Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Beyond the Aquila Rift: The Best of Alastair Reynolds” as Want to Read:
Beyond the Aquila Rift: The Best of Alastair Reynolds
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Beyond the Aquila Rift: The Best of Alastair Reynolds

(Revelation Space “The Last Log of the Lachrimosa”)

4.33  ·  Rating details ·  822 ratings  ·  91 reviews
This is an amazing collection of some of the best short fiction ever written in the SF genre, by an author acclaimed as 'the mastersinger of space opera' THE TIMES.

Alastair Reynolds has won the Sidewise Award and been nominated for The Hugo Awards for his short fiction. One of the most thought-provoking and accomplished short-fiction writers of our time, this collection is
Hardcover, 768 pages
Published June 2016 by Subterranean Press (first published January 2005)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Beyond the Aquila Rift, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Joao Augusto this book is a collection of short stories. You can read them in anyorder you like that you will be able to understand and enjoy it all.
I felt that…more
this book is a collection of short stories. You can read them in anyorder you like that you will be able to understand and enjoy it all.
I felt that the stories are kinda sorted by it's distance in the future, so the first book is the closest to the present and they will advance in time in the next story(less)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
4.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  822 ratings  ·  91 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Althea Ann
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great Wall of Mars
A really complex scenario for a short story, but it works, with a good core narrative and glimpses of a coherent larger universe and history outside it.
A small group of implant-enhanced humans is holed up in a Martian colony, under threat from a vastly larger force who view their actions - attempts to 'escape' - as military provocations. Two brothers are part of that larger force. One, motivated by revenge, wants war. The other, a former POW, insists on going down for peace ne
Manuel Antão
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016, favorites
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

Mindfuck Literature: “Beyond the Aquila Rift – The Best of Alastair Reynolds” by Alastair Reynolds

"’Tell me, Thorn. Are we out beyond the Rift?" I can hear the fear. I understand what she's going through. It's the nightmare that all ship crews live with, on every trip. That something will go wrong with the routing, something so severe that they 'II end up on the very edge of the network. That they'll end up so far from home that gettin
I remember Galactic North fondly, but I must be honest here. This collection, while it picks up two stories from the previous collection, namely Great Wall of Mars and Weather, everything else is new to me. Alastair Reynolds is easily one of the best SF authors writing today. He's not sneaky about it, either. This isn't any kind of artsy-fartsy writing. This is Space-Opera filled with so much imagination and planning and detail and truly wide vistas of thought, time, and space, that I'm surprise ...more
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Representing another excellent work by this very gifted author, this book contains a brilliant collection of short stories, all of them highlighting Reynold's great imaginative powers and his first-class world-building narrative capabilities.
I loved almost every story of the collection, and some of them (like "Diamond Dogs" - a much more intriguing, complex and riveting version of the famous sci-fi-horror "The Cube"), will stay with me for a long time.
Alastair Reynold is rapidly becoming my mos
Let the feast begin! ;)

And what a feast this was! I relished every word - great collection of stories!

Although half of them weren’t new to me, they are even better at a second reading for you find new nuances in the words AR masterfully lays. As for the new ones, some are real gems, some good, none that I can say I didn't like.

Great Wall of Mars and Weather – 2nd reading and for sure not the last. Read first in Galactic North - my thoughts on them here. 5/5

Beyond the Aquila Rift, Minla’s Flower
David Sven
Feb 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks, sci-fi
It was only 5 bucks on Audible - which is probably too dear for an hour and a quarter worth of story...but it's Reynolds - nuff said.

This book was basically an hour of Reynolds messing with my head. I would say the twist at the end was a real spin out, except the whole book just starts twisting early and doesn't stop till the finish. It's what a short story should be and it left the ending open for interpretation. Would make for some great discussion of what people thought was going on.

Themes in
Oct 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An essential anthology of the best short fiction of one of the best space-opera writers.
English review:

Reseña en español:
Dec 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf, short-fiction, wales
I bought this because I knew it contained at least one novella I hadn't read that wasn't easily obtainable elsewhere. I now wish I had waited for the UK edition which has a much better cover. I also wish that the editors had done a better job - by which I mean who-ever was responsible for ensuring a high quality, accurate text. This edition contains a large number of mistakes involving wrong word order, missing words or incorrect homophones. I don't know if the UK edition is any better in this r ...more
Oct 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
5 Stars

Beyond the Aquila Rift by Alastair Reynolds is a fantastic short piece of science fiction. It does not waste time with too many details or explanations. It uses the characters as a means to tell a story that will make you think. It does not spell things out as it leaves that to you. The short story is the perfect way to explore large themes with such a little.

