Revelation Space

Revelation Space

One of my favorite themes in a science fiction space opera is the wildly imaginative solutions to the Fermi paradox. Another book that I found to have a similar feeling of a bleak and hopeless future is The Dark Forest, the sequel to Three Body Problem. Both ultimately deal with the Fermi paradox and why we as humans have never encountered any intelligent life outside of Earth. Revelation Space takes place long after humanity has left Earth and in a society where humans have achieved near immortality alongside all manner of body and mind modifications. In a way it feels more cyberpunk in that regard that anything else I have read. Another fascinatingly unique aspect is that the balance of power is heavily in favor of small groups of what are essentially technology pirates rather than any larger military or government. Entire worlds are essentially at the mercy of these individuals and their whims due to their vastly superior technology and firepower. The scale of the universe and its usage of relativistic speeds through space and its effects on time and the characters were brilliant. The only other book that I recall that used the concept of relativistic speeds was Project Hail Mary and we never actually get to see the impact that this has on time between people that have their frame of reference in time become vastly different. The scale of time and the scale of death and destruction are also difficult to fathom.

The book starts off slow and takes a long time to pick up pace and have the pieces of the galaxy spanning mystery fall into place. The main protagonist is an arrogant archeologist whom is attempting excavate a world that was discovered to have had sentient life that suddenly got wiped out more than nine hundred thousand years ago. I never got the impression that there was any characters that were morally just in their actions. Everyone seemed to be devious to downright evil at times, but that is part of what I found to be compelling. There doesn’t appear to be any inherently good course of action to take and ultimately there is no telling whether the events that occurred were for better or worse.

I am looking forward to reading Chasm City next which is a prequel or at least occurs chronologically prior to the events of Revelation Space so I can move on to Redemption Ark and Absolution Gap. These books are very long and I found the narrator of the audiobook to be subpar so I am reading through them slowly.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *