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1. Flood
2. Evolution
3. Ark
4. Manifold: Space
5. Weaver (Time's Tapestry)
6. Navigator: Time's Tapestry, Book
7. Titan
8. Phase Space
9. Voyage
10. Weaver: Time's Tapestry, Book
11. Timelike Infinity
12. Conqueror: Time's Tapestry Book
13. Coalescent: A Novel (Destiny's
14. Conqueror: Time's Tapestry Book
15. Manifold: Time
16. Raft
17. Emperor: Time's Tapestry Book
18. Moonseed
19. Exultant (Destiny's Children)
20. Sunstorm (A Time Odyssey)

1. Flood
by Stephen Baxter
Hardcover: 496 Pages (2009-05-05)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$5.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B002XULY2S
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The "deeply scary"(BBC Focus) new novel from a national bestselling and critically acclaimed author.

Four hostages are rescued from a group of religious extremists in Barcelona. After five years of being held captive together, they make a vow to always watch out for one another. But they never expected this...

The world they have returned to has been transformed by water-and the water is rising. As it continues to flow from the earth's mantle, entire countries disappear. High ground becomes a precious commodity. And finally, the dreadful truth is revealed: before fifty years have passed, there will be nowhere left to run... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (49)

5-0 out of 5 stars Anyone for Doomsday?
Take a look at my bookshelf or my collection and you will see that while Zombies tend to be my favorite literary genre, I also have a vice for anything post-apocalyptic. I've read my fair share of them (The Stand, Lucifer's Hammer, Titan, Moonseed), and "Flood" ranks up there among the best.
Stephen Baxter has really outdone himself with this one. Rather than a world decimated by nuclear war, or global warming, or asteroid impacts, "Flood" is a novel in which our beloved planet Earth, slowly, over a period of 50 years, drowns in rising flood waters.
Like I said, I'm a huge fan of PA novels, so with each new one I start, I'm always a bit weary, always comparing each novel to the ones I've read in the past. Now, I believe I will have to compare all novels to "Flood". This book was, for lack of a better word, outstanding. It wasn't just the story, the characters, and the impecable, easy to understand science, but it was also the attention to detail, the rich emotions, and the epic length of time Baxter was able to cover in only 480 pages. It was also the originality as well. Global Warming as a means to an end is no longer scary. Nuclear war is tired and overused. But what happens when our worst fears (the extinction of mankind) are brought on by something we can't stop? What do we do when our world is flooded and we can do nothing about it?
"Flood" was an amazing look at that very question and an amazing novel as well. My only problem? Too short. I easily could have continued to read for hundreds more pages!

1-0 out of 5 stars A sleep aid, in printed form
I will end up reading around 100 or so books this year, and, barring another printed and bound catastrophe entering my life, this will have to go down as the worst I have read this year.Characters, such as they were, never really developed, the dialog was painful and predictable, and there was very little scientific explanation for the flooding besides water just coming up from the inner parts of the earth.Besides the main characters in the book, (who get frisked about the drowning planet by some Haliburton version of Greenpeace), the rest of the world is described in no real detail besides suffering and wet.If I purchased this in paperback form at an airport before an international flight, I would leave it on the aircraft after my tray is in the full upright position before landing.Cheers.

2-0 out of 5 stars Weak concepts, characters
The main concept of this book might work in a quick two hour movie with lots of special effects that don't give you time to evaluate the possibilities of the plot. However, it's not easy to ignore the laws of physics entirely over the course of reading a book. The main protagonists start out with some appeal, but they seem to lose their ability for independent thought almost immediately. The standard response when someone appealed to their sense of morality was "you're an idiot". The detailed descriptions of English geography took a toll on my attention span as well. I admit that I did make it through to the end of the book, but I was relieved when it was over.

