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Blue Remembered Earth (Anglais) Relié – 5 juin 2012

5.0 étoiles sur 5 1 commentaire client

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Relié, 5 juin 2012
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--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié.
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Description du produit

Revue de presse

Always a terrific adventure (Telegraph)

Alastair Reynolds is a name to watch. Shades of Banks and Gibson with gigatons of originality (Guardian)

A mastersinger of the space opera (The Times)

Reynolds has a galaxy-sized imagination allied to a real story-telling ability (Bernard Cornwell) --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

Présentation de l'éditeur

BLUE REMEMBERED EARTH is the first volume in a monumental trilogy tracing the Akinya family across more than ten thousand years of future history ... out beyond the solar system, into interstellar space and the dawn of galactic society.

One hundred and fifty years from now, in a world where Africa is the dominant technological and economic power, and where crime, war, disease and poverty have been banished to history, Geoffrey Akinya wants only one thing: to be left in peace, so that he can continue his studies into the elephants of the Amboseli basin.

But Geoffrey's family, the vast Akinya business empire, has other plans. After the death of Eunice, Geoffrey's grandmother, erstwhile space explorer and entrepreneur, something awkward has come to light on the Moon, and Geoffrey is tasked - well, blackmailed, really - to go up there and make sure the family's name stays suitably unblemished. But little does Geoffrey realise - or anyone else in the family, for that matter - what he's about to unravel.

Eunice's ashes have already have been scattered in sight of Kilimanjaro. But the secrets she died with are about to come back out into the open, and they could change everything.

Or shatter this near-utopia into shards ...

--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Relié .

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Format: Broché
Being a great fan of Alastair Reynolds I was both excited by, and nervous of, his latest series, most of my trepidation being due to concerns that he may have sold-out and start churning out pot-boilers courtesy of a big book deal and a whopping advance. Thankfully, I was wrong. While the story may be a little slow to get going, Reynolds introduces his characters with care & attention to detail so that when the planet hopping treasure-hunt style adventure gets underway the reader is fully immersed in the characters and their near-future environment. What Reynolds really excels at is thinking of really cool stuff, integrating it into his imagined universe and then given them really cool names; the aug, the Mechanism, the Evolvarium (really liked that idea), artilects, the Ocular… the list of original and plausible ideas just goes on.

The plot centres around the events following the funeral of the matriarchal space pioneer of the powerful & rich Akinya dynasty and the series of clues to location on the moon, Phobos and Mars which lead in turn to a revelation on the edge of our solar system which could either presage a new dawn in the human space diaspora or, if misused, their potential destruction. Along the way there are intra family feuds, proof of extra galactic intelligent life, a typically Reynolds-esque extension of the panspermia hypothesis and much more all incorporated into a mature, carefully paced & magnificently written novel.

As you can probably tell, I really liked it. It was perhaps a little slow at the start with all of the elephant messing about but it was never dull; just lots of Reynolds’ masterly wordcraft and imagination. A cracking start to an exhilarating new series from a master of the space opera genre.
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Amazon.com: 3.8 étoiles sur 5 168 commentaires
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
2.0 étoiles sur 5 A long, slow descent into boredom 12 février 2015
Par KR Bridges - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Blue Remembered Earth is disappointing on several levels, the most profound of which is the plot structure. The novel is set in the mid-22nd century when the solar system has been explored, colonized and industrialized all the way out to the Kuiper belt. The reclusive matriarch of a powerful industrial concern with vast holdings across the solar system dies after 60 years of Howard Hughes-like seclusion in a Lunar orbital habit. Shortly after her death a puzzling clue arises suggesting that she has an unknown secret. The industrial empire is controlled by her surviving family, with two grandsons in direct operational control. These two worry that the mysterious clue might reveal financial or legal irregularities that could jeopardize the company but do not themselves want to make direct inquiries due to their prominence. They have two cousins who are also grandchildren of the matriarch but are semi-outcasts from the business-focused family (one living as an artist and the as a scientist). The brothers bribe the idealistic scientist to ferret out the secret. Clues pop up that lead to a trail across the solar system including entanglements with various powerful factions in the broader human political and economic landscape.

