Troika by Alastair Reynolds

I was reading an article about hard science fiction and found a reference toTroika the author Alastair Reynolds, and a list of his books.  This particular title caught my eye because it was a novella.  As I am not usually a big fan of science fiction, but like brevity, I figured it would be a quick read.  It was, and was surprisingly accessible.

Troika brings us to a future second Soviet Union, in which Mother Russia has topped, technologically, anything else in the world, especially in the field of space travel.

Dimitri Ivanov is one of three cosmonauts charged with discovering the mystery of what is known as the Matryoshka, an immense space object that reappears in orbit once every twelve years.  There have been other attempts, some disastrous, to fathom the purpose behind this machine or entity.  Apart from its massive presence and imperviousness, though, the Matryoshka doesn’t appear to be a threat to Earth.

Dimitri and one of his co-workers actually gain entry into the Matryoshka, although it’s very touch and go.  And what they find is — well, you’ll have to read it.

The book begins with an escapee from an institution, somewhere in the dead cold of a Russian winter, and goes from this, presumably the present in the book, to the retelling of what actually went on with the exploration of the Matryoshka.

At least, we can presume this.

(William Hicks, Information Services)