Robert Reed. Alone. (The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year, Volume 5.)

Originally in : Godlike Machines, ed Jonathan Strahan, SFBC 2010.

Reed at his best – given the time to paint an epic story against a backdrop of immense time and space. His stories about The Ship have been favourites of mine now for many years, the audacious setting giving him free rein to his imagination. As with the stories he takes a close view of an individual to illustrate the immensity of the setting, and here he follows an initially unidentified, unspecified entity walking the hull of The Great Ship. The distances the entity travels, and the time it takes, are awe-inspiring, and as it finds out more about where it is, and we find out more about it, there are guest appearances from characters from stories past, as Reed pushes the story arc forward and opening up big vistas. Excellent – a real pleasure to continue to be entertained by a setting and with characters first encountered (by me) in ‘The Remoras’ more than fifteen years ago. Hopefully Reed (and myself) will have at least another 15 years more of The Great Ship to look forward to.

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