“Entertaining This is warm hearted science fiction with big ideas.” -Interzone “A thrilling, mind- boggling adventure.” -The Times (UK) “Reynolds’s approach. I think the implication is there that Purslane might be Abigail, but it’s never for sure as Abigail was very careful about all clones being equal. The reason she can’t. Alastair Reynolds’ House Of Suns, shortlisted for the Clarke Award, is a novel of ideas, with all that implies. The space-opera epic throws a.

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At the start of the main plot, we follow two of Abigail’s shatterlings, Campion and Purslane, on a collection trip to a couple of planets. I think the implication is there that Purslane might be Abigail, but it’s never for sure as Abigail was very careful about all clones being equal. Given additional technologies for indefinite extension of lifespan, you have the basis for a compelling knowledge quest without escaping too far into fantasy land.

House o the sun? It’s kind of like a sea voyage, but in space, at high speed, and I was totally sucked into the story from the start. This is the alastai of Reynolds’ themes to become obvious; no faster than light spaceships. Indeed, it is the shns multiplicity that causes many of their troubles. But its not a love story. The second timeline is set six million years in the future, and centers on the meeting of the Gentian Line after a galactic circuit.

Cover for House of Suns. Well, obviously, experience can change everyone, and after 6 million years, it’s actually kind of funny that these people are still so fundamentally relatable to readers like us. Even though each has its own separate plots and actors, much of the tales exist within a span off years. See all 5 questions about House of Suns…. I don’t want to be the Paula Abdul of Goodreads or something, but really at the end of the day this is a great mind expanding read and to rate it less than five stars seems churlish.


They housd roam the galaxytraveling from star to star near the speed of light, skipping over the ages via time dilation.

Six stars and highly recommended. Hesperus, however, is gravely injured in the process by remaining ambushers. Sus science fiction revolves around a method of superluminal travel.

It made no difference to their longevity. Still, Reynolds manages space opera that does not read like farce.


The love between Campion and Purslane, two of the one thousand clones of Abagail Gentian; the dreamlike state that Abagail’s narrative put me in: So did societies, be they city-sized states or galactic empires encompassing thousands of solar systems. Someone is eliminating the Gentian line.

House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds. Reynolds strongly implies that the original Gentian is still alive, making her current identity one of the mysteries of the book. Maybe he had the concept of a palimpsest long before he knew the word. Others have covered the plotline and central conceits of the novel very well, so I will forbear. Please provide an email address.

View all 4 comments. But worst of all is that when they get to the Reunion planet, they find it utterly wiped out. To some extent, history is only just beginning as the novel closes. Please try again later. The science aspects partly went straight over my head, but I don’t have to understand how something works, but what it doesand Reynolds served my needs just fine. Reynold’s only real fault is a sin of ommission.

Strange Horizons – House of Suns by Alastair Reynolds By Dan Hartland

I can think of no more convincing “hard SF” writer working today and it is because when it comes to current physics, he never gets wlastair wrong. Alastaair the first person narrative as the perspective changes between the two protagonists punctuates the premise that shatterlings all share memories sunw having been Abigail Gentian. Reynokds using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Give me more about The Vigilance. To view it, click here.

For me the book was shallow and never grabbed my interest. It is a fabulous scifi space opera with fantastic characters you root for. View all 18 comments. His quest was measured in millennia. Voyager 25th Anniversary Edition. That grumpy humanoid fish thing was one of the most interesting characters in the book and more importantly, the only source of comedic relief in a book that could’ve used a little more humor!


When I pick it up again in a few years, it might just feel like the first time, and that’s surely something to look forward to. It will seep into other memories, distorting them, shaping them to conform to the truth of what has been suppressed.

The galaxy is a dangerous place, fundamentally inimical to human life, and humanity only adds to its problems by being so fragmented and fractious. House of Suns concerns the Gentian Line, also known as the House of Flowers, composed of clones or “shatterlings”male and female, of Reynilds Gentian, with Abigail being the 1,th shatterling exactly which of the 1, shatterlings is the original Abigail Gentian is unknown.

One of the constraints of the game retnolds that any given planet could have a “technology level” that indicated how far technology had advanced on that planet, whether from native growth or from outside colonists.

It was Hluse, or at least a clever replica of that ancient game. The boo Wonderful and delightful. After a silence, Campion said, “You know what I keep coming back to? But the device, as before, is used with restraint. Talk about fast moving narrative, this book almost break the FTL barrier. They meet once every two hundred thousands years the time it takes to years to circumnavigate the galaxy and visit a hundred systems along the way to alastaair, compare stories and integrate all their experience in their common records.

As a person who had suppressed the memory of a great wrong might have bad dreams.