the early 90s, then eventually branched into novels. I write about a novel a year and try to write a few short stories as well. Some of my books and stories are set in a consistent ...more

Other books in the series

Poseidon's Children (3 books)
  • On the Steel Breeze (Poseidon's Children, #2)
  • Poseidon's Wake (Poseidon's Children, #3)
“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.” 21 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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