So this week I was reading Redemption Ark, by Alastair Reynolds:
Redemption Ark is the second book in the Revelation Space series, the first one being the eponymous Revelation Space*, which I read quite some time ago** and unfortunately don’t really remember all that well. I think the premise was that there’s Something Out There that wipes out civilizations when they poke their heads up too far out of their own solar systems, which makes it somewhat similar to The Dark Forest. Anyway I’m sure it’ll come back to me as I go along. Or not. Either way, it’s still all good SF, right?
“Why are you answering me now, you bastard? I can see you’ve left me to die.”
“I’m curious, that’s all.” He held his breath, half-expecting that she would not reply.
“About what made you ask for our help. Aren’t you terrified of what we’ll do to you?”
“Why should I be terrified?”
She sounded nonchalant but Clavain wasn’t fooled. “It’s generally our policy to assimilate captured prisoners, Bax. We’d bring you aboard and feed our machines into your brain. Doesn’t that concern you?”
“Yes, but I’ll tell you what concerns me a fuck of a lot more right now, and that’s hitting this fucking planet.”Alastair Reynolds, Redemption Ark
Priorities! Also, hmm …
Meanwhile, believe it or not, the outline is finished and weekend work has resumed on Blue Roses! In this scene, one of the characters has discovered that, despite having been pulled into a tree, her phone still works. According to the outline, this is going to become important …
“I wonder what kind of wooden chair we’re talking about,” Carol said.
“Some kind of torture device, maybe?” Felix said. “Maybe they put you in it and poke you with sharp sticks until you tell them what they want to know.”
“You don’t have to sound so cheerful about it,” Baxter said. “Anyway what could I tell anybody? I don’t know anything.”
“You know something,” the squirrel said. “You just don’t know you know it.”
“Okay, well, if I don’t know I know it, torturing me isn’t going to get it out of me.” He thought for a moment. “Maybe they’ll torture you. You know stuff.”
“I’m too quick for them,” the squirrel said.James V. Viscosi, Blue Roses
* Unless you count the add-ons of The Prefect, Elysium Fire, and Chasm City, which are, apparently, books “0.1”, “0.2”, and “0.5”, respectively; because why should we be limited to whole number installments?
** Redemption Ark has been on my reader since 2018, if that tells you anything. For a while I was letting the Gods of Randomness choose my next read from my entire collection of unread books, but last year I decided that was causing books to languish indefinitely, so now I’m restricting said Gods to whatever the oldest year on said reader is.