Alastair Reynolds

Alastair Reynolds portrait image to appear alongside the Alastair Reynolds biography.

Alastair Reynolds was born March 13, 1966 in Barry, Wales.

"I was born in Barry, a one-time boom town during the days when Wales exported coal all over the world. For years Barry was also known to people in the rest of the country as a seaside resort, drawing holidaymakers from places such as Birmingham, for which it provided the closest access to the sea. Barry's glory days were long past by the time I arrived on the scene in 1966, but I liked it all the same and have always felt fond of the place. Barry also played host to a huge scrapyard full of abandoned steam engines, which probably accounts for my abiding affection for locomotives and our wider industrial heritage."

A science fiction writer who has been published since 1990, he specialises in dark hard science fiction and space opera. Reynolds read physics and astronomy at Newcastle before earning a PhD from St Andrews, Scotland. In 1991, he moved to Noordwijk in the Netherlands where worked for the European Space Research and Technology Centre, part of the European Space Agency, until 2004 when he left to pursue writing full-time.

"I have a background in astronomy. I spent the twelve years leading up to 2004 as a scientist within the European Space Agency, of which about half that time was spent working on S-Cam, the world's most advanced optical camera. After spending sixteen years in the Netherlands, I returned to my native Wales in 2008."

Awards

  • 2001 British Science Fiction Award for Best Novel (Chasm City)
  • Japanese National Science Fiction Convention's Seiun Award for Best Translated Short Fiction (Weather)
  • Sidewise Award for Alternate History (The Fixation)

Alastair Reynolds books reviewed

Alastair Reynolds bibliography

Alastair Reynolds has written over fifty short stories but for the purpose of this bibliography we focus solely on his novels.

Revelation Space

  • Revelation Space (2000)
    Nine hundred thousands years ago something wiped out the Amarantin. Maybe it was pure bad luck - or maybe luck had nothing to do with it. For the humans now settling the Amarantin homeworld it's of little more than academic interest, even after the discover of a long-hidden, almost perfect Amarantin city and a colossal statue of a winged Amarantin. But for brilliant, ruthless scientist Dan Sylveste, it's more than merely intellectual - and he will stop at nothing to get at the truth. Whatever the cost. The Amarantin were wiped out for a reason. And danger is closer and greater than even Sylveste imagines...
  • Chasm City (2001)
    Tanner Mirabel was a security specialist who never made a mistake - until the day a woman in his care was blown away by Argent Reivich, a vengeful young postmortal. Tanner's pursuit of Reivich takes him across light-years of space to Chasm City.
  • Redemption Ark (2002)
    The Inhibitors are back and Humanity is doomed! Many, many millennia ago, the Inhibitors seeded the universe with machines designed to detect intelligent life - and then to suppress it. But after hundreds of millions of years, the machines started to fail...
  • Absolution Gap (2003)
    Mankind has endured centuries of horrific plague and a particularly brutal interstellar war ...but there is still no time for peace and quiet. Stirred from aeons of sleep, the Inhibitors - ancient alien killing machines - have begun the process of ridding...
  • The Prefect (2009)
    Tom Dreyfus is a Prefect, a policeman of sorts, and one of the best. His force is Panoply, and his beat is the multi-faceted utopian society of the Glitter Band, that vast swirl of space habitats orbiting the planet Yellowstone. These days, his job is his life. A murderous attack against a Glitter Band habitat is nasty, but it looks to be an open-and-shut case - until Dreyfus starts looking under some stones that some very powerful people would really rather stayed unturned. What he uncovers is far more serious than mere gruesome murder: a covert takeover bid by a shadowy figure, Aurora (who may once have been human but certainly isn't now), who believes the people of the Glitter Band should no longer be in charge of their own destiny. Dreyfus discovers that to save something precious, you may have to destroy part of it.

