12: Absolution Gap: Alastair Reynolds: ISBN 0-575-07434-5
Alastair Reynolds is one of the newish faces of British SF. It's not so many years since he first hit the scene with Revelation Space, which really was a revelation. A great new space opera full of neat ideas, and characters that weren't just one-dimensional, and a plot with twists and turns that kept you going right up until the end. The sequels (Chasm City, Redemption Ark and now Absolution Gap) have not disappointed. They're all set in the same universe, and are a definite series in terms of long-term plot, though each probably stands fairly well on its own. Characters return from one to the next, despite spans of centuries, but new characters keep being woven in, along with the occasional new and interesting race of aliens, or unusual strain of humanity. This one weaves two stories in systems light-years apart in space and a quarter of a century apart in time. Gradually it becomes clear how they are connected, and why, but it's a great journey. I'd recommend these to anyone who loves good SF, and certainly recommend reading them through in order. A new novel, Century Rain, is due in October. Whether it's in the same series or something new I don't know, but I shall be looking forward to it.