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Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days

Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days

Written by Alastair Reynolds

Narrated by John Lee


Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days

Written by Alastair Reynolds

Narrated by John Lee

ratings:
4/5 (37 ratings)
Length:
6 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Aug 4, 2015
ISBN:
9781494585990
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Diamond Dogs



The planet Golgotha-supposedly lifeless-resides in a remote star system, far from those inhabited by human colonists. It is home to an enigmatic machine-like structure called the Blood Spire, which has already brutally and systematically claimed the lives of one starship crew that attempted to uncover its secrets. But nothing will deter Richard Swift from exploring this object of alien origin…



Turquoise Days



In the seas of Turquoise live the Pattern Jugglers, the amorphous, aquatic organisms capable of preserving the memories of any human swimmer who joins their collective consciousness. Naqi Okpik devoted her life to studying these creatures-and paid a high price for swimming among them. Now, she may be the only hope for the survival of the species-and of every person living on Turquoise . . .
Publisher:
Released:
Aug 4, 2015
ISBN:
9781494585990
Format:
Audiobook

About the author

Alastair Reynolds was born in Barry, South Wales, in 1966. He studied at Newcastle and St. Andrews Universities and has a PhD in astronomy. He stopped working as an astrophysicist for the European Space Agency to become a full-time writer. Reynolds is a bestselling author and has been awarded the British Science Fiction award, along with being shortlisted for the Hugo Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Award, and the Locus Award.


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What people think about Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days

4.2
37 ratings / 7 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)

    Two novellas set in the Revelation space universe.  

    The first deals with a puzzling artefact, to which a specialised team of solvers are called.  In order to get through the puzzles, and the savage reprisals if the puzzles are answered incorrectly, the team add nanomachines and undergo extreme bodysculpting, ending up as greyhound-like with diamond hard skin. Suspicion over the preparedness of some of the protagonists awakes. Unfortunately, back in Chasm City, the Melding Plague has struck, so the protagonists cannot return home.

    The second deals with a Pattern Juggler world, describes it's immersive oceans; the patterns of those who have given their minds to the ocean, and on one dive Naqi loses her sister and discovers an evil mind still coherent in the Pattern Jugglers node. Two years later an Ultra ship arrives in the planet's vicinity, with members of an institute who say they want to study a relatively isolationist ocean. But they are really after the mind in the ocean...

    Both novellas are intricate pieces of the universe Reynolds created - jewels to stick on rather than adding anything to the characters we already know. An interesting diverion.

  • (3/5)
    Of the two, I liked Diamond Dogs best. Very clever.
  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    This is a collection of two novellas, loosely related by the universe they are set in. I remembered it being recommended to me by someone, and picked it up eventually, but I can't say I'm that impressed or likely to read any more.The first story, Diamond Dogs, is about a team of people setting out to explore The Blood Spire. The Spire is a mysterious object on the edge of explored space that is nothing but a set of progressively harder and harder mathematical puzzles that may, or may not, lead to a wonderful prize. The punishment for an incorrect answer starts with wounding, works up to maiming and ultimately death.All of which might have been interesting if the puzzles had been described so that the reader could try to figure them out. But that's not the point - they are so fiendishly complex that it takes an artificially stimulated, alien modified brain to even begin to understand them. Ok, so the story must be about the characters, right? Well, most of them are stock images and fairly rapidly disposed of. So it must be about the alien technology of The Spire and the prize? Nope. The spire is a malevolent McGuffin and nobody ever gets to the prize.In some way it reminded me of a pale shadow of Hyperion, as if all the characters were missing any interesting motivating force.Turquoise Days is a better story. Set of the world of Turquoise, where an alien organism called "Patter Jugglers" lives in a planet-wide sea. The main character, Naqi, studies the jugglers and lost her sister to them when they swam in the sea and her sister's mind/identity/self was absorbed into the organism.Turquoise is a relatively isolationist world, but they are visited (for the first time in a century) other humans who want to study the pattern jugglers, or maybe exploit them or... In this case the story of what all the different groups - two different factions of visitors, scientists, Naqi - want from the pattern jugglers and hope to achieve makes for a fairly interesting story. There is one hint that a particular piece of technology in Turquoise Days may have come from The Blood Spire, but not necessarily from the expedition chronicled in Diamond Dogs. Beyond that there is no particular tie between the two or reason to package them together. Turquoise is the much better of the two, and I'm glad I didn't let the failure of the first put me off completely, but even so, I don't expect I'll be looking for any more.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (4/5)
    Of the two stories in this book, my favorite was Diamond Dogs. It was more than a little disturbing and borders on horror. The puzzle-based mystery portion was absolutely fascinating and may interest others who enjoy mathematics and problem solving. The ending highlights the results of human obsession, and it's really rather macabre. As for Turquoise Days, I found this story less intriguing and a bit slow. I didn't particularly care for the main character, and I couldn't bring myself to be interested in her personal jealousies. In the end, I suppose this will come down to the tastes of the reader, but I believe Diamond Dogs is the story that shines.
  • (3/5)
    Another room, another wrong answer, another punishment.It made the last look like a minor reprimand.This book contained two novellas set in the Revelation Space universe.Roland Childe to the Blood Spire came, leading a small expedition to a mysterious artefact that has been discovered on an otherwise barren planet. The Blood Spire is a lethally dangerous place, a tower that can only be climbed by solving puzzles to advance from one room to the next, the basic premise is quite similar to the film ‘Cube’, but the story does acknowledge its debt to the film. I would never have made it past room two, since my mathematical talents only extend as far as solving the easy prime numbers puzzle in the first room. Childe has put together a small group to explore the tower, although why he bothered bringing anyone apart from Celestine and Doctor Trintignant, I have no idea, as they are the only two people whose talents (for advanced mathematics and cybernetic surgery) were used, and it would have made more sense to leave the doctor on the ship, rather than risking losing him in the tower. Good story though, and a bit of a shock when you find out about the Diamond Dogs!Turquoise Days is the story of a scientist, studying Pattern Jugglers on a small out of the way world called Turquoise, and the events brought on by the arrival of the first spaceship to have called there in a hundred years. Apart from the first scenes on the dirigible, I didn’t like this story very much, I assume that what happened at the Moat was meant to be exciting, but it just fell flat. And I was left wondering about the ‘snowflake cities’. What is snowflakey about them? Their shape? Their structure? Their colour? Do they float in the sky?
  • (4/5)
    Combining two shorter stories turn out to be to Reynolds advantage. Some of the trouble I've had with his former work includes pushing things for too many pages only to resolve it all in the last five. This format suits him better as the short five page solutions can now be used without feeling like he is cheating.
  • (4/5)
    Wow. You know that bit where you finish reading and you think you're going to do something else now but instead you have to sit still and kinda absorb until it all settles? Really, really liked Diamond Dogs. Two novellas; Diamond Dogs is about a bunch of talented individuals challenging an alien puzzle device except it is really all about the relationships and obsession and, well, go read it. Turquoise Days is about a girl who gave herself over to an intelligent alien ocean and the sister who didn't. The story is close behind in love but I should have waited longer between stories because it suffered from being after Diamond Dogs.