I finished reading Alastair Reynolds’ “The Prefect” yesterday. It’s set in the Revelation Space universe (in the Glitter Band, before the Melding Plague) and comes in fairly short at ~400 pages (which I read in two suitably epic evening sessions).
It’s very much a page-turner, and I feel he is improving from book to book. Two things weren’t handled terribly (the Thalia Ng strand was not quite as exciting and important as the others, and the reveal about what happened 11 years back doesn’t IMO justify the actions taken afterward by the Supreme Prefect as well as the people at the scene).
So, if you hated Reynolds before, you might hate this book a bit less, everyone else will probably like it as much as I did (which is a lot). I feel this is a good stand-alone novel (in the way things start, move forward, and end) but the other books also add a lot of nicely interwoven additional background information; so I find it hard to judge how I would’ve felt about the book had I not read the other books…
A slightly bigger release, which brings two major changes. Not compatible with older files due to the the reorder-changes. The improvements to bit.c are not terribly well tested. More here, as usual. As an aside, Kompressor is now served in a ZIP-archive, instead of a DMG…
- Overhauled the reordering-code to make the table used independent of the aspect-ratio of the image. This makes old images incompatible with this version of the code. The smallest dimension (in wv_create_reorder_table) is now relevant for the largest table entry. Any image whose smallest dimension is smaller than the one used to create the table originally can safely use it.
- Added a “min bits” criterion to the scheduler, that reserves a certain amount of bits for certain channels. Perceived image quality has improved a fair amount, the same default values are used in Kompressor and main.c.
- We can now pass a write buffer into bit_open(), added bit_free() for deallocating automatically allocated regions. Only accepts lower-case mode-strings now.
- Fixed (and simplified) scheduler preparations for very large absolute target errors.
I finished this the day before yesterday (on PS3). It is quite hard-hitting in a few places, and I did very much enjoy the story-telling (great voice acting!) and vibe of the game.
Definitely not perfect but excellent while it lasts…