Yes, it’s Alastair Reynolds again. But not another big novel this time. Diamond Dogs, Turquoise Days is a much smaller book containing two previously published shorter works set in the same universe as Revelation Space, Chasm City and Redemption Ark.
Diamond Dogs involves a group who explore an alien structure dubbed Blood Spire, which rather in the manner of an adventure game, involves solving mathematical puzzles to open doors. While solving the puzzles would be enough of a problem, Blood Spire punishes failure with extreme force. As the group progresses through the many rooms, the survivors have to modify themselves in order to pass through as each door is slightly smaller than the last. Nasty things happen, deceptions are uncovered, and some changes are more permanent than expected. As Reynolds acknowledges on his website, this was inspired by the Algis Budrys classic Rogue Moon. And a nod to David Bowie for the title, of course.
Turquoise Days, which I’ve read before, possibly in an anthology, but I can’t remember when, gives more insight into the Pattern Jugglers, aquatic aliens mentioned indirectly in the novels. The work of researchers on Turquoise, an isolated water planet, is disrupted by unexpected visitors with a hidden agenda. (There’s a lot of those in Reynolds’ books).