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Zima Blue and Other Stories

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  2,742 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
The stories in 'Zima Blue' represent a more optimistic take on humanity's future, a view that says there may be wars, there may be catastrophes and cosmic errors, but something human will still survive.
Mass Market Paperback, 455 pages
Published April 8th 2010 by Gollancz (first published September 2006)
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(showing 1-30)
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William
Aug 04, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Reynolds opens his heart, his mind obeys and he produces lovely mini-masterpieces: Enola (here), Turquoise Days, Zima Blue (here) and Weather. Surely his finest works.


Mostly solid collection of stories here, with some true gems.

*** The Real Story
Good solid sci-fi. Familiar but nicely constructed. A good twist or two.

**** Beyond the Aquila Rift
Lovely story with a somewhat predictable but beautifully-realised plot.

***** Enola *****
Exquisite, poignant, wonderful. When Reynolds opens his heart,
...more
Karl
Apr 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Zima Blue And Other Stories" is a nice collection of stories

Contents:

Introduction by Paul J. McAuley
"Angels of Ashes" (Originally published in Asimov's SF, July 1999)
"Beyond the Aquila Rift" (Originally published in Constellations, edited by Peter Crowther)
"Enola" (Originally published in Interzone 54, December 1991)
"Hideaway" (Originally published in Interzone 157, July 2000)
"Merlin's Gun" (Originally published in Asimov's SF, May 2000)
"The Real Story" (Originally published in Mars Probes, e
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Tom
INDIVIDUAL STORY THOUGHTS BELOW (so you can skip my review if you want)

A while back I was toying with the silly notion that an author's short story collection is a bit like an album, and that the stories within are individual songs: varying in length, style and quality. While reading the collection Zima Blue by my favourite SF author Alastair Reynolds, I started to think about a concept album based on the collection, with songs having the same titles and coming in the same order as they are in t
...more
Althea Ann
Notes only on the title story...

Famous galaxy-wide, an artist is known for his use of one particular shade of blue. Now, he's announced that he'll be retiring - but he has one last work to unveil. Journalists and media have flocked to the location, but he's denied interviews to everyone... except one.

But when she meets the artist, it seems that rather than his work, he wants to talk to her about the gadget she uses to record her memories.

Where the story goes from there is profoundly disquieting
...more
Claudia
“Overhead, the bulk carriers slid in one after the other. You heard them long before you saw them. Mournful, cetacean moans cut down through the piss-yellow clouds over the port. […] There were furious blue-white stars embedded in what looked like sheets of velvet. There were hard gold gems and soft red tinges, like finger smears in pastel. There were streams and currents of fainter stars, like a myriad neon fish caught in a snapshot of frozen motion. There were vast billowing backdrops of red a ...more
Matthew Gatheringwater
There are two things that made these stories a real pleasure to read: wonder and optimism. Reynolds writes as if he understands that science fiction authors have a duty to make their readers say "Wow!" He doesn't preach his favorite social theory or explain away anything interesting in the story. Instead, readers must often puzzle out how something works or follow a narrator as she uncovers a mystery or a truth. (I particularly liked the first and last stories in the book, featuring Carrie Clay, ...more
Neal Asher
Feb 24, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you read and enjoy Alastair Reynolds writing then go buy this. It’s all wonderful engaging stuff. Oddly my impression was that all these were earlier short stories – written in the 90s or before – but on checking the afterword to each I see that quite a few of them were written post 2000 (or appeared then). Maybe my original impression came from a vague recollection of having read a couple of them and one of them definitely being set in the 90s. I particularly liked the trio of ‘Merlin’ stori ...more
Liam Proven
Oct 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent collection by Al Reynolds.

It brilliantly shows off how wide and versatile his range is. A lot of the stories do carry his pervasive sense of bleakness, the brevity and futility of the human condition in a vast and uncaring universe, but for all that they are full of life and élan. He is far more than the creator of the "Revelation Space" universe and this compilation made me wish that he wrote more widely outside of his future history, much as I enjoy it.

If you like Reynol
...more
Jason
Feb 08, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2014
4 Stars


These are fun thought provoking short stories from one of my favorite authors. These are lighter than his Revelation Space series, more similar to his latest works.
Rob
Dec 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
.... The first edition of this Zima Blue and Other Stories was published in 2006 by Night Shade Books. In 2009 an expanded British edition appeared from Gollancz. I have read the Gollancz version of the collection which includes four additional stories. The stories in this collection are all set outside his Revelation Space universe. Most of the short fiction in that universe can be found in the collections Galactic North (2006) and Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days (2003). Several of the stories ...more
Geoff
I've read several Alastair Reynolds books. Some I've really enjoyed (House of Suns), some that were underwhelming (Blue Remembered Earth), and a couple in the middle (Pushing Ice, Revelation Space). So I was hopeful when checking out this collection of his short fiction.

It was a good collection of stories. They are all very much in Reynolds' wheelhouse of the far future, space opera genre. There wasn't as much range in this collection when compared to some of the other collections I've read (Asi
...more
Robert
Jun 14, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, short-fiction
This collection of short stories NOT set in the Revelation Space world shows greater range than all of Reynolds' other books combined! Space Opera and identity confusion are mixed with near-future, earth-bound stories and even a completely non-SF story. Some of the characters/backgrounds have multiple stoires and I could happily read more about most of them.

