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The Medusa Chronicles by Alastair Reynolds, Stephen Baxter
  

The Medusa Chronicles

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The much-lamented Arthur C. Clarke wrote the classic A Meeting with Medusa, award-winning short story in 1971 in which an alien creature is found on Jupiter. Years later, two of the best British SF writers of today have combined their talents for a worthy sequel. Following the life of Howard Falcon who discovered Medusa and is now as a result more than human, having been transformed into something of a cyborg, and is seemingly immortal as he witnesses the passing of the centuries and mankind's evolution and assists in its transition while himself evolving into a new consciousness with benevolent effect. Humanist, meditative, this is old-fashioned science fiction as evidenced by its sense of wonder and a positive attitude to scientific progress but, alongside, manages to keep the thrills on overdrive and the cosmic and planetary problems ticking along. A good read. ~ Maxim Jakubowski

Simon Spanton's view...

This is an ambitious and impressive novel sequel to Arthur C. Clarke’s short story A Meeting With Medusa. Given that, you might expect a traditional SF novel and there are many of traditional SF’s virtues here; grand scope, challenging ideas, high adventure and awe-inspiring encounters with otherness. But award-winning and bestselling authors Baxter and Reynolds are not at the forefront of modern SF without good reason this novel is also built around the very latest ecological concerns and our nervous experiments with machine intelligence. It’s a heady brew.

The story spans nearly a thousand years; much of the third millennium and follows extraordinary developments as mankind leaves earth, leaves its traditional humanity and heads out into the far solar system. It would be easy for this to feel a little remote but we are guided through these events by post human cyborg Howard Falcon. Nearly killed in an accident Falcon is now essentially a near immortal human mind in a robot body and it is with him that we both meet with the alien intelligences within Jupiter and the machine intelligences we create. Falcon is an endearingly bolshy and opinionated companion and he gives this book real heart. You’ll remember him. But you’ll also remember the extraordinary descriptions of Jupiter, of the vast sweep of centuries and the amazing transformations Baxter and Reynolds predict for us. This is a vast and dangerous future but it is also one of incredible opportunities. Fans of Kim Stanley Robinson and Peter F. Hamilton will find a similar sense of wonder here. ~ Simon Spanton

Synopsis

The Medusa Chronicles by Alastair Reynolds, Stephen Baxter

Inspired by Sir Arthur C. Clarke's short story A Meeting with Medusa, this novel, with permission from the Clarke Estate, continues the story of Commander Howard Falcon over centuries of space-exploration, interaction with AI, first contact and beyond. All brought to life by two of our greatest SF authors, Stephen Baxter and Alastair Reynolds. Howard Falcon almost lost his life in an accident ...and a combination of human ingenuity and technical expertise brought him back. Not as himself, but as an augmented human: part man, part machine, and exceptionally capable. The Medusa Chronicles charts his journey through time, the changing interaction between humanity and our universe, and combined moments of incredible action with unparalleled exploration of and expansion into space. A compelling read from the beginning, this is classic SF which has appeal for readers who like Gravity and The Martian.

Reviews

'A vivid and vital take on a pace age future that never actually happened. Clarke, you may find yourself thinking, would surely approve.'
SFX

'A joy to read, it's yet another feather in Baxter and Reynolds' well-adorned hats.' SCIFINOW

'With these two titans of the genre, jaw-dropping imagination and laser-sharp wordcraft are guaranteed. They have created a beautiful novel, wonderful to explore.' THE SUN

'brings the strengths of both writers - a thorough grasp of scientific principles and the ability to present them in well-paced, engaging narratives' The Guardian

'it certainly contains all that I love in the writing and imagination and vision of both Stephen Baxter and Alastair Reynolds. Full justice has been done to Clarke and his original short story and I can only hope for more. My only greedy complaint is that I wish the book were longer. What there is, though, is wondrous and perfect. For Winter's Nights Stephen Baxter and Alistair Reynolds choose to focus instead on the characters to help pull the storyline forward and that was what I liked most about The Medusa Chronicles, it's a character driven sci-fi book, something I feel the genre needs more of.' The YA Bookshelf

About the Author

Alastair Reynolds was born in Barry, South Wales, in 1966. He studied at Newcastle and St Andrews Universities and has a Ph.D. in astronomy. He stopped working as an astrophysicist for the European Space Agency to become a full-time writer. Revelation Space and Pushing Ice were shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award; Revelation Space, Absolution Gap, Diamond Dogs and Century Rain were shortlisted for the British Science Fiction Award and Chasm City won the British Science Fiction Award. You can learn more by visiting his website.

Stephen Baxter is the pre-eminent SF writer of his generation. With Terry Pratchett he has co-authored the Long Earth novels. Published around the world he has also won major awards in the UK, US, Germany, and Japan. Born in 1957 he has degrees from Cambridge and Southampton. He lives in Northumberland with his wife. Visit Stephen Baxter's website.

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Book Info

Publication date

12th January 2017

Author

Alastair Reynolds, Stephen Baxter

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Author's Website

www.stephen-baxter.com

Publisher

Gollancz an imprint of Orion Publishing Co

Format

Paperback
336 pages

Categories

Science Fiction
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Science fiction

ISBN

9781473210202

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