Alastair Preston Reynolds (born 13 March 1966) is a [[UsefulNotes/{{Wales}} Welsh]] author of a number of science fiction novels and short stories. He's a former physicist and astronomer for UsefulNotes/{{ESA}}, which he worked for during the 1990s and early 2000s, before becoming a full-time writer. Considering his scientific background, these works have the tendency to be about as far up MohsScaleOfSciFiHardness as it's possible to get while still remaining recognizably SpaceOpera. Of particular note is his near-total avoidance of FasterThanLightTravel, despite their interstellar settings, and the extreme cultural and technological divergences shown.

Reynolds is considered one of the main British examples of "[[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_New_Space_Opera The New Space Opera]]" generation of SF writers, alongside Creator/PeterFHamilton and several others.

He's a big fan of music and has a healthy sense of humour.

[[http://www.alastairreynolds.com/ Reynolds' Website]]

[[http://approachingpavonis.blogspot.com/ Reynolds' Blog]]

!!His works include:
* Novels
** Literature/{{Revelation Space|Series}} series: CosmicHorror-tinged HardScienceFiction SpaceOpera in which 26th century mankind tries to discover why [[AbsentAliens all the other intelligent species they find evidence of seem to have gone mysteriously extinct]].
** ''Literature/PushingIce'': When Janus (the moon of Saturn) suddenly starts accelerating out of the solar system, an ice-mining ship that happens to be nearby is tasked with investigating, only to find itself pulled along for the journey.
** ''Century Rain'': Many years after a nanotech disaster has ruined Earth, an archaeologist discovers a [[PortalToThePast time portal]] to an AlternateHistory 1950's UsefulNotes/{{Paris}}.
** ''Literature/HouseOfSuns'': A SpaceOpera set in the year [[TimeAbyss 6.2x10^6 AD]], which a dynasty of clones struggle to find out who is trying to eradicate them.
** ''Literature/TerminalWorld'': Taking place thousands of years into a [[CrapsackWorld bleak future]], the novel concerns the [[AfterTheEnd last remaining city of mankind]], the strange reality warps around it that limit the [[TechnologyLevels level of technology]] people can build, and a [[TheExile doctor's exile]] from that city into the wastelands beyond.
** The Poseidon's Children trilogy made up of''Literature/BlueRememberedEarth'', ''Literature/OnTheSteelBreeze'' and ''Literature/PoseidonsWake''.
** ''Revenger:'' The teenaged Ness sisters join a ship which scavenges tech from precursor worlds. The older sister gets kidnapped by SpacePirates, and the younger sister [[HeWhoFightsMonsters will do anything]] to get her back.
* Tie-in novels
** ''Harvest of Time'', a ''Series/DoctorWho'' novel starring the Third Doctor, the Master and Jo Grant.
* Short fiction collections
** ''Zima Blue and Other Stories''
** ''Deep Navigation'', a collection.
** ''Troika'': A novella in which three Soviet cosmonauts on a mission to investigate an alien structure.
** ''Slow Bullets'': A novella in which a malfunctioning starship maroons its war criminal passengers 2000 years in the future.
** ''Beyond the Aquila Rift: The Best of Alastair Reynolds''
!!Tropes in Alastair Reynolds' works that don't have their own page:

