Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Six Directions of Space - Alastair Reynolds

Novella

Number of words : 24000
Percent of complex words : 11.6
Average syllables per word : 1.5
Average words per sentence : 13.8


READABILITY INDICES

Fog : 10.2
Flesch : 63.7
Flesch-Kincaid : 7.8


PEOPLE

Yellow Dog

A government operative and one of the Thirteen. Ariuna Bocheng is one of her aliases as a journalist. Real name Ariuuna.

Tenger

Yellow Dog's escort.

Khan

A Mongol ruler.

Minister Chiledu

For the Khan.

Qilian

One of the men who had been making life difficult for the khan these last few years. NHK ruler who puts Yellow Dog to work.

Tisza

An enhanced eununch who guards Yellow Dog on the BK.

Tayang

A steward on the BK.

Uugan

Yellow Dog's research deputy.

Muhunnad

An alien from the Shining Caliphate, surgically adapted to pilot ships as a criminal punishment.

Jura and Batbayar

Technical staff on the River Volga.


ANIMALS

Goyo

Yellow Dog's horse.

Lemur

A small primate.


ORGANISATIONS

Nestorians

A christian sect.

Kuchlug Special Administrative Volume

A political division of Mongol space.

Kiriltuk, Tatatunga, and Chilagun administrative volumes

More political divisions of Mongol space.

Sorkan-Shira

Pony renters.

Zarnuk

Silk manufacturers.

New Far Samarkand Mutual Insurance

Insurance company.

Blue Heaven

A Mongol intelligence group.

New High Karakorum

An administrative volume of dubious legality.

Shining Caliphate

Political body where Muhanaad is from. The Shining Ones.


PLACES

Gansu Nexus

A Mongol star system where major trunk routes converged.

Kherlen Corridor

A wide transport region of Mongol space.

The Parvan Tract

A notoriously rough passage of Mongol space.

Qing Shui

A moon under Qilian's control.

Greater Mongolia

Area of Earth. Mongolia, parts of China and Russia.


RACES

Khorkoi

Aliens who left relics and FTL universe shifting tech.

Fish People

Another Galactic Empire race from another universe.

Thin Men

Another Galactic Empire race.

Smiling Ones

A reptile Galactic Empire. Do not appreciate monkeyboys of any variety.


CONCEPTS

Founder's Day

A Mongol holiday.

Mongol Expansion

Mongols in space and Galactic Empires.

Centromeric

The most condensed and constricted region of a chromosome, to which the spindle fiber is attached during mitosis.

Li

A Chinese measurement of distance.


FOOD

Temujin Brand Airag

Grog.

Death Worm Airag

Very strong grog.


VEHICLES

Burkhan Khaldun

A spaceship.

Black Heart Mountain

A larger ship.

River Volga

A hardened exploration ship.

Mandate of Heaven

An exploration ship slaved to the River Volga.



TECHNOLOGY

Infrastructure

Superluminal machinery of khorkoi origin through which you can travel to other universes. A bit unstable.



PLOT

Yellow Dog is a spy in Mongol Space. She is busted, and Qilian, a warlord of one of those good old lawless type regions of a Galactic Empire has some interesting alien technology, of multiple varieties. The space 'phantoms' are aliens from other realities.

He has a ship, and they find a man alive - someone who has been altered to pilot ships by connecting them. He is from another universe, and they decide to put him to use, even if they can't torture everything they want out of him.

However, in an unstable Infrastructure with a pilot you do not fully understand you just might end up in another universe. And even if you have an advanced ship, other Galactic Empires are full of hi tech nastiness and weapons, too. Eventually you will run out of luck trying to find your way back home.

The pilot Muhunnad is from an Arab Empire, and was made a pilot because he was a criminal that got caught. Qilian he would be happy to be rid of, to be his own master for a time - and in the inevitable one fight too many for the River Volga, he finesses things to fool Qilian into abandoning ship, and gets himself and Ariuuna out of there as best he can - but to where, he can't control.


4.5 out of 5

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