Alastair Reynolds (Terminal World)


Well-Known Member
Nov 15, 2010
So I noticed this book (Terminal World) in my local bookstore the other day and was really intrigued. The premise is amazing (from the dust jacket):

Spearpoint, the last human city, is an atmosphere-piercing spire of vast size. Clinging to its skin are the zones, a series of semi-autonomous city-states, each of which enjoys a different - and rigidly enforced - level of technology. Horsetown is pre-industrial; in Neon Heights they have television and electric trains . . .

Following an infiltration mission that went tragically wrong, Quillon has been living incognito, working as a pathologist in the district morgue. But when a near-dead angel drops onto his dissecting table, Quillon's world is wrenched apart one more time, for the angel is a winged posthuman from Spearpoint's Celestial Levels - and with the dying body comes bad news.

If Quillon is to save his life, he must leave his home and journey into the cold and hostile lands beyond Spearpoint's base, starting an exile that will take him further than he could ever imagine. But there is far more at stake than just Quillon's own survival, for the limiting technologies of the zones are determined not by governments or police, but by the very nature of reality - and reality itself is showing worrying signs of instability . . .

I was wondering if this author / book is worth the read ... I hadn't really heard of Reynolds before noticing this book and was wondering if you guys had any input.

J Riff

The Ants are my friends..
Apr 11, 2010
Sleeping in Lab
Vaguely reminiscent of Silverberg's The World Inside, I'm really going to enjoy not reading this one. ) It sounds wild enough without the celestial visitations from Angels.
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Believer in flawed heroes
Nov 4, 2010
I started writing a door stopping wedge of a sci-f
Reynolds' Chasm City is one of my personal all time favourites. In fact, I rate all his Revelation Space stuff very highly indeed. The Prefect is an easy place to start, but I'd read the whole Revelation Space trilogy, plus (of course) Chasm City.

House of Suns is also very very good.

Apart from House of Suns I tend to feel that the "non-Revelation Space" stuff isn't as good.



Keith A. Manuel
Mar 26, 2013
My own take is that the book is ambitious on world-building, but the character development doesn't quite get there.

I liked the angel bit actually (and the posthuman stuff), but the protagonist just wasn't all that interesting for me.


Mar 8, 2014
I finished this recently and thought it was really damn bad.
You get lured in with a cool setting and the fancy book cover but in the end this is just a very small part.
I didn't find any of the characters likable or even interesting, they are really boring.
And the setting is 80% steampunk with a little ancient technology lying around.

As for the story, it's not really interesting and everything that could be interesting is just birefly mentioned, then he moves back to the boring main plot.
And especially the ending was terrible.

I had lost faith in him, but luckily I read House of Sun right afterwards.

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