"’Tell me, Thorn. Are we out beyond the Rift?" I can hear the fear. I understand what she's going through. It's the nightmare that all ship crews live with, on every trip. That something will go wrong with the routing, something so severe that they 'II end up on the very edge of the network. That they'll end up so far from home that getting back will take years, not months. And that, of course, years will have already passed, even before they begin the return trip. That loved ones will be years older when they reach home. If they're still there.If they still remember you, or want to remember. If they 're still recognizable, or alive.”
In Beyond the Aquila Rift short-story, “Beyond the Aquila Rift – The Best of Alastair Reynold”
I've finally finished this 768-page-mammoth tome. Is it everything Reynolds has ever written in short form? Not by a long shot. It contains only eighteen stories of a total of sixty-something that Reynolds has written so far. But this sample of 18 stories confirms it (I read some of these stories previously in “Galactic North”). It's in the short form that Reynolds is at his best. I’ve read a ton of Reynolds in short form. Almost everything I’ve read, I’ve liked. Collections like this both excite and bother me. I’m a huge fan of the short mode of writing, and an equally big proponent of the less-is-more idea when it comes to the size of books. Massive magna opera simply turn me off. Even when I end up loving them, like I did with this one. What I don’t like is carrying some cumbersome volume around, and my preferred method remains print over digital. For this one I had to go for the electronic version. No way around it. If I’d had read the print version, I’d never have finished it. The big hefty tomes I end up reading them on my Kindle. Not my favourite venue, but I really wanted to read it.
The rest of this review can be found elsewhere.