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Chasm City Audiobook

Chasm City

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Publisher's Summary

Named one of the best novels of the year by both Locus and Science Fiction Chronicle, Alastair Reynolds's debut Revelation Space redefined the space opera. With Chasm City, Reynolds invites you to reenter the bizarre universe of his imagination as he redefines Hell.

The once-utopian Chasm City - a domed human settlement on an otherwise inhospitable planet - has been overrun by a virus known as the Melding Plague, capable of infecting any body, organic or computerized. Now, with the entire city corrupted---from the people to the very buildings they inhabit---only the most wretched sort of existence remains. For security operative Tanner Mirabel, it is the landscape of nightmares through which he searches for a lowlife postmortal killer. But the stakes are raised when his search brings him face to face with a centuries-old atrocity that history would rather forget.

©2008 Alastair Reynolds; (P)2009 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"Consistently startling.... Reynolds remains one of the hottest...SF writers around." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (2023 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Steve Delray Beach, FL, United States 10-14-13
    Steve Delray Beach, FL, United States 10-14-13 Member Since 2016

    I'm always looking for that well written gem.

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    "Ties The Alistair Universe Of Books All Together"

    I wish I had read this one before his others. It explains the references from his other books and would have made the whole series much easier to enjoy.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-04-13

    Hard Sci-Fi Connoiseur.

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    "One of the creepier Rev Space novels"
    Any additional comments?

    After all the mentions (all negative) of Chasm City in the series I was very excited to get into this book. Interestingly most of the creepy stuff happens not in Chasm City but in the stories leading up to the main characters arrival. All in all a solid addition to the universe though a bit disjointed at time. Pacing at the end is odd. As with The Prefect, if you're unfamiliar with Revelation Space start with that series as it sets an important foundation and makes this book more enjoyable.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick TULSA, OK, United States 04-23-13
    Patrick TULSA, OK, United States 04-23-13 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ""Know Thyself" takes on new meaning"
    Would you listen to Chasm City again? Why?

    Yes. Revelation Space gets sniped because of how density and depth of Reynold's Universe. Chasm City fills the back story for a couple of the planets as well as explaining the historical momentum behind the "present day" in his universe.<br/><br/>The nods he gave towards "Revelation Space" were also enjoyable, as was the noir hint and the quippy nature of the characters.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The protagonist. There is no way I can explain without blowing the book.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Tanner's fish out of water experience as he descends from the Ice Mendicant's station to the surface of Yellowstone was outstanding. The supporting cast also adds to the scenery.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nurlip 04-09-13
    Nurlip 04-09-13
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    "Revelation Space Book 2, twice as good"
    Any additional comments?

    If you liked Revelation Space, you'll like this book even more! Although an entirely new string of characters are introduced and the story seems to deter from the 'long plot' set up in Revelation Space, the story in this book is more entertaining and engaging overall. I really enjoyed this book b/c the characters are all very strong and the plot keeps you intrigued through every twist and turn. John Lee, as always, does a fantastic job developing character personalities through their voices, no complaints there. About the only thing i was disappointed with in this book was the deviation from the 'long plot' of the Revelation Space series but as i said, its absolutely worth a listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Austin, TX, United States 11-23-11
    James Austin, TX, United States 11-23-11 Member Since 2016
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    "Start Reading Alastair Reynolds here"

    After reading six of his novels, I would recommend that "hard" sci-fi fans of "space opera" start here with Alastair Reynolds. Chasm City kind of blew my mind. Reynolds has done some very creative things writing in the first person, and Chasm City is my favorite example. After Chasm City, try "The Prefect" and/or "House of Suns." If you're really enjoying yourself, proceed to Revelation Space, Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap or some of the others, which I can't yet comment on.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Old Hippy 01-15-10
    Old Hippy 01-15-10 Member Since 2016
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    "Just OK; fell short of potential"

    I like the style of the way this fellow writes, and he creates very interesting and engaging characters. The plot line seemed to hold a lot of potential. But, as the protagonist slips into having more and more dreams, it reminded me of Hamilton's Dreaming Void and Temporal Void novels. Feels like an easy out for the author, although I will say Reynolds' dreams at least expand the story and seem to make some sense. Both authors seemed to rely on characters having unbelievable powers to the point of being ludicrous (and another easy way out of needing more rational explanations). And, what the protagonist and almost everyone else does to the aliens in the "6th ship" behind the convoy is just downright inhuman. Of course, how those aliens ever managed to build anything given their physiology strains credulity. In the end, I felt more sympathy / empathy for the aliens and Methusala (an old fish) than I did for any of these distinctly unlikeable characters. I can't recommend this one, but I appreciated they way Reynolds and the narrator told the story, flawed though it may be. And so, I know I'll listen to another Reynolds yarn.