The novel is a typical Sherlock Holmes follow the not-so-obvious clues tale. In order to maintain reader interest, however there must be a hint that something very important lies at the end of the trail. This element is missing in Blue Remembered Earth. The industrialist scions worry about a secret that might hurt the business. Since the reader has neither emotional nor intellectual interest in the business, this means very little. The semi-outcasts feel that some interesting clue regarding mysterious aspects of the personal life of the matriarch might be found. But since the reader knows nothing about the matriarch, no interest is attached to this possibility either. As they stumble along the trail, there is a profound underlying sense of “who cares?” A secret with profound implications for humanity finally does emerge but unfortunately only after 90% of the 500-page novel has gone by.

Adding further annoyance, Blue Remembered Earth moves toward that secret at a snail’s pace. The novel frequently bogs down in peripheral activity and ancillary scenes that slow development and dull interest in the work. For instance, the idealistic scientist uses brain implants that link him with elephants and allows him to understand how they think and view the world. The concept is interesting but not central to the plot. However, long stretches of text are devoted to the world as seen by the matriarch lead elephant in his investigational herd. The scientist tests his ability to mind meld with the elephant, going step-wise to higher levels of integration in several sections of the book. To be fair, he solves an important plot event related to the elephants at the end of the novel through the mind meld. However, the mind melding sequences are tedious and become quite boring as one waits for the central plot to start up again.

Alastair Reynolds has written some intriguing SF books but this is not one of them. Please understand that Blue Remembered Earth is better than most works in the SF genre. However, Reynolds is both proven and prolific and has a higher bar to hurtle, whether this is fair or not.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 I would give it 6 stars! 17 février 2016
Par M101 - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
An elephant researcher as a main character?! How can this not be enjoyable?! Wonderfully written, with plausible imaginings of not too future Earth, and colonies on the Moon, and Mars! This is no cyberpunk, it invites thoughtful reading, the attention is in the details, the story is developing slowly, there is a lot of care for the technology and science to be conceivable in the next couple of hundred years. An Earth where ecological disaster has shifted the habitable areas to Africa and underwater, where crime and terrorism are controlled by the Mechanism, which means permanent and omnipresent surveillance, even benevolent...There are a lot of important issues that are brought up, food for thought, things that are already starting to confront us.
I do love Mr. Reynolds' voice as a writer, the undertones of melancholy, like someone that still spends hours looking into the night sky! And then how can you not appreciate his subtle humor when you get sentences like this: "The zookeepers could be overwhelming until you built up sufficient exposure tolerance. Sunday had passed that point years ago: the wilder excesses of their starry-eyed idealism now ghosted through her like a flux of neutrinos. "
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Slow and predictable 4 mai 2017
Par C.Wolf - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This book has too many words. And it repeats the same ones too often, droning on about subjects over and over. For example, by the end of the book I didn't care at all about the elephants because I had read variations of the same words about them so often. And the characters all too seldom ask inconvenient questions -- at least not until a convenient answer source is at hand, then they suddenly think up the question most readers asked 20 pages back. Because of the slow pace, by the time the core plot surprise is unveiled, the reader probably saw it coming many pages ago.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 "But some of us are looking at the stars" 30 mai 2013
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche Achat vérifié
WHAT IS IT?

"Blue Remembered Earth" begins a new Alastair Reynolds series about the early days of interstellar travel. It begins with news of the death of Eunice Akinya, the brilliant, ruthless, and eccentric matriarch of Africa's -- and Earth's -- most powerful family. Founder of a corporation that helped lead the reconstruction of Earth after planet-wide climate-driven collapse, she contributed substantially to the expansion of humanity to the moon, Mars, and the outer solar system in the late 21st and early 22nd centuries. Eunice has left a secret behind, one that some of her heirs wish to bury ... and that some of her rivals hope to exploit. Caught in the middle are two of Eunice's grandchildren who have refused to join the family enterprise: scientist Geoffrey, who studies elephant cognition near the family homestead in the Serengeti, and artist Sunday, a sculptor living in an outlaw zone on the moon. Ultimately, it's up to this brother/sister pair to uncover what grandma was hiding and decide what to do about it.

WHAT'S TO LIKE?

All of Reynolds novels are magical mystery tours where plots and characters matter less than lushly-imagined scenery, deftly-mixed science fact and scientific speculation, and broad social/philosophical themes. In this book, Reynolds sides with the techno-optimists who believe that humanity, with our collective backs up against the wall, will find ways to blunt the worst aspects of climate change, find new sources of clean energy, and boldly go where science fiction has repeatedly gone before. He gives us self-renewing artificial corals to protect coastlines, undersea cities populated with surgically-altered mer-people, space elevators, new kinds of brain augmentation and telepresence, a benign Big Brother that prevents war and violence, Darwinian robot battlegrounds on Mars, asteroid mines, and a super-telescope on Mercury that can discern large-scale alien artifacts on extrasolar planets. As always, Reynolds assumes that the primary agents of social change are prickly nonconformists -- in this instance, Eunice -- who flout the rules in pursuit of their larger-than-life goals. Also, as always, Reynolds writes with conviction and authority.

