Geoffrey Akinya wants only one thing: to be left in peace, so that he can continue his long-running studies into the elephants of the Amboseli basin. But Geoffrey’s family, which controls the vast Akinya business empire, has other plans for him. After the death of his grandmother Eunice—the erstwhile space explorer and entrepreneur—something awkward has come to light on the Moon, so Geoffrey is dispatched there to ensure the family name remains untarnished.
But the secrets Eunice died with are about to be revealed—secrets that could change everything…or tear this near utopia apart.
“Reynolds both develops a richly detailed portrait of a resurgent, postapocalyptic Earth society and economy, and leaves himself plenty of room to expand his narrative space exponentially…If Reynolds can keep this up—and there’s enough planted here for future volumes to already suggest that he can—he might have one of the most enjoyable series of the still-young decade.”—Locus
“As my number one SF writer of the ’00s, any novel or story by Alastair Reynolds is a must…As speculation about a mid 2100s Earth and nearby solar system, Blue Remembered Earth is simply unrivaled in recent SF and if only for that and the novel is a top 25 of mine…A compulsive read that you do not want to put down…If you want to understand why SF at its best is still the most interesting form of literature today, Blue Remembered Earth [is the place] to go.”—Fantasy Book Critic
This month, Ace is thrilled to publish Blue Remembered Earth, the first in a new trilogy of near–future science fiction novels by acclaimed author Alastair Reynolds. Read what the author has to say about the inspiration for the books!
In 2008 I got the chance to visit the Kennedy Space Center and see the launch of a space shuttle – literally a lifetime’s dream for this diehard enthusiast of the space program. As it happened, the launch was postponed (although I did get to see the rescheduled mission in 2009) but the trip to KSC nonetheless planted a seed which eventually germinated in the form of this book. At the time I was aware of a growing optimism – partly tied in with the upcoming anniversary of the Apollo landings – about our chances of returning to the Moon, and eventually going on to Mars and beyond.
As it happened, that optimism turned out to be misplaced – within a year it was clear that the new Moon program was too expensive to be feasible – but it still seemed to me the right time to be writing about a grand expansion into the Solar System, done with an eye on technological plausibility. That’s half the genesis of Blue Remembered Earth. But the other part of the picture is my enthusiasm for African music, something that had really caught fire in 2008. I found myself listening to a great many West African musicians and somewhere along the line an image came to me of an African woman, standing on the bridge of some kind of ship, contemplating a terrible decision she must make. I knew nothing about this woman except that she was a long way from home. With the image in mind, though, I started thinking seriously about the background history and geopolitics of my new book and I became fascinated with the idea of making my main characters mostly African, in a 22nd century in which a federated Africa is a major technological and economic powerhouse, much as we now regard China. It seemed to me that this would allow me to write about some of my key obsessions – our destiny in space, artificial intelligence, the existence or absence of alien life – from a very different standpoint than allowed by the Revelation Space books.
Oddly enough, with the recent surge of interest in commercial space activities, we seem to be back in a more optimistic mindset again. But as I hope is clear from Blue Remembered Earth, and its sequels, I’m trying to take the long view, rather than allow myself to be too strongly constrained by the swerves and reversals of the early 21st century.