Works[ edit ] Reynolds wrote his first four published science fiction short stories while still a graduate student, in —; they appeared in —, his first sale being to Interzone. He then started spending much of his writing time on a first novel, which eventually turned into Revelation Space , while the few short stories he submitted from — were rejected. This ended in when his story "Byrd Land Six" was published, which he says marked the beginning of a more serious phase of writing. As of [update] he has published over forty shorter works and nine novels.
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Apr 27, carol. Then I thought I was perhaps reading The Last Policeman set in space: the dogged detective solving a crime no one cares about or needs solved. So a certain recalibration was necessary. Tom Dreyfus is a prefect, which is a sort of policeman for the democracies of The Glitter Band, a loose organization of over ten thousand habitats that nominally support the idea of democracy.
Dreyfus is sent to investigate the destruction of a habitat and the murder of the nine-hundred-plus people who lived inside it.
It appears it may be the work of an Ultra ship that was visiting prior to the destruction, which has enormous political implications, but Dreyfus has the feeling there is more to it than that. As part of his fact-finding, he arranges a delicate diplomatic meeting with the Ultras.
I can see it being one of those books that only appeal to genre readers, unlike Leviathan Wakes, which pulled in even non-genre fans. Two, the narrative switches make it more of a challenge to identify and develop a particular character. Likewise, Dreyfus is haunted by a particular incident from eight or ten years ago, but not precisely what it was.
Beyond that, his history is a mystery. Reynolds also gets a bit carried away with creativity and gives an overview of a number of worlds in the Glitter Band, including the Prefect base, the decimated habitat, and the four different habitats Thalia is visiting. None of it is germane, and all of it contributes to the feeling of Season Two. You know, Reynolds, it helps to launch the starship before you go to all the different worlds.
The final challenge is that a number of issues dovetail together in the last bit of the book. It was a genius ending, but really needed earlier build to make it truly mind-blowing. That said, it is a great story.
The writing is sophisticated and avoids spoon-feeding the reader. The pace feels solid, particularly as it shifts to space-opera. The philosophical issues raised, both purposefully and as asides, are tantalizing, if somewhat underdeveloped. Overall, it felt like a good book that could have been great. Three-and-a-half stars.
Setting[ edit ] The Glitter Band[ edit ] The Prefect is set in the 25th century in the Glitter Band, the realm of thousands of orbital habitats surrounding the planet Yellowstone in the Epsilon Eridani system, and the height of human civilization at the time. Events take place prior to the advent of the Melding Plague that had already ruined the Glitter Band and caused a massive decline in Yellowstone civilization at the time of the other Revelation Space novels. Tom Dreyfus is the titular prefect, a member of a special investigations police force called Panoply that is responsible for protecting the Glitter Band. The novel offers a thoroughly in-depth study of future technology, including augmented reality within the Revelation Space universe, due its unique setting in the time-line. Set a century before the devastating effects of the melding plague, the book is able to showcase the golden age of mankind alluded to in earlier books.