Stephen Baxter

Cover art for The Medusa Chronicles by Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter

I just wanted to share the cover art for the upcoming Reynolds/Baxter collaboration The Medusa Chronicles (out February next year), which was revealed by Gollancz in the last 24 hours. For more info about the book itself, check my post about what 2016 has in store for Alastair Reynolds fans.

medusa-chronicles-cover-reveal

It’s not bad, but there are some weird composition choices. Why not just have Jupiter itself in the background, instead of a fuzzy, transparent patch of Jupiter’s clouds? And why do the ship’s searchlights cast beams through vacuum? It’s a bit weird, but I’m just excited for the book itself so I don’t really care what the cover looks like.

Oh, and I’m still working on that review & recap of Arthur C Clarke’s original novella. Watch this space.

The 2016 Alastair Reynolds forecast — two new novels and more!

areynoldsThis year has been good for Alastair Reynolds’ fans, with the trilogy-concluding novel Poseidon’s Wake and the standalone novella Slow Bullets coming out in quick succession. There’s also the possibility that Subterranean Press’s upcoming collection The Best of Alastair Reynolds will reach us by November, although considering that there hasn’t been any kind of proper announcement yet, it may be pushed back to 2016. More on that book later in this post.

Anyway, I want to take a quick look at what’s coming out in 2016 from Reynolds. It looks like it will be just as exciting a year for new work as this year was!

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New and upcoming work by Alastair Reynolds, including a collaboration with Stephen Baxter

STPSummer2014-425x561The last issue of Subterranean Press Magazine is out now, and it includes a real treat for Alastair Reynolds fans: a new Revelation Space short story titled “The Last Log of the Lachrimosa”, which you can read for free here!

It’s his first work in that universe since 2009, and it’s a great return to the creepiness and existential terror of what I think is one of the best science fiction series ever. One comment I saw online said that it read like Prometheus if it had been done right, and I agree. Here’s hoping there’s much more to come in the future.

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tumblr_inline_n8gc9oZ9fk1s0669xTalking of the future, Reynolds also has a new novella coming out next year called “Slow Bullets”, to be published by Tachyon Publications. It’s interesting that the cover art matches the unified look that Gollancz has given all of Reynolds’ main works. According to Reynolds, the novella is around 40,000 words — which should give a page count of roughly 100 pages. Other than that, there’s next to no info about the story at this point. 

ADDENDUM: Tachyon’s website now has further info about the novella! Here is the description:

From the author of the Revelation Space series comes an interstellar adventure of war, identity, betrayal, and the preservation of civilization itself.

A vast conflict, one that has encompassed hundreds of worlds and solar systems, appears to be finally at an end. A conscripted soldier is beginning to consider her life after the war and the family she has left behind. But for Scur—and for humanity—peace is not to be.

On the brink of the ceasefire, Scur is captured by a renegade war criminal, and left for dead in the ruins of a bunker. She revives aboard a prisoner transport vessel. Something has gone terribly wrong with the ship.

Passengers—combatants from both sides of the war—are waking up from hibernation far too soon. Their memories, embedded in bullets, are the only links to a world which is no longer recognizable. And Scur will be reacquainted with her old enemy, but with much higher stakes than just her own life.

Hopefully, of course, both of these works will make it into Alastair Reynolds’ next collection, whenever that will be arriving.

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And finally, here’s something really exciting: Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter are collaborating on a sequel to a classic Arthur C. Clarke novella, A Meeting with Medusa. The new book is called The Medusa Chronicles, and is coming out in May 2016 according to Amazon. Here’s the synopsis on Amazon as of right now:

Following an accident that almost cost him his life, Howard Falcon was not so much saved as he was converted, through the use of prosthetics, into something faster, stronger and smarter . . . but also slightly less human and more machine than he was. And with this change came an opportunity – that of piloting a mission into Jupiter’s atmosphere, and ultimately of making first contact with the life forms he discovers there.

Picking up the threads of humanity versus artificial intelligences and machines, and of encounters with the alien, this collaborative novel between two superb writers is a sequel to Howard Falcon’s adventures. A proper science fiction adventure, this is perfect for fans of Golden Age SF as well as the modern SF reader.

There’s so much to look forward to!