Reading: Alastair Reynolds — Slow bullets

i. Best title of the year.
ii. Not enough pages.

I whined a little when Jamie at St. George’s pulled it off the shelf for me. So small! So thin! Such large margins and font size. It’s a novella, Frances. Well, so? I finished it over breakfast Saturday morning.

The cover. I’d almost forgotten I used to have lengthy cover conversations with myself. This one, crescent pair of planets filling the lower half, small glare of sun in the upper left corner, the three-rings of a rotating space station, author’s name in lowercase at the top, consistent design over more than a decade of works. It’s an accurate illustration of the story, though the station is a skipship, capable of faster than light travel—though no artificial gravity more sophisticated than that generated by centripital force.

Slow Bullets is one of the few fiction works I’ll read this year written by a guy. Alastair Reynolds I’ve read once before: Pushing Ice, when I was in Zürich. Good, but didn’t compel me to read his Revelation Space series—it takes a lot for me to agree to read a series. After Slow Bullets I am leaning heavily towards reading the first of his Poseidon’s Children trilogy, Blue Remembered Earth. Yes, Slow Bullets is a good as its title.

I imagine him coming up with the title and going, “Faaaarrrkkyess!!” It’s his best title. If I came up with a title that good, I’d be off to the Kneipe for a beer. It’s worthy of an Iain M. Banks Rapid Offensive Unit. It’s doubly good cos it’s not bullshit, ‘look at me, I’m clever’; it refers to an object at the core of the story.

…much slowness here when it comes to writing about reading lately. What’s above, I wrote at the start of July. It’s still going to be high on my list of what I’ve read this year. Still I feel it’s a sketch, and I’d love for Reynolds to go back and write it into its fullness, rework some of the less interesting stuff (particularly the on-station stuff with the other war criminal, Orvin). Will read again.