Blue Remembered Earth

bluerememberedearthBlue Remembered Earth, by Alastair Reynolds, is the first in the Poseidon’s Children sequence.

Set one hundred and fifty years in the future, in a utopian society in which African is the dominant geographical power on earth, the moon and Mars are colonised, and asteroids are mined for water and minerals, the story centres around one family. The Akinyas are wealthy and powerful family with varied business interests, but Sunday and Geoffrey want to pursue lives unconnected to the family business. Geoffrey wants to study elephants in the Amboseli basin and Sunday lives in an artists’ commune on the moon.

When the reclusive and eccentric matriarch and founder of Akinya Industries, Eunice, dies she instigates a treasure hunt through the solar system. Sunday and Geoffrey follow clues that Eunice hid on the moon, on Mars, and finally on the space station where she spent her last decades. Their cousins, Hector and Lucas, are the ones that currently run Akinya Industries and are concerned that the mystery Eunice is set on revealing will be bad for the business.

Along the way, Reynolds introduces us to his world and the players in it. Poseidon’s Children starts with a human level story and develops into space opera. Geoffrey and Sunday are ordinary people thrust into a game initiated by their grandmother, who was far from ordinary. It ends with a hint at what she might have done a hundred years ago, something that goes against all the principles of the society she lived in.

I enjoyed this. It’s the first of Reynolds’ books that I’ve read and I understand that a utopian vision of the future is different for him. The worldbuilding was excellent and I liked the unique elements of it. It was a great demonstration of how to use plot and character to create the world rather than relying entirely on description. I will read more of these. Once book mountain is  conquered, obvs.

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