Thursday 21 July 2016

Beyond the Aquila Rift is out

Today sees the UK publication of my huge Best Of collection, "Beyond the Aquila Rift" - around two hundred and fifty thousand words of short fiction, plus exclusive story notes. Here's the UK cover:

And here's a link to the Amazon page for the book:

None of this would have happened without the indefatigable efforts of Jonathan Strahan and Bill Schafer, who worked together to produce the Subterranean Press edition, which eventually appeared a few weeks ago. I am grateful to both of them, and the whole Sub Press team, for their enthusiasm and support over many years. I am also indebted to Gillian and Robert, my editor and agent respectively, for working hard to make it possible to have this near simultaneous release of the UK edition.

Publishers Weekly said:

“This collection of 18 long and short stories by Reynolds (the Poseidon’s Children series), one of the most gifted hard SF writers working today, displays his facility for building fascinating settings and integrating romance and mystery plots into space opera… Readers will greatly appreciate the breadth and variety of this deeply enjoyable collection.”

While Paul di Filippo, writing in Locus Online, said:

"Combining the melancholy fatedness of early George R. R. Martin, as found in Dying of the Light, with the clear-eyed cosmicism of Stephen Baxter, Reynolds gives us a galaxy where the gravity of astronomical phenomena is counterbalanced by the dark energies of the human heart. This collection should stand as a cornerstone of the contemporary SF edifice, showing us exactly how to elegantly fuse those separate but overlapping magisteria."

The complete story selection is as follows:

Great Wall of Mars
Beyond the Aquila Rift
Minla's Flowers
Zima Blue
The Star Surgeon's Apprentice
The Sledge-Maker's Daughter
Diamond Dogs
Thousandth Night
Trauma Pod
The Last Log of the Lachrymosa
The Water Thief
The Old Man and the Martian Sea
In Babelsberg
Story Notes

Quite a lot to get stuck into, and a nice selection of material covering different modes and themes, I think. The Orion cover, illustrated above, is gorgeous, but I'd be remiss in not showing the equally lovely illustration done by Dominic Harman for the Sub Press version. Dominic and I communicated closely during the execution of this illustration, as Dominic was determined to get the lighthuggers just right - and he did.

The Lettered edition is sold out, but Sub Press still have copies of both the Trade and Limited versions, and if you go for the latter, you'll get the slipcased one with my cover:

Rather pleasingly, this edition also has a fold-out rendition of Dominic's artwork, and splendid it looks as well. Really you can't go wrong with any of them.


  1. Congratulations to the new anthology ! I hope it finds plenty of new readers besides the already established readership.

    Incidentally, I reread "Weather" just recently, and was reminded of what a lovely little character study it was. "Cozier" compared to some of your more dramatic and darker stories from the RS setting, but the character work and themes tackled are just as good. It's interesting to see an RS narrative that's relatively gentler, while keeping the "bite" and tension I've always enjoyed about your writings.

    I have to commend Mr. Harman's cover as well. One of the best-looking lighthugger illustrations I've seen to date. Believe me, I'm a picky type, but this one has genuinely impressed me. :-) Well done cover.

    I'm not sure I've seen your cover illustration before. If I may ask, is it a new one, or one of your older ones we didn't see previously on the site and blog ? Thank you for an answer.

  2. Psyched about this! Have to wait though. The price tag is steep for me. Seriously, AR, Medusa Chronicles is Hugo caliber.
    Congratulations on all your successes.

  3. I picked up Medusa just the other day, pre-ordered Revenger and now there's this huge anthology!!! It's like X-mas came early!!

  4. Got mine in the mail a couple weeks ago. It's a beauty!

  5. I've been in my glory tearing through this the past few days after deciding it would be the perfect apéritif for the Medusa Chronicles.

    I don't know how this is possible, but I'd never read Minla's Flowers until last night. I loved every page of it.

    Troika and Diamond Dogs are classics and worth rereading, which for me probably means the 3rd or 4th reread of both of them.

    And finally, I always thought The Star Surgeon's Apprentice was seriously underrated among your short stories.

    The only story I thought should have been in there was Dilation Sleep. That remains my favorite of your short stories, not just for the twist, but also because I think it's representative of your work and it captures the mood of your best stuff.

    Thanks for being so prolific, as a fan it's great to have new material to look forward to so often.

  6. Hey Al, This is Deniz. Firstly, thanks for the amazing stories. I found out about you a little too late, after I realized that you are the writer of the two of my favourite stories from Love, death and robots. But I'm trying to catch up with the books and loving them so far. I'm trying to translate the stories to Turkish for my friends. (There is a Turkish version but it's intolerable, maybe you should notify the people responsible for foreign translation and publishing) I'm currently translating Zima Blue and I have a question. I assumed AM is artificial memory, but I'm not sure about it and I couldn't find any notes for the abbreviations. Thanks again, cheers.

    1. Hi Deniz - yes I think it's Artificial Memory.