    16 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 09-05-15
    Michael Walnut Creek, CA, United States 09-05-15 Member Since 2017

    I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.

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    "Fant-Mil-Sci-Fi"

    This book/series had almost universally positive reviews. The story is quite complex, with multiple time-lines and multiple story-lines that don’t come together until the very end. There are some interesting story elements and interesting ideas, yet I never got into the story and did not care about the conclusion.

    This book has a combination of sub-genre which I don’t prefer. First, the characters are largely from the military-sci-fi sub-genre (even the non-military characters), with somewhat flat, military characterizations, having little of the nuances of flesh and blood characters. Second, the story is largely from the fantasy-sci-fi sub-genre, where the science is not really integrated with the story, and is instead only used to create a framework for the fantasy themes. The science does not really hang together into an integrated whole. For example there is clearly very high sensor technology available, yet some guy keeps a totally secret compartment large enough to keep a huge alien technically enhanced psychotic dolphin (and a few people) hidden on a spacecraft secret for decades.

    It felt to me that the science and characterizations were very subordinate to the fantasy/mystery aspects of the story. Characters would do things modestly inconsistent with their character because the story required it. The science seemed incidental, providing whatever was necessary as a framework for the mostly fantasy story.

    It seems most people find the complex fantasy/mystery aspects of this story well worth time. I did finish it, but will not go on in the series.

    8 of 15 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Hayes Honolulu, HI 07-04-17
    Robert Hayes Honolulu, HI 07-04-17 Member Since 2014
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    "I really liked it. love the narrator. "

    as I said, I know the author and narrator from other books, which I liked. great team. knocked out or of the park with this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    RICHARD DONOVAN Kyoto, Japan 06-24-17
    RICHARD DONOVAN Kyoto, Japan 06-24-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Identity through the lens of eternity"

    A brilliant exploration of how identity might shift and reassemble in a future where mortality and memory are as malleable as the exotic alloys configuring and reconfiguring a living city. Along with a skilfully constructed sense of creeping dread, there is an unexpected hopefulness in Tanner's epic journey to discover himself that impels the listener ever forward. As always, Lee's narration is inspired.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Hillside, NJ, United States 05-28-17
    Steven Hillside, NJ, United States 05-28-17 Member Since 2013

    "Audio-phile"

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    "The Lowest of the Low for Me..."

    Well, I believe that there is something wrong with me. I have no idea why I keep trying this author and repeatedly I'm disappointed. I'll keep this review short because it's literally getting me angry that I keep falling for the guise behind the very well done narration, and synopsis. Outside of that Reynold's books, (as well has Peter F. Hamilton btw) just can not satisfy me in terms of story. I will give both authors credit, they have some expansive worlds, but my first complaint is that all the stories they write, look and feel the same. Far flung future setting, Human race generally on the bottom rung, some super duper race that has awesome tech, humanity has learned to be immortal or restore their youth... etc etc. Reynolds supposedly has a 'dark' realistic reputation, but I just can't see it. The quality of his writing is very dull and tries to be to introduce themes that are just odd and not in a good way...

