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Turquoise Days by Alastair Reynolds

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"Turquoise Days" is a 2002 science fiction novella by Alastair Reynolds. It is about a woman whose swim with ocean dwelling aliens causes dramatic changes in her life.

More Alastair Reynolds

Last week I reviewed the first story in Alastair Reynolds “Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days” book, so this week I thought I would review the second story: "Turquoise Days". It is another great story, and is completely different from "Diamond Dogs". Give it a try, I think you will like it.

Non-spoiler Summary in a Nutshell

Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days

Turquoise is one of a handful of planets that is home to the strange aliens known as the Pattern Jugglers. People (or other aliens) who swim with the Pattern Jugglers often have amazing experiences – such as their brain patterns and memories being recorded in the vast ocean network – and sometimes the Jugglers re-wire the swimmers’ brains with outstanding new abilities. Sounds cool doesn’t it? That’s what Naqi and her sister think, which is why they spend their lives doing scientific research on the Pattern Jugglers. All is going well until two things happen: her susceptible sister decides to throw caution to the wind and swim with the Jugglers, and a large spaceship enters orbit around Turquoise. The first event proves extremely sad, but it ultimately helps Naqi as seemingly benign visitors from another world slowly reveal their dark intentions. The question is will Naqi’s swim with the Pattern Jugglers help her solve her world’s greatest problem? Only Naqi (oh – and the few million recorded individuals) can tell.

Interesting Tidbits About This Story:

  • Page Count: 150
  • "Turquoise Days" placed 9th in the 2003 Locus Poll for Best Novella.

Where You Can Find Turquoise Days:

Craving More Science Fiction Short Stories?

If you liked "Turquoise Days" then you will probably also enjoy Oceanic by Greg Egan – about an ocean dwelling man living on the planet Covenant, and how the events of his life take him from religious zealot to non-believing academic.

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