Each story or sequence has an afterword by the author - some of these are interesting.
Lee
This was a mixed bag for me. There were some of the short stories that I enjoyed and some that just seemed to drone on. I am 'a little bit' into Quantum mechanics and do enjoy the whole an infinite number of other 'me's' experiencing every conceivable outcome.
Bev
Alastair Reynolds is apparently a fairly big deal in recent science fiction. The fact that I didn't know this and, in fact, didn't even know his name before picking up his Zima Blue & Other Stories for the A-Z Reading Challenge (X, and Z are always such devilish letters to find interesting books for...), well, that just goes to show how out of touch I've been from the SF world.

Reynolds is a British science fiction writer. I have to admit that my SF reading has been very heavily American--wit
...more
Tim Hicks
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Thoughtful, interesting, hard-SF-but-not-too-complex stories.
Most explore quantum physics and the meaning of humanity/intelligence,
but Reynolds never forgets that rule 1 is to tell us a story.
Good.
Meagan
Jan 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am far too lazy to write a review for every story (and uh, I may have fast forwarded through some of the deeper cuts/pre-2000s stories), so I'm going to focus on the reason I bought it-- the Merlin trilogy. It's interesting, because I wasn't super impressed by the first story, but still enjoyed it, but as soon as I finished the last one, I gained a much deeper appreciation for where he was going with it. The other highlights were Zima Blue, though the whole, reporter thing feels as glaringly d ...more
Princessjay
Mar 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
3.5 STARS. A very good collection, consisting as they do of a handful of excellent stories, a handful of pretty decent stories, and a couple of duds. Recommended!

THE REAL STORY - A story to show that the Real story may never be known.

ENOLA - A hard-sf fairy tale. Very sweet.

BEYOND THE AQUILA RIFT - Not my favorite. Reads as emotionally over-wrought and melodramatic. The human mind, and moreover one who is used to space travel, should be more resilient than as described here.

SIGNAL TO NOISE -
...more
Johan
Jan 30, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll admit that I have a hard time liking short stories. I feel they're rarely long enough to paint a picture that interests me. The first couple of stories were pretty uninteresting for me.

The three Merlin stories picked up the pace - they're separate stories, but featuring the same universe and protagonist.

A lot of the stories are about alternate realities and quantum theory. One story is about opening a communication channel to an alternate world, identical to ours up until the very moment of
...more
Vahid
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-reads, sci-fi
A good collection of short science fiction stories from one of my favorite authors. About half of it here is the "wide screen space opera" fare you may be used to from Reynolds, and its all solid stuff, but there's a lot of smaller scale stories here, as well. None of it the 'Revelation Space' universe, but all really good.
Marco Paganini
Mar 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice and entertaining collection of short stories, with some really interesting ideas thrown out. It looks like Mr. Reynolds got all his "odds and ends" and put into a single book, with good results.
Chris
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good selection of stories from Reynolds. Feel as though the book could have ended on a stronger note than with the title story though. Still, enough interesting ideas that any sci-fi fan will find something good, and no one story ends up taking over most of the book
Bryan
A solid set of short stories, all set outside the "Revelation Space" Universe. A few of the pieces - "Beyond The Aquila Rift", "Signal To Noise" and "Understanding Space & Time" - are classics worthy of Clarke or Asimov.
Jules
Apr 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, reynolds
I was thinking of making a proper review for the last 3 reynolds books i've read but it could have not bring myself to do it right. Because of that i made this review now, as well as i could. Probably it doesnt do justice to the House of Suns, Chasm City and Zima Blue books but it's the most i could do.

(view spoiler)
...more
thefourthvine
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sff, short-stories
Alastair Reynolds writes great short stories. And some of them are in this collection, but mostly they aren't. This is half good stuff, half off-cuts, and it honestly isn't where I'd recommend anyone start with his short stories. (Beyond the Aquila Rift is definitely the place to start.) That said, there's enough stuff in here that's worth reading and NOT in Beyond the Aquila Rift that this one is worth the time of -- well, someone like me, who has read almost every book Reynolds has written and ...more
Tom
Aug 06, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Something is dense, either me or the stories.
Line
Aug 27, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very interesting take on the universe, and some of the stories are great, but Im not a fan of the endings in most of them. Worth reading.
Christian J
Jun 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was my first look at Reynolds' short stories, and most were utterly fascinating! Mr. Reynolds writing style is best served with length, but the concepts explored were quite intriguing.
Tom Loock
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf, ebook
Hard SF - as one would expect from Reynolds - in parts very demanding when it comes to the higher order of physics, never a 'light read', but always high quality.
Christopher
Dec 27, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Some very good, others a bit dull. One of my favorite authors.
M.G. Mason
Alastair Reynolds is one of modern science fiction's most celebrated writers. Not everybody's cup of tea, even seasoned fans such as myself sometimes find his work heavy going, he is a master of what is known as New Space Opera who fuses hard science fiction with social commentary and good old fashioned "sense of wonder" storytelling.

This is a collection of short(ish) stories not set in the Revelation Space universe and therefore showcasing the diverse worlds of his imagination. There are fourte
...more
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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
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“...the next time you need a piece of apparently obscure information, try asking a science fiction writer. You might be surprised.” 7 likes
“Life is precious. Infinitely so. Perhaps it takes a machine intelligence to appreciate that."
~"Understanding Space & Time”
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