    Here's an example... The setting in this book, was interesting, the world, we're introduced to is split into two layers "The mulch" and the "Canopy". The canopy being the exclusive higher echelon area where the rich, and privledged of society hang out and live. The mulch is cut off, filled with squatters, poor, and homeless. Cool idea... I really thought this could be going someplace interesting and sci-fi based but still have some realism...Some social class warfare, strife between the classes, it could have been really great..But it's just taken too far when he chooses to have these weird hunting games where people of the canopy hunt down people of the mulch for entertainment (which is okay... but it seems a bit 'out there) The people and society of the canopy are hedonistic, and for whatever reason dress like animals, and infuse their bodies with animal parts and literally change their dna to grow animal parts. And many are addicted to a drug that induces some sort of dream like fever. While this all doesn't sound horrible, it's just written and comes off as very cheesy, and not very well done.
    From the depths of the gas plume at the heart of Chasm City, to the aristocratic canopy spanning what remains of the skyscrapers, Mirabel begins to unravel the mystery of the Melding Plague. Schuyler "Sky" Haussmann was the son of Titus Haussmann, the head of security aboard the Santiago. Mother dead. Sky is a child when the huge human floatilla makes it's way across the system to inhabit new worlds. Sort of "generation" ships. Floatilla came under "attack" suddenly. When Sky was very young. It's how his mother had died. They don't know if it was an attack or malfunction. He never left his generation ship. It was his and everyone's entire world. "homeworld" They are destined to "Journey's End". Only one of the generation ships needs to arrive to colonize the destination planet. Titus, shows Sky a few "shadows" on the hull of the ship. They are burned ash marks burned onto the hull of the bodies of his mother and the crew she was working with. She was outside during the "attack" and they were "etched" onto the ship.

    I really don't like the theme of humans fusing with animal looks.. Just seems cheesy.
    This book really seems silly at times... I mean I get the idea that in the long distant future, after death has been overcome for the most part, that humans would want to experiment with a wide variety of lifestyles... it just seems silly that they ALL would want to morph themselves into animals.. the concept just seems very cheesy. I can't visualize it without it coming off as a really bad looking 70's movie. I mean Mix Masters? Seriously?? The names and concepts here are so corn ball at times..Alien race called Ultras? Juvenille…

    So MUCH exposition..everything is literally just spoken and told by way of conversation.

    The Sky flashbacks are way way more interesting than the Tanner story line.

    Anyway this review turned more into just rambling. Didn't enjoy the book, the ending, involving the race of snakes or whatever was at the point where I pretty much was reading just to complete it and get this crap off my table... :(

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Bilbo316
    United Kingdom
    2/1/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Chasmic Shift"
    If you could sum up Chasm City in three words, what would they be?

    Original, relentless, grim


    What did you like best about this story?

    The story has arc works fantastically allowing you to piece together the plots strands just at the right pace.


    Which character – as performed by John Lee – was your favourite?

    All characters are fantastic and John Lee's voice is perfectly suited to each of them, had me gripped!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The resolution - without wanting to give anything away...


    Any additional comments?

    A super book from a good writer given a sprinkling of scary dust from the magical John Lee which moved the story to another level for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Owen Phillips 2
    Swansea, South Wales, UK
    4/9/13
    Overall
    "Chasm City - wow"

    I'm a big fan of Aladtair Reynolds' Revelation Space series, and I think this is the best of them all

    The original novel kept me glued to the book for a week, and lots of subsequent rereading



    It brings together future warfare, secret agents, space travel with a real noir feel



    This audio novel enhances the experience. John Lee's narration is excellent, highly convincing and believable



    In my opinion, this is the best sci -fi novel of the past 15 years

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Tashifan
    4/7/13
    Overall
    "Great fun"

    A wonderful romp through space. This tale and its twists and turns keeps you on the edge of your seat. I just could not wait for the next excuse to listen. A great mix of adventure, science & technology. Where does this guy get his ideas?? And yes, it does answer some of the questions that I had in my head after reading 'Revolation Space'.

    As alway John Lee does a superb job of bringing it all to life and making some of the more complex concepts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fukuwarai
    Peterborough
    11/17/12
    Overall
    "Reynolds is THE SF writer of the moment."

    Reynolds' own version of 'Known' space is coherent and disturbing, involving and dark. John Lee narrates with clear diction and engages the listener. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Paul Robinson
    8/23/11
    Overall
    "A Masterpiece!"

    What a captivating story, plenty of action and some majestic characterisation. A unique and quite brilliant mechanism for telling several stories concurrently, and a superb 'reveal' awaits the listener to weave each strand into a completed tableux as the book concludes.

    My fourth Alastair Reynolds audible book and my favorite so far, highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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