Slow Bullets – Alastair Reynolds

“My mother had a fondness for poetry.”

During the closing stages of a great war, Scur is captured by a sadistic enemy and left for dead. As she’s the narrator of this short sci-fi tale, obviously that doesn’t go exactly to plan, but when she wakes up it’s not exactly where she might have expected…

This is a relatively short piece, really an extended short story. As such, there’s a limited amount of background or layers to the plot, and rather it’s a simple story told with plenty of room for the reader to fill in some mental gaps.

As a whole, this works well – Reynolds is a great writer, after all. It really only slips for me at the end, which is a rather too-sweeping set of generalisations, which could really spawn a half-dozen further books!

Overall, though, it’s a well-written, rather intriguing slice of sci-fi, if a little heavy on the moralising about war and religion, and how and what we remember – plenty to get your brain going, given the slightness of the volume!

There’s no tie-in to any of the Revelation Space or other work, as far as I’m aware. Short and very readable, if you’ve not tried any of the previous work this isn’t a dreadful place to start, but it really won’t give you the full picture of how good the author can be.

NetGalley eARC: 192 pages
First published: February 2017 (in the UK; 2015 elsewhere)
Series: none
Read from 1st-5th February 2017

My rating: 7/10

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