Following an accident that almost cost him his life, Howard Falcon was not so much saved as he was converted, through the use of prosthetics, into something faster, stronger and smarter ...but also slightly less human and more machine than he was. And with this change came an opportunity - that of piloting a mission into Jupiter's atmosphere, and ultimately of making first contact with the life forms he discovers there. Picking up the threads of humanity versus artificial intelligences and machines, and of encounters with the alien, this collaborative novel between two superb writers is a sequel to Howard Falcon's adventures. A proper science fiction adventure, this is perfect for fans of Golden Age SF as well as the modern SF reader.
I have never read Alastair Reynolds so I can't say a lot about him, but I have tried a Stephen Baxter book and I must say it felt very Baxter like.
It is the story of Howard Falcon, through out centuries, as he just lives on, watches and plays a part. Because after a crash he is now not human, not machine. Trusted and mistrusted by other humans as they spread out and settle on planets.
It's not one of those stories where you are told this and that happened. Nope, we get to see him visit a planet. 200 years later we get to see him doing something else. There are big jumps in time and while seeing that we also see the rise and fall of others. Shimps. The machines. Humans...
Jupiter had an interesting eco-system.....you will see.
It is hard to explain this book. Each story can stand on its own, even though they are tales from his life and they should of course be read like that since it is a book, but you get the idea. And they are interesting. He is a good character to follow, there is a sadness to him, he is one of a kind, there was never anyone like him. Or would ever be.
A fascinating story. I like that how far we make it, we are still humans, and that is not always a good thing.
On another note, I should read more Baxter, and try Reynolds
Paperback, 327 pages
Published May 8th 2016 by Gollancz