5-0 out of 5 stars Helluva book
Frightening. Plausible. Sad. I couldn't stop reading, until the Kindle battery ran down and I had to let it charge for a while. Like no flood story ever. I liked the characters, well, the likable ones. But even the unlikable ones resonated. No question I'll be moving on to Ark. And many more of Baxter's works.

1-0 out of 5 stars Pure boredom
I was hoping for something interesting. This book was pure boredom. The characters seemed superficial and artificial. The descriptions of the floods are repetitive. I stopped reading one quarter through the book, looked at the end and saw nothing redeeming there either. A few-pages essay or short story might have been better. ... Read more

2. Evolution
by Stephen Baxter
Mass Market Paperback: 656 Pages (2004-02-03)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345457838
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Stretching from the distant past into the remote future, from primordial Earth to the stars, Evolution is a soaring symphony of struggle, extinction, and survival; a dazzling epic that combines a dozen scientific disciplines and a cast of unforgettable characters to convey the grand drama of evolution in all its awesome majesty and rigorous beauty. Sixty-five million years ago, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, there lived a small mammal, a proto-primate of the species Purgatorius. From this humble beginning, Baxter traces the human lineage forward through time. The adventure that unfolds is a gripping odyssey governed by chance and competition, a perilous journey to an uncertain destination along a route beset by sudden and catastrophic upheavals. It is a route that ends, for most species, in stagnation or extinction. Why should humanity escape this fate?Amazon.com Review
Following up his cosmic Manifold series, Stephen Baxter peers back on a more prosaic history in the worthy yet uneven Evolution. The book is nothing less than a novelization of human evolution, a mega-Michener treatment of 65 million years starring a host of smart, furry primates representing Homo sapiens's ancestry. Each stage of our ancestry is represented by a character of progressively increasing intelligence, empathy, and brain size, who must survive predation and other perils long enough to keep the natural-selection ball rolling. While Baxter carefully follows some widely accepted theories of evolution--punctuated equilibrium, for instance--he also strays from the known in postulating air whales and sentient, tool-wielding dinosaurs. And why not? There's nothing in the fossil record to contradict his musings about those things, or about the first instances of mammalian altruism and deception, which he also lets us observe. From little Purga, a shrewlike mammal scurrying under the feet of ankylosaurs, all the way through Ultimate, the last human descendant, Baxter adds drama and a strong story arc to our past and future. But he spends too much time on details of the various prehumans' lives, which can become repetitive: fight, mate, die, ad infinitum. And readers eager for a science-fictional adventure will only find satisfaction in the posthuman chapters at the end. Despite these flaws, Evolution grips the attention with an epoch-spanning tale of the random changes that rule our genetic heritage. Recommended. --Therese Littleton ... Read more

Customer Reviews (79)

1-0 out of 5 stars horrible
I am an avid and patient reader, an I also own most of the books Mr. Baxter wrote. By far this is the worst of them, and one of the worst books I ever touched...a disgrace.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Game of Chance
Take a walk with our ancestors (the primates) as they evolve over millions of years from Purgatorius, a small rodent like creature to a mammal that looks a lot like a lemur, then a monkey, next an ape and finally into the upright walkers like homo erectus...the neanderthals and more...

this books is science fiction...it's science faction...although Baxter says not to use it as a text book...this is a brillant look at evolution and probably my favorite science fiction book of all time.

The book begins as the comet (Devil's Tail) is about to smash into earth laying waste to every dinosaur on the planet (via firestorm and nuclear winter). It puts us center stage for one of the biggest mass extinctions in the history of our planet. The only survivors are turtles, crocodiles, sharks, some birds, rodents, and a small hominid named Purga.

Move through our evolutionary chain, as Baxter tells a story 65 million years in the making...and 500 million years beyond our present...

