In novels such as Chasm City and Revelation Space, Alastair Reynolds established himself as an indisputable master of the far-flung intergalactic epic. Reynolds brings that same deceptively effortless mastery to the shorter fictional forms, a fact that Troika, his elegant, compulsively listenable new novella, amply demonstrates.
Troika tells the story of men and women confronting an enigma known as the Matryoshka, a vast alien construct whose periodic appearances have generated terror, wonder, and endless debate. During its third "apparition" in a remote corner of the galaxy, a trio of Russian cosmonauts approach this enigma and attempt to penetrate its mysteries. What they discover - and what they endure in the process - forms the centerpiece of an enthralling, constantly surprising narrative.
Troika is at once a wholly original account of First Contact and a meditation on time, history, and the essentially fluid nature of identity itself. Suspenseful, erudite, and gracefully written, it is a significant accomplishment in its own right and a welcome addition to a remarkable body of work.
©2011 Alastair Reynolds (P)2016 Alastair Reynolds
Did you know you can put in a set of Ear-Buds, slap your Hearing Protectors over them, and Mow the lawn, Weed-Eat, etc, without your book being drowned out by engine noise? OR, you can just let the horses in the yard, and THEY'LL mow and weedeat (literally) FOR YOU!
I have LONG been a fan of Alastair Reynolds' books, and I "Think" I have every book by Mr. Reynolds that Audible has (Yup, Just checked)... But the last few Reynolds' Books I have bought here have been more than a bit disappointing.
This one is set in Russia in the Future. It's 2 Hours and 54 Minutes long. Two Hours, 46 Minutes, and 56 Seconds, are ALL "Tedious Set-Up". For Two Hours, 46 Minutes, and 56 Seconds, it drones ON and ON and ON (NOT the Narrator's Fault! I think he did the best he could with the material he was presented to work with)... In the last 7+ minutes, JUST as you are SURE you're going to rate this one: "Limbo Low Stars", those last 7+ minutes 'kinda' save the entire book.
Is it worth the first Two Hours, 46 Minutes, and 56 Seconds to hear the sudden (and kinda weak) plot twist? You'd have to decide that for your yourself... However, if I had the choice of buying the book again, knowing what I know now, I wouldn't.
I actually felt happy when I heard that last 4 seconds with: "Audible Hopes You've Enjoyed This Program!" Because I thought "GREAT! Now I can get on with one of these other VERY GOOD books stacked up and waiting in my iPhone!"
At least it wasn't more "ELEPHANTS - IIIIN - SPAAAAACE" (Insert Dramatic Echoing on the word "SPAAAAACE").
I think I'll be taking a break from buying any more of Mr. Reynolds' Books until he gets back to writing books like "Pushing Ice", "Revelation Space", etc...
The only negative about Alastair Reynolds Troika is that it's too short. Set in the near future after global economic and environmental collapse, a Russian team of cosmonauts has returned from investigating an alien artifact that left two of the three person team dead and the remaining cosmonaut mentally deranged. After escaping from the facility, he makes his way to the apartment of the astronomer who was involved with the artifact, but discredited due to her theories about its origins. The cosmonaut relates their exploration of the artifact that appears to confirm her suspicions.
The sci-fi elements are mainly confined to physics with futuristic manipulation of time, space, and matter. The revelation about the artifact's origin is both engrossing and disturbing at the same time. Ultimately, the tale is an exploration of the nature of reality and our ability to perceive it objectively.
The narration is quite well done with an excellent rendition of Russian accents.
Not easily described
If you had read the book you would know how meaningless this question is.
Yes, but you might need a few mental breaks unless you are very up on theoretical cosmology.
Totally out of this universe yet surprisingly feasible (in a billion years). This is one of those books that changes the way you think, if only just a little. The Russian narration is not very convincing but the book is not about the characters.
Great story, good narration.
My only comment is that Russians don't talk like they are depicted in the story. It's more like how English-speakers think how Russians speak among themselves. A bit more linguistic research should've been done for a first-person story.
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