Yet more Alastair Reynolds. I’m halfway through the two-novella book Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days. Well, three quarters, actually as I’m halfway through the second novella Turquoise Days. The book title is just the two novella titles run together. The first provides a bit of backstory to some of the characters in Chasm City, and an explanation of some of the weird physical appearance of a couple of characters in there.
While some of Reynolds’ other works come close, to me this is the first piece of his that actually crosses the line into being horror. The main difference for me is that the strange bodily transformations in this one aren’t accidental or for a necessary and over-riding purpose. Here they are rather futile in search of the solution to a puzzle rather like the movie Cube (which reference Reynolds hangs a lampshade on early in the story). In some ways this story also reminds me a little of Dan Simmons’ Hyperion, with the same sense of partly inevitable, partly chosen horrific consequences, due to inconceivable alien intent and technology. I’m not one much for out and out horror, though I do read/watch a little of it (see Books – Neonomicon for example). I didn’t dislike this story, but it’s beyond my tolerance for re-reading.