Alastair Reynolds is a Welsh author of a number of sci-fi novels, which have the tendency to be about as far up Mohs Scale of Sci-Fi Hardness as it's possible to get while still remaining recognizably Space Opera. Of particular note is the almost total lack of Faster-Than-Light Travel in most of his books, despite their interstellar settings, and the extreme cultural and technological divergences shown.
Pushing Ice: 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.
Harvest of Time, a Doctor Who novel, starring the Third Doctor.
Troika: A novella about three Soviet cosmonauts on a mission to investigate an alien structure.
Tropes in Alastair Reynolds works (for Revelation Space tropes, see that series' page):
Alternate History: A pseudo-version of this is is used in the novel Century Rain, with 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 World War II (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 one of many 'quantum snapshots' of Earth at different time periods, all done by a mysterious missing alien race.
Dreadful Musician: Averted in Century Rain: in an early scene the protagonist is walking into a superior's office while he plays a violin, with her Internal Monologue 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?
Eldritch Abomination: Doubtless whatever it is that exists outside the megastructure in Pushing Ice.
Emergency Transformation: In Pushing Ice, 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.
Grey Goo: 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.
Mechanical Evolution: Played with in Zima Blue. 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.
Neo-Africa: One of the primary settings of Blue Remembered Earth.
Our Wormholes Are Different: 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.
The Unpronounceable: Slasher names in Century Rain. To speed up communication, they have modified themselves to have a Syrinx, so their names are literally unpronouncable to regular humans, who just don't have the necessary equipment to reproduce those sounds.