I am a huge Reynolds fan and he is an author not to be missed by fans of the genre….

“"Tell me, Thorn. Are we out beyond the Rift?"
Shabbeer Hassan
The recently featured Netflix show - Love, Death, and Robots was the main reason why I came looking to read this weighty tome. And let me tell you, the old adage - the book is usually better, holds true here!

Containing some 18 short stories written by Reynolds, of wide-varying lengths, he achieves with his stories something sublime in science fiction writing. There are some truly inspiring ideas and fantastic tales to be read here. I can truly attest that Reynolds is a true genius in the short
Brian Clegg
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In an article I read recently, the author opined that would-be novelists shouldn't consider writing short stories as training for the craft of novel-writing, as the discipline is totally different. This is certainly true for most short stories - but, strangely, this collection by Alastair Reynolds (almost all on the long side as short stories go) is the exception that proves the rule. The majority of these pieces are, in effect, the seeds of novels.

Usually a short story will be a compact, self-s
Johan Haneveld
Aug 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow! With this collection of stories (it does them a disservice to call them 'short', as they're mostly novellettes and novella's) Reynolds has ascended to the very top of my list of currently active Sf-authors. Hannu Ranajiemi is more mindblowing, but can be a bit obscure with all the techno babble, John C. Wright is entertaining with huge concepts, but can fall back on archetypes a bit, and Stephen Baxter is hard as hard SF can get, with a solid grasp on science and deep time, but also with th ...more
May 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016-read
This is an exciting collection of stories from Alastair Reynolds, one of the masters of hard science fiction. Probably 4.5 stars in toto, but several of the stories are 5 star experiences and none of the stories are bad, so let's round up. :)

First, let me say that I received an advance copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. (I'll also note that my electronic copy was not formatted properly so neither on my Kindle or on the Kindle App was I able to click on story titles
These stories have transported me to so many different worlds, rich in wonders and horrors alike. Absolutely fantastic.

Bill Burris
Jul 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually don't enjoy short stories. They typically seem like the introduction to a novel, which was never written. The Revelation Space stories are not like that because the novels provide the context which is missing in most short stories.
Apr 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
I really can not gel with Alastair Reynolds writing style. Mere sentences in I find myself switching off. I thought maybe it was just Revelation Space which I abandoned five years ago, but almost all of these short stories are the same. Is it overly technical? Or is it just too dull? I don't know.

The reason I was compelled to give him another shot was because of the title story (Beyond the Aquila Rift) being my favourite from the anthology show: Love, Death and Robots (which itself I thought mos
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Too grim for my taste. The two stories written for young audiences, "Star Surgeon's Apprentice" and "Old Man and the Martian Sea" were decent efforts, and for a bit older "The Sledge Maker's Daughter" offered some intriguing world building. But after the leadoff "Great Wall of Mars," which reads like a chapter from one of his immense novels, I found myself skipping over long segments because nothing very pleasant or entertaining was happening.
Miguel Lopa
Jun 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction

Was drawn to this book primarily because I absolutely adored "Love, Death + Robots" the science-fiction anthology series on Netflix. Discovered that certain episodes, such as Zima Blue and Beyond the Aquila Rift were adapted from this book, so I dove headlong into it.

Fantastic book, a sci-fi lovers dream. Very well written. Would recommend heartily.
Leah Bayer
Apr 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adore the Revelation Space series. It's one of my all-time favorites (not just in science fiction, but any genre). Oddly enough, I've only read one other Reynolds book--Slow Bullets--which I also loved. So why haven't I read more from him? It's truly a mystery. I'm hoping to get through his entire bibliography one day, and this is really a great place to start. It covers quite a few of his universes and series with tons of stand-alone content as well, and is just brimming with insan ...more
Malcolm Cox
Feb 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a brilliant collection of tales, each one memorable and immersive. At nearly 800 pages, this Book of the Month very nearly took me all month to read. At the back of the book are some of Alastair Reynolds’ thoughts behind each story. I read each thought before I read the stories, unfortunately a couple did contain spoilers.

Story Name:Beyond the Aquila Rift
What is it about? Following a warp-gate mishap a ship’s crew find themselves a bit further from home than expected.
Thoughts:Full of an
Pretty good collection of stories from Alastair Reynolds. Mostly far-future science fiction, which seems to be his standard setting.