* AlternateHistory: A [[PlayingWithATrope pseudo-version of this]] is is used in the novel ''Century Rain'', with [[spoiler:Earth-Two, an exact copy of planet Earth in a different part of the Galaxy, on which the only difference is a 1940s-50s level of society and technology and the non-existance of UsefulNotes/WorldWarII (it ''started'', but the Nazi offensive bogged down in the Ardennes, bringing an early end to the conflict, with far-from-happy consequences). It is later revealed to be [[spoiler: one of many 'quantum snapshots' of Earth at different time periods, all done by a mysterious missing alien race.]]
* AMindIsATerribleThingToRead: Blue Remembered Earth. The weird bit is that the mind reader is [[spoiler:an elephant]].
* BrownNote: Comes in song format in the short story ''Digital to Analogue''.
* CityOfCanals: The short story "Zima Blue" has a planet with "one hudred and seventy first known duplicate of Venice, and one of only three Venices rendered entirely in white marble."
* CruelAndUnusualDeath: In the short story ''Byrd Land Six'' two members of the antarctic station personnel killed by [[BodyHorror merging]] with the landscape.
* DeusExNukina: A final solution to the problem in [[spoiler:''Byrd Land Six'']].
* DieselPunk: In a FilmNoir variation, the quantum "snapshot" Earth in ''Century Rain''.
* DreadfulMusician: Averted in Century Rain: in an early scene the protagonist is walking into a superior's office while he plays a violin, with her InternalMonologue noting how grating and painful the music is. It is then revealed that she, along with a large portion of the rest of the human race, were infected with a designer-disease called 'amusica', which prevented people from enjoying music, to ruin their side's morale. After all, someone who can't appreciate music can't get patriotic fervor from their anthems, now can they?
* EarthAllAlong: The story "Merlin's Gun" contains a variant: it is obvious to the reader that part of the story takes place in our (long-abandoned) solar system, but the characters never realise where they are.
* EldritchAbomination: Doubtless whatever it is that exists outside the [[spoiler:megastructure]] in ''Pushing Ice''.
* EmergencyTransformation: In ''Pushing Ice'', [[spoiler:near the end, Bella is killed and her brain damaged to the point that it can no longer be reconstructed, until Svetlana tells the alien doctors to fill in the gaps with her own brain patterns. This brings her back, but as a confused amalgam of two people]].
* GreyGoo: Caused the abandonment of Earth in ''Century Rain''; one type of nanobots in the air to affect weather patterns went rogue, so they made nanobots to combat those, which went rogue, and so on and so forth. The Grey Goo is then ''weaponized'' decades later by the descendants of the survivors and used as a weapon of mass destruction.
* HumanAllAlong: The ruthless enemies from [[spoiler:''Merlin's Gun'']] turned out to be transhuman cyborgs.
* HumanitysWake: The short story ''Fresco'' takes place long after extinction of humanity.
* HyperspaceLanes: The Waynet in "Merlin's Gun." There is the slight problem that the (human) Waymaker civilisation has been dead for at least tens of thousands of years, and no one knows how to enter the Waynet any more. But Merlin finds a way.
* LinkedListClueMethodology: The plot of ''Blue Remembered Earth''.
* MechanicalEvolution: Played with in ''Zima Blue''. [[spoiler: Zima was originally a ''pool cleaning robot'', who was upgraded over decades by the descendants of his creator. Eventually, he does the upgrades on his own.]]
* OurWormholesAreDifferent: In the short story ''Beyond the Aquila Rift'', ships travel between worlds using an abandoned FTL network. The ships need to carry millions of tiny screens which project "runes" onto the ship's exterior, which the alien portal network interprets as where the ship wants to go.
* {{Precursors}}: Most of his novels are about discovering some Precursor relics, then watching as they do something barely explicable and usually violent.
* PunnyName: The ''Rockhopper'' mining spacecraft from ''Pushing Ice''. Its mascot is the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Rockhopper_Penguin eponymous]] [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins cute species of penguin]] and... [[DontExplainTheJoke you know]]... the ship's routine flights involve "hopping" from one asteroid or comet to the next.
* QuantumMechanicsCanDoAnything: Lampshaded in ''Century Rain'':
-->"We call it a quantum snapshot, but that doesn't mean we have clue one about what was involved in producing it. That's just a name we give it to hide our ignorance."
* ShoutOut:
** In ''Century Rain'', the transhuman Slasher faction identify themselves by a strange gesture in the air - [[Website/{{Slashdot}} a diagonal slashing motion followed by a poked dot]].
** There are at least two shout-outs to ''Literature/BookOfTheNewSun'' in ''Literature/HouseOfSuns'': the Vigilance's methods of immortality, and (''Book of the New Sun'' spoiler) [[spoiler: a robot with a human arm]].
** The entirety of House of Suns is constructed out of Alan Parsons Project references. Two antagonists that are featured prominently in the novel are [[Music/KingCrimson Cadence and Cascade]].
** In his commentary on the short stories in ''Zima Blue'', Reynolds acknowledges that the titles of "Cardiff Afterlife" and "Everlasting" are taken from the names of Music/ManicStreetPreachers songs.
* TimeDilation: Ubiquitous; especially relevant to ''Pushing Ice''.
* TheStarsAreGoingOut: The Absence in ''House of Suns'' causes [[{{HSQ}} Andromeda to disappear]].
* TheUnpronounceable: Slasher names in ''Century Rain''. To speed up communication, they have modified themselves to have a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Syrinx_%28bird_anatomy%29 Syrinx]], so their names are literally unpronouncable to regular humans, who just don't have the necessary equipment to reproduce those sounds.
* WhoWantsToLiveForever: Zima in ''Zima Blue''
* YouCantGoHomeAgain: [[spoiler:Essentially what kickstarts the plot of ''Pushing Ice''.]]
** Also this is a plot of the short story ''Beyond the Aquila Rift''.