I just saw the video for Alejandro by Lady Gaga, and I couldn’t believe how much it reminded me of an Alastair Reynolds book.
The world Alastair paints for his readers is far-future: humans can live for centuries and are able to genetically modify themselves, yet the world they live in is still very full of pain and suffering, much of it self-inflicted. The awe of long-distance star travel is coupled with dangerous and painful conditions for travellers that make it possible.
There’s this overwhelming sense of discomfort and unease in the books, like something terrible is going to happen. Most of humanity lives in an asteroid belt called The Glimmer Band, and it is full of remnants of previous advanced technology that has been rendered unusable by an alien threat. Constant reminders of that pervade that remind the reader that not everything is alright in this future, and while its unspoken much of the population seems to think the same. This has given way to bizarre decadence by some, and masochistic religious cults in others in the world of The Glimmer Band.
I liked the books, yet I have a hard time reading them: none of the main characters are likable, and terrible things happen to people. Everyone is uncomfortable, sleep-deprived, on-edge, going crazy or all of the above.
Like I said, I got pretty much the same feeling when I watched the video for Alejandro.
Anyways, here’s a Rusko rework of the Gaga original (via Gotta Dance Dirty)