Ffuglen wyddonol sy'n adrodd stori Spearpoint, y ddinas ddynol ddiwethaf yn y bydysawd. Ysgrifennwyd gan Alastair Reynolds, brodor o'r Barri, a fu'n gweithio am gyfnod fel astroffisegwr.
Spearpoint, the last human city, is an atmosphere-piercing spire of vast size. Clinging to its skin are the zones, a series of semi-autonomous city-states, each of which enjoys a different - and rigidly enforced - level of technology. Horsetown is pre-industrial; in Neon Heights they have television and electric trains ...
Terminal World revolves around Spearpoint, the last bastion of civilisation on Earth, a screw-shaped 'Godscraper' of a city that reaches into space. Spearpoint is also a cross-section of human development, as the city is divided into zones that can support differing levels of mechanisation, from steam power to nanotechnology. Alastair Reynolds has created a text that shifts as mercurially as the zones. He uses the 'puzzle' motif to link the crime-thriller opening to the steampunk curiosities, sci-fi horrors, post-apocalyptic landscapes and aerial swashbuckling of later chapters. Using the reference points of technology and religion, he calls into question hierarchies of the physical world as well as hierarchies of human evolution and, ultimately, of literary categorisation.
Quillon is an unlikely protagonist, a goulish-looking fallen angel, a pathologist. However, his medical background means that he is a healer as well as a fighter, something that provides balance during the more combative sections of the novel. This book isn't for the squeamish: there are some very grisly, nightmare-inducing encounters with 'carnivorgs'. Reynolds is on firm ground in the midst of a battle scene, showcasing the damage done by angel guns and cannon fire, teeth and metal claws. Quillon's uncomfortable position as an exile means that he is constantly mobile, allowing Reynolds to demonstrate the breadth of his imagination in ever-changing environments. However, the narrative is ultimately limited by its loyalty to Quillon's point of view; on occasion a little more intervention on the part of the narrator, or a switch to a different voice, could have stopped the pace from flagging.
Quillon forges convincing relationships with tough, violent characters as well as vulnerable, cosmically important ones. The extent of his social mobility stretches beyond feasible limits at times, but this allows the reader to be introduced to steam-powered gangsters, airborne intellectual dictators, mad machines, ex-cops and angels. Quillon's guide, Meroka, and his allies are able to trace a path through the complexities of this far-future Earth; their character development is about the only thing that stays on course. Along the way they shed light on the nature of Spearpoint, even as they are called upon to avert a disaster. Action is pitted well against suspense, and while the reader gets a glimpse of the inner-workings of Spearpoint, Terminal World leaves enough questions hanging mid-air to undercut the finality of its title.
It is possible to use this review for promotional purposes, but the following acknowledgement should be included: A review from www.gwales.com, with the permission of the Welsh Books Council.
Gellir defnyddio’r adolygiad hwn at bwrpas hybu, ond gofynnir i chi gynnwys y gydnabyddiaeth ganlynol: Adolygiad oddi ar www.gwales.com, trwy ganiatâd Cyngor Llyfrau Cymru.