Sharp Blue: Chasm City (so far)


About This Article

comments feed

Tips Jar

Paypal Pixel


It’s been a quiet day here, so as well as having time to mess around with the innards of this website, I’ve also been able to read a fair chunk of Alastair Reynolds’ Chasm City. This had been sitting on my shelf ever since it was published and I’d never quite worked up enough enthusiasm to read it, mostly because I had a bit of a struggle with his debut, Revelation Space. The recent arrival of his third novel Redemption Ark pushed me over the edge. So far, I’m really enjoying it. It’s got none of the problems of his first novel. In the earlier book, he seemed to be trying much too hard on almost every page, and it showed: the plot never quite took flight, the attempts to evoke a sense of wonder all missed the mark, the book had structural flaws and the worldbuilding seemed a little too much like an RPG setting rather than the backdrop of a novel. (I remember thinking that I could’ve written better myself.) This time round, most of those flaws have vanished. I still have around two hundred pages to read, but unless Reynolds fumbles the various revelations I expect about the protagonist’s memory and identity, I think Chasm City will earn my wholehearted recommendation. Stay tuned.

Hi Rich. Was interested to read your comments on Reynolds, i still havent read Chasm City yet, but i genuinely did enjoy Revelation Space. Maybe it is because as you suggest that "the worldbuilding seemed a little too much like an RPG setting" that i liked it. Banks is the same, someone on the Orion's Arm list once suggested that Consider Phlebus could have been a RPG story. After all, good RPG scenarios are myths in the making (or in the adapting, as the case may be), & you could say about Tolkein that his work is absolutely like an RPG setting ironically enough, because he was (thru inspiring D & D) the father of modern roleplaying.

Leave a comment