5-0 out of 5 stars Beyond today
Funny, although I enjoyed Stephen Baxter's ideas of our early ancestors and how they might have lived, and hypothesized their ability to make tools and reason, I thought that his projections to be more interesting. I can't look at my town's footprint now without thinking about what kind of heavy metals and poisons are soaking into the soil--only to be present and inflicting damage for eons beyond human life. I found the ending to be realistic; resembling a martian landscape which makes geologic sense in that the mountains do degrade into flatlands over time. This story sticks with you; once you read it, you can't forget it. Our human impact on Earth becomes even more relevant.

5-0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
I loved this book and author. This was the first book I read by Stephen Baxter and I very impressed at how good of a writer he is.

5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing book!!!
I love this book!It is fiction, of course, but well researched.So, what is this book?This book is the next best thing to a time machine.In fact, this is the book that I've always wanted to write myself.Now I don't have to! Yippee!Stephen did a far better job than I ever could anyway.I love history, and I love pre-history."History," the written record of human events, is all well and good.We have enormous amounts of information with which to reconstruct a narrative of human life, thought, troubles, and triumphs.Prehistory, on the other hand, is much different.We have lots of information, but the farther back in time you go the more speculative any narrative will be.I want a time machine so bad!!I want to set up a blind and watch the dinosaurs go about their day.I want to watch early primates as they branch out into different species, see them exploit different niches, and face the challenges that among one group favor the hominid way of doing things and ultimately leads to modern humans.This book gave me exactly what I wanted, lacking an actual time machine.It covers a great deal of time, 65 million years and more, in 600 or so pages.You get detailed little glimpses into the lives of our various ancestors.How they lived, how they thought, the problems they faced, etc.Speculation?Yes.Still, it's well researched and you get an honest sense of "being there."These encounters are brief due to the amount of time covered in one book.It's very well done though.There are several periods that I would love to see expanded into a stand alone novel.(Stephen, are you listening?)I am savoring this book.I am almost finished, and really look forward to seeing what the far future holds for humanity(this is fiction, remember) but I feel a real sense of dread as I near those last pages.I don't want it to end!I love books like this, and I hate books like this!Why must they end?Buy this book!!You will enjoy it! ... Read more

3. Ark
by Stephen Baxter
Hardcover: 544 Pages (2010-05-04)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$9.73
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B0043RT9H6
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
With the discovery of another life-sustaining planet light years away, there is hope for a chosen fewto leave the soon-to-be submerged Earth. Holle Groundwater is one of the candidates, having been trained for this purpose since childhood, when the ships Ark One and Ark Three were being built. But as Holle prepares to endure life aboard the Ark, she comes to realize that her attempt at escape may be more dangerous than trying to stay afloat on a drowning planet... ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sience-Fiction the way it should be
I was absolutely caught up in the previous book Flood and have been eagerly waiting for the sequel. Stephen Baxter used to be an excellent author when it came to technology but a little on the light side concerning people. He has improved a lot.

Ark is a very captivating follow up book. It took a few moments to get back into the storyline but once you identified the main characters you were caught up in the drama. Of course you have to buy the scenario that the Earth is flooded by underground oceans but that is the case with almost all Sf. If you don't buy light sabers, don't watch Star Wars.

There is a lot to wish for when a disaster like this strikes but the way the struggle on Earth was painted out was from my point of view realistic if maybe a little on the positive side. How can you describe a world were almost everyone is dying and not be graphic? The struggle surrounding the starship was obviously inspired by the US withdrawal from Saigon in the Vietnam war.

Life on the starship is also handled by Baxter in a way that I find realistic even if I fail to understand why no one made an serious effort to teach the children. The way people reacted and interacted, including the sex, could have been part of any isolated island story.

The Ending of the book keeps you hanging there wondering if any of these now four different groups will ever make it beyond the next few years. Clearly there are more books to write in this series. I will definitely buy all of them.

3-0 out of 5 stars Depressing
Utterly depressing. The stuff of nightmares. Read it only if you want to be haunted by the doomed. The only levity was in the Brit-speak vocabulary of the so-called "Americans" who were always saying things like "mind you" and "on the hop."

