Locus Magazine Review

Turquoise Days, Alastair Reynolds (Golden Gryphon no ISBN, $15.95, 78pp, tp) September 2002. Cover by Bob Eggleton. Limited to 500 copies.

Last year PS Publishing published Alastair Reynolds's Diamond Dogs, a dark, disturbing novella-length story set in Reynolds's Conjoiner universe. Where Diamond Dogs was influenced by Algis Budrys's Rogue Moon, Reynold's latest novella Turquoise Days, first in a new chapbook series from Gary Turner's Golden Gryphon [Press], is a lighter affair influenced by Jack Vance's classic planetary romances.

Naqi Okpik is a human researcher studying the mysterious Pattern Jugglers on the isolated colony world of Turquoise with her older sister, when an unidentified Ultra spacecraft is spotted approaching the colony. In the confusion that follows, Naqi's sister slips into the ocean to contact the Jugglers, and is absorbed by them. Bereft, Naqi becomes involved in an enormous project to isolate and study the Jugglers, something that is ultimately compromised when the Ultra spacecraft arrives.

Where many of the Conjoiner universe stories are dark affairs, Turquoise Days is comparatively light and romantic, something directly attributable to Reynolds's portrayal of Turquoise itself which, with its world-spanning oceans, airships, floating cities, and mysterious ocean-bound aliens, is a major character in the story. Turquoise Days is a fine work that stands well alongside stories like "Great Wall of Mars", "Glacial", and Diamond Dogs, and that highlights the need for a full-length story collection from this author.

— Jonathan Strahan, Locus, September 2002


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