Beyond the Aquila Rift
In Babelsburg
Diamond Dogs
Minla's Flowers
The Star Surgeon's Apprentice
Jun 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Alastair Reynolds is widely known for his novels but he has also written many great short stories. I am glad that Subterranean Press is continuing its long tradition (think of Jack Vance, Robert Silverberg, Greg Egan, Lucius Shepard, ...) and decided to publish a "Best Of" collection with 18 stories.

Design, typesetting and layout meet the typical high standards and are beautiful. As someone else has put it, this is "shelf-candy". But what about the stories? Everyone who already owns a collectio
“Gideon” Dave Newell
‘Aquila Rift’ calls to mind another Reynolds story “Pushing Ice” or Frederick Pohl’s “Gateway” with its plot device- an unreliable alien FTL technology backfiring. Each of those novels are both much longer, and therefore more satisfying to those who found this story disappointingly short. One particular strength here, however, is the well researched and described stellar geography of our 'local bubble’ within the Milky Way- exactly what one would expect from a former ESA research astronomer.

I ha
Aug 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Simply put, the most breathtaking sci-fi short I've ever encountered. Alistair Reynolds is a genius in his ability to put inconveivable scales into stories that the reader can experience, giving us a little piece of the infinite. This short shows us the implications of that infinite, and in doing so leaves you both humbled and liberated. Get lost in this short, you'll finish it in an hour and it'll take you so very, very far away.
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was such an excellent read. Some stories were longer than others, but I felt drawn in and excited by each one. I think he may be my new favorite Sci-Fi author. Highly recommend!
Oct 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This short story is perhaps Reynolds finest work - haunting, thoughtful and utterly real in its approach to the unforgiving glimmer of distant stars.
Steve Visel
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent collection of stories by Alastair Reynolds. This one will stay with me for a while.
Feb 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This massive collection contains most of Mr. Reynolds’s short stories and novelettes, which have formerly appearaed in other publications. Some are set in the Revelation Space universe, but most are standalone. Thousandth Night is a prequel of sorts to House of Suns. It is by far the weakest of the entries, overlong and tedious like most of the book it connects with. The average standard is very high, as one would expect from Mr. Reynolds. Most deal in some way with the nature and meaning of exi ...more
Claire Kreutzberger
Review in progress. I won't be giving away any plot details, others did that already, and way better than what I could ever achieve.

Great wall of Mars.
My first contact ever with Alastair Reynolds. Such ambition for such a short text ! As great an opening to this collection of stories as one could hope for. Sets the bar really high, though.

In some ways related to Great wall... But more intimate in scope (even if there is some nice action, space-opera style. Terrific example of what a good
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well, if these are the stories that were not approperiate to transition into full novels, I'm sooo pumped to go Alastar Reynolds novel shopping. I'm not even going to read the back of the book, I'm just going to pick one up and sit back and enjoy. Imagination and details were off the charts, and with an astounding writing prowess all of the stories (with one exception) were AMAZING and I could have kept reading and reading.

For more reviews (and some videos too!), check out my Facebook page BELI
« previous 1 3 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Insistence of Vision
  • The Dragon Griaule
  • Fountain of Age
  • Salt
  • Succession (Succession #1-2)
  • Not So Much, Said the Cat
  • Limit of Vision
  • Mirror Kingdoms: The Best of Peter S. Beagle
  • The Many Worlds of Magnus Ridolph
  • Ambiguity Machines and Other Stories
  • How the World Became Quiet
  • Reach for Infinity
  • The Body Library (John Nyquist, #2)
  • The Dying Light (Evergence, #2)
  • Hell's Bounty
  • Nova Swing (Kefahuchi Tract, #2)
  • Selected Stories
  • Muse of Fire
See similar books…
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 f ...more

Other books in the series

Revelation Space (3 books)
  • Revelation Space (Revelation Space, #1)
  • Redemption Ark
  • Absolution Gap
“We stabilised the Wall’s degradation with software running on dumb machines,” she said. “But when Felka was born we found that she managed the task just as efficiently as the computers; in some ways better than they ever did. In fact, she seemed to thrive on it. It was as if in the Wall she found…” Galiana trailed off. “I was going to say a friend.” “Why don’t you?” “Because the Wall’s just a machine. Which means if Felka recognised kinship…what would that make her?” 1 likes
“That we wouldn’t be able to do. Not even if we wanted it more than anything in the world. Because once we’ve touched a world, it stays touched.” 0 likes
More quotes…