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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. Sent out into the galaxy, these shatterlings have stood aloof as they document the rise and fall of countless human empires. They meet every two hundred thousand years, to exchange news and memories of their travels with their siblings. Campion and Purslane are not only late for their thirty-second reunion, but they have brought along an amnesiac golden robot for a guest. But the wayward shatterlings get more than the scolding they expect: they face the discovery that someone has a very serious grudge against the Gentian line, and there is a very real possibility of traitors in their midst. The surviving shatterlings have to dodge exotic weapons while they regroup to try to solve the mystery of who is persecuting them, and why - before their ancient line is wiped out of existence, for ever.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780575077171
ISBN-10: 0575077174
Format: Hardback
(243mm x 164mm x 39mm)
Pages: 480
Imprint: Gollancz
Publisher: Orion Publishing Co
Publish Date: 17-Apr-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

Reviews

US Kirkus Review » Far-future, galaxy-spanning space opera involving clones, robots, mass murder and hundreds of post-human cultures, some alive, most extinct, set in a universe different than Reynolds' Revelation Space yarns (Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days, 2005, etc.).Six million years ago, from a civilization known as the Golden Hour, the House of Flowers - comprising the thousand male and female immortal clones, or "shatterlings," of Abigail Gentian - set off to explore the galaxy. Every 200,000 years they meet up to celebrate and share memories. Since they travel at sublight speeds, most of this time is spent in stasis, so they do not so much live history as tunnel through it, as one of the characters observes. It's often a weakness, since readers are afforded glimpses of dozens of cultures without being offered involvement in any. Our alternating narrators - a third narrative strand features Abigail becoming addicted to a simulated-reality role-playing game, for reasons that only become clear much later - impetuous, courageous Campion and smarter, more empathic Purslane, are an item, against House rules. They're running late for the next reunion and need ship repairs. A piratical post-human named Ateshga attempts to trick Campion, but Purslane outwits him and rescues memory-impaired Hesperus. The three reach the reunion site 50 years late, only to learn that the Flowers have been ambushed and all but wiped out. Campion and Hesperus rescue a handful of Gentians - 50 out of a surviving 900-odd. But why the slaughter, and who did it? Believe it or not, the Andromeda Galaxy is a major plot issue.Absorbing, but lacking the edgy brilliance and almost desperate urgency of the Revelation novels. (Kirkus Reviews)


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Author Biography - Alastair Reynolds

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 lived in the Netherlands for 15 years before returning to Wales. He gave up 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 and Century Rain were shortlisted for the British Science Fiction Award, which Chasm City won; Diamond Dogs was shortlisted for the British Fantasy Award.

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