Poseidon's Children

  • Blue Remembered Earth (2012)
    One hundred and fifty years from now, in a world where Africa is the dominant technological and economic power, and where crime, war, disease and poverty have been banished to history, Geoffrey Akinya wants only one thing: to be left in peace, so that he can continue his studies into the elephants of the Amboseli basin. But Geoffrey’s family, the vast Akinya business empire, has other plans. After the death of Eunice, Geoffrey’s grandmother, erstwhile space explorer and entrepreneur, something awkward has come to light on the Moon, and Geoffrey is tasked – well, blackmailed, really – to go up there and make sure the family’s name stays suitably unblemished. But little does Geoffrey realise – or anyone else in the family, for that matter – what he’s about to unravel. Eunice’s ashes have already have been scattered in sight of Kilimanjaro. But the secrets she died with are about to come back out into the open, and they could change everything. Or shatter this near-utopia into shards…
  • On the Steel Breeze (2013)
    It is a thousand years in the future. Mankind is making its way out into the universe on massive generation ships.

Novels

  • Century Rain (2004)
    Three hundred years in the future, Verity Auger is a specialist in the archaeological exploration of Earth, rendered uninhabitable after the technological catastrophe known as the Nanocaust. After a field-trip to goes badly wrong,
  • Pushing Ice (2005)
    The burgeoning new economies in near-Earth space are fuelled by a steady stream of comets, steered back home by huge nuclear-powered mining ships like Bella Lind’s Rockhopper. They call it pushing ice. Bella and her crew are desperate for some much needed R&R – until Janus, one of Saturn’s ice moons, inexplicably leaves its natural orbit. As it heads out into the solar system at high acceleration, layers of camouflage fall away; it appears that Janus was never a moon in the first place. Now this moon-shaped machine is headed towards the star system Spica, two hundred and sixty light-years away. Rockhopper is the only ship anywhere near Janus, so Bella agrees to catch up and shadow the machine-moon for the few vital days before it falls for ever out of reach. In doing so she sets her ship and her crew on a collision course with destiny that will test friendship and loyalty to its limits: for Janus has more surprises in store – and not all of them are welcome.
  • House of Suns (2008)
    Six million years ago, at the very dawn of the starfaring era, Abigail Gentian fractured herself into a thousand male and female clones: the shatterlings.
  • Terminal World (2010)
    Following an infiltration mission that went tragically wrong, Quillon has been living incognito, working as a pathologist in the district morgue. But when a near-dead angel drops onto his dissecting table, Quillon's world is wrenched apart one more time, for the angel is a winged posthuman from Spearpoint's Celestial Levels - and with the dying body comes bad news. If Quillon is to save his life, he must leave his home and journey into the cold and hostile lands beyond Spearpoint's base, starting an exile that will take him further than he could ever imagine. But there is far more at stake than just Quillon's own survival, for the limiting technologies of the zones are determined not by governments or police, but by the very nature of reality - and reality itself is showing worrying signs of instability...
  • Doctor Who: Harvest of Time (2013)
    After billions of years of imprisonment, the vicious Sild have broken out of confinement. From a ruined world at the end of time, they make preparations to conquer the past, with the ultimate goal of rewriting history. But to achieve their aims they will need to enslave an intellect greater than their own... On Earth, UNIT is called in to investigate a mysterious incident on a North Sea drilling platform. The Doctor believes something is afoot, and no sooner has the investigation begun when something even stranger takes hold: The Brigadier is starting to forget about UNIT's highest-profile prisoner. And he is not alone in his amnesia. As the Sild invasion begins, the Doctor faces a terrible dilemma. To save the universe, he must save his arch-nemesis... The Master.

Critical acclaim

"He remains as devoted as ever to innovative, hard sf, gigantic, family-sized space opera. What ensues is a chase story across vast tracts of both time and space, veering closer to Iain M Banks's territory than Reynolds's earlier books ventured. Like its technology, when it starts moving, it moves at one hell of a clip." The Telegraph