The big philosophical questions raised in this book are whether humankind is destined to (a) destroy itself, (b) spread to the stars, or (c) hang on indefinitely in quiet desperation. Only (b) gets serious consideration. What Reynolds really wants to debate is whether we need to go to the stars because it's our destiny, or we need to go to the stars because if we don't aim high we'll inevitably stagnate and collapse. You can probably guess which one he chooses.

WHAT'S NOT TO LIKE?

The book's biggest problem has to do with the narrative thread that ties it together, the search for granny's secret. Unfortunately, the thread is actually a trail of breadcrumbs that granny painstakingly planted all around the solar system. It's one thing to acquaint readers with an unfamiliar world through the investigation of a crime (as in "The Prefect" or "House of Suns"), and it's something else entirely to drag the reader through a chain of deliberately designed puzzles a la "National Treasure". The former can feel organic, but the latter is always silly and artificial. That's OK in the "Indiana Jones" films, but not in a serious novel.

The second problem has to do with the novel's apparent bad guys, two Akinya cousins who are supposed to be prime movers in the family business. If they're such big mucky-mucks, how do they justify spending so much time pestering, insulting, badgering, and sneering at Geoffrey and Sunday? Why would they bother? Like far too many fictional characters in stories that authors wish to drag out, they make make many threats and issue lots of "You'll be sorry!" warnings without explaining anything. Do they know something that Geoffrey and Sunday don't? Do they have a nefarious secret agenda? The answers, which you'll have to discover for yourself, will make you want to tear your hair out.

BOTTOM LINE

Alastair Reynolds has mellowed considerably since the first three "Revelation Space" novels. His more recent protagonists are not completely reckless, they're not mass murderers, and they don't go around dismembering people for giggles. Granny might be difficult, and she may skirt the law, and she may take ridiculous risks, but she's still a family woman. Geoffrey and Sunday may have been born rich kids, but they're not driven by greed and they don't live decadent lives of privilege. I frankly like the older, nastier, rawer Reynolds better than this kinder and gentler version, but I am still awed by the force of his imagination and the strength of his writing. I read the book compulsively, most of it in a single sitting, and I was never bored, and I never felt more than mildly annoyed by its weaknesses. Definitely recommended.
4 internautes sur 4 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Entertaining and surprising story 8 août 2012
Par Oleg - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
"Blue Remembered Earth" was definitely the most anticipated book on my list for 2012 --- and it may well be that this essentially created an unfair disadvantage. The story presented here is basically only the prologue to what I had expected and what in the end will (hopefully) be covered in the whole "Poseidon's Children" trilogy. Nevertheless, I enjoyed how my initial thoughts and ideas were being deconstructed with a slowly developing story that seems to be sent off-track by an unraveling mystery spanning the larger part of our solar system.

In the end, this is a very contemporary blend of near future science-fiction. Africa has emerged as a flourishing continent from global warming. Humans are augmented by neural computer interfaces and genetically enhanced to the point of underwater dwelling transhumans. The setting includes colonies on the Moon and Mars with golems (or robots) as some sort of remote proxies of people bordering on the singularity theme at some point and self-developing machines.

The protagonists are jumping to conclusion a little too easily during most of their solar system paper chase and I'm not fully convinced that this is completely and well motivated. It may be that this will become clearer at a later point. I usually prefer a concise style of writing that doesn't explain everything and all in minute detail. I was somewhat disappointed though, when Alastair Reynolds took the easy way out of explaining a few of his technological inventions which is where he usually shines. This background deserved more exploration in many parts. The characters, although not strictly stereotypical, are too transparent for a large part. That I could not relate to Geoffrey until the very end may have been on purpose and could be attributed to the advancements of humanity in general, but it is never made entirely clear.

Altogether, this is a solid science-fiction book. It is entertaining and has some twists and turns that should keep the reader hooked until the very end. Expectations are usually high for Alastair Reynolds and the few imperfections wouldn't carry significant weight for any other author, so I won't be too harsh with him. And I am definitely looking forward to the next installment in this trilogy.
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