Tuesday 30 June 2020

Welcome, Fand

A multiplanet system of super-Earths orbiting the brightest red dwarf star GJ 887

(aka Lacaille 9352, location of Fand in the Revelation Space books).

For the last decade or so it's been obvious that there'll come a point (if it hasn't already happened) where our knowledge of exoplanets conflicts with the alien solar system worldbuilding in the RS series, which has its origins in stories written more than thirty years ago.

Given how little we ever expected to know about exoplanets when I started studying astronomy. I couldn't be happier about that.

Monday 29 June 2020

Don't say we weren't warned

From a remarkable piece in The Guardian by Celina Ribeiro, which you can read here:


The furnaces of the world are now
burning about 2,000,000,000 tons of
coal a year. When this is burned,
uniting with oxygen, it adds about
7,000,000,000 tons of carbon dioxide
to the atmosphere yearly. This tends
to make the air a more effective blan-
ket for the earth and to raise its
temperature. The effect may be con-
siderable in a few centuries."

I thought Hawkwind were doing well to reference global warming on their 1979 album PXR-5,
but this article appeared in nineteen fucking twelve.

Friday 26 June 2020

Two online things and Jeremy

Here in lockdown (we're still in it in Wales) I've done more than the usual number of online interviews and appearances. Each has been enjoyable; each a privilege, each has probably had me scrambling around at the last minute in a sweaty tizz trying to get something to work which definitely worked the last time I tried it. A particular and much treasured highlight was snapping the clip on my webcam 30 minutes before I was due to go live. Thank goodness for superglue and duct tape.

The first of these links is to a podcast interview on the "Daniel and Jorge explain the universe" show, which you can find here.

(Full link: https://www.iheart.com/podcast/105-daniel-and-jorge-explain-t-29862087/?keyid%5B0%5D=Daniel%20and%20Jorge%20Explain%20the%20Universe&keyid%5B1%5D=The%20SF%20Universe%20of%20Alastair%20Reynolds%20%22Revenger%22&sc=podcast_widget )

On this hour-long show I was imterviewed by Daniel Whiteson, himself a physicist, about the ins and outs of the Revenger universe. The first half of the podcast consists of Daniel and Jorge talking through the setup of my future solar system, while my interview comes in the second half. Thank you both for such an enjoyable discussion.

The second event I'd like to mention is a joint Q&A chat I did with Adrian Tchaikovsky, in which we took a series of questions posted by readers and answered them on the fly. That was great fun and I'd like to thank Adrian and our Orbit colleagues (including Angela Man) for setting it up and helping it go smoothly, as well as all who followed and/or posted questions. I'm just sorry we weren't able to get to them all, but time was against us.

There's a video playback of our conversation here, also about an hour long:


Finally, last year I dug out a couple of ponds next to my writing room. I've been really, really hoping I'd get frogs and a few weeks ago I was rewarded with my first sighting. Now, thanks to careful observations, we've established that there are at least three (three!) frogs in my ponds.

This is Jeremy:

Say hello to Jeremy.

Sunday 21 June 2020

Hands off

From The Guardian:

The family of Tom Petty has issued a formal cease and desist letter to the Donald Trump campaign over its use of his song I Won’t Back Down at a rally in Tulsa on 20 June.

Full story:


I loved Tom Petty's recordings and was shocked and saddened when he died. He was an astonishing songwriter and performer, but he also had time for his fans. When I was on Twitter, one of my most treasured responses was a "thanks!" from the man himself, for some comment I'd made about his music. It made my day (my week, even), but I've no doubt that it was merely one of thousands of typically kind responses.

Tom Petty's music continues to shine, and will be listened to long after Trump is (at best) a footnote.

Friday 12 June 2020

Q&A with Adrian Tchaikovsky - back on June 24th

The postponed event mentioned in previous posts is now back on for June 24th.

If it's of interest, register here:


Tuesday 2 June 2020

Event postponed

In view of events in the United States, it's been decided (in my view very sensibly) to postpone the online Q&A with Adrian and me until a later date, hopefully not too far into June or July.

In the meantime - and bollocks to anyone who mentions virtue signalling - black lives matter.

Monday 1 June 2020

Orbit live event with Adrian Tchaikovsky (now postponed - see above)

In a couple of days I'll be doing a joint live event with the excellent Adrian Tchaikovsky, author of Clarke award winning novel Children of Time.

Per the press release:

"Join science fiction authors Alastair Reynolds and Adrian Tchaikovsky (
) next Wednesday June 3 for a conversation about their books, space travel, and giant spiders. Plus, a live Q&A!"

Register here:

I hope to see and interact with some of you on Wednesday.