wikipedia). Since then he spezializes in hard science fiction and space opera. The short story collection "Deep Navigation" shows his mastership ( amazon ).
The 15 stories are pure hard science fiction - they all are based on science. Reynolds shows the skill to transform a scientific concept into a thrilling plot. One story is a based on the laws of thermodynamics which leads to dramatical results (I don´t say which, this is a spoiler free blog), another story is build on quantum physics. One story involves evolution, especially how some alien spezies adapted to extreme & exotic environments. Some stories deal with the hypothesis of a multiverse, a hypothetical set of finite and infinite possible universes, including the universe in which we live ( wikipedia) or play with the idea of a singularity, when intelligent machines have overtaken the earth.
I enjoyed reading all 15 stories. 3 of them are my favorites:
"The Fixation" is set in an alternate world, a very modern Persia. Museum agents are restoring a very ancient machine. Someone has a fascinating idea how to refurbish the device.
"Monkey Suit" is about an engineer who is repairing the
hull of a huge spaceship in outer space - a very tedious, dangerous
& responsible task. Reminds me of Stanislaw Lem`s space pilot Pirx stories, but much more advanced.
"Byrd Land Six" is a thriller set in a scientific base on Antartica.
There are more remarkable stories:
"Stroboscopic": A professional player participates in a dangerous game with alien arthropods.
"The Fury": The bodyguard of the galactic emperor investigates his boss` assassination
"The Star Surgeon`s Apprentice" is an adventure story set on a space ship.
Reading Alistair Reynolds is highly recommended for all lovers of real (hard) science fiction and this short story collection is a good entry point.