And how could the author be so cynical as to let the colonists of Earth II disappear without a trace---not even a few final paragraphs about their probably-terrible fate? Flood was great, even with the thought of humanity starting over on plastic rafts. But this sequel, the hopeful resolution we all deserved, was just more of the same. Without the fish.

4-0 out of 5 stars A sequel better than its predecessor
"Ark" is the sequel to Baxter's 2008 "Flood", and it is a more than worthy follow-up. In "Flood", the Earth's sea level begins to rise catastrophically in the late 2010s due to a release from subterranean stores.That novel is concerned with the "end of the world as we know it", in the 2010s-2040s.In "Ark", Baxter backs up a bit to 2025 and tells the story of a last-ditch effort to save something of humanity by building a faster-than-light starship that will take 80 specially selected and highly trained young adults to a new planet.The main character (although there are actually many) is Holle, daughter of one of the billionaires who help underwrite the project.

As with all of Stephen Baxter's novels, the science in the science fiction is great and the verisimilitude that comes from having a Ph.D in aerospace engineering is much in evidence duringthe entire novel.The first half is about the preparation for the launch of Ark 1 and the second is about the star trek itself.There are several unexpected plot twists, and a number of very realistic and unexpected problems that crop up at various times.Although I enoyed the book very much, I have to admit that in a couple of places I was very strongly reminded of scenes from "When Worlds Collide", both the 1932 book and the 1951 movie (both of which were outstanding and highly recommended if you like Ark).

There are several interesting characters (a few from Flood make small cameo appearances) including the crew's warp drive expert who turns out to have a unique psychological make-up, and several others who we get to see age from young candidates for crew selection to grandparents.There were a couple of plot problems - 80 people do not have nearly enough genetic variability to create a sustainable colony-, and there is one real baddie who would have been ripped limb from limb by the rest of the crew in real life I think, but who gets off better than scott-free here, but these are not fatal.

All-in-all, an exciting and well done (if not entirely original) sequel that surpasses its predecessor.

J.M. Tepper

2-0 out of 5 stars Meh
Let me start off by saying I am a huge fan of the sci-fi genre, alas, Space ships and warp drives do not a good sci-fi novel make. The story is borderline hilarious and it feels like one of those incredibly corny sci-fi channel B movies: a flood mysteriously begins to take over the land mass of the earth due to VAST underground lakes suddenly leaking their contents up into the world's oceans. All of this beginning in the year 2012... come on, Mr. Baxter. Feeding off the apocalyptic paranoia that has sprouted over the years and mixing it ever so slightly with Global Warming he has created this mediocre story that doesn't seem to go anywhere for a good while.
The story begins in the year 2040 and leaves you there for a couple pages and then sends you back in time to get the back story on the main character, Holle Groundwater... sounds like a name out of a novel filled with dwarves and dragons, but that's beside the point. The chapters that serve as backstory do not serve any real purpose other than to list a bunch of names of people you are supposed to get to know, in the few lines the speak and the very few actions they have. I could not sympathize with or empathize with ANY of the characters except, perhaps Holle. And the random scene of a young teenager rubbing one out for the pedophile teacher... could have done without that too, seeing as how it was already alluded to that there was molestation and underage sex going on. - no I do not have repressed issues, because I see comments about this from hecklers coming, it's just weird to have that scene randomly thrown in -
Contrary to another reviewer, I do not believe that this author hates babies: the theme is about babies being the future of mankind, so it only makes sense to allude to the dangers posed to them on the journey and to have the characters deal with these events. I do not think Ark is some type of political garbage heap about Global Warming and whatnot, it's just a very mediocre story.
Events moved by much too fast, and I feel that the entire backstory would have been much more entertaining and meaningful if the entire novel had been dedicated to it... so instead of racing through the lives of the characters at break-neck speeds, we could have taken the time to get to know them and actually feel something for them rather than just be indifferent towards them when they die or get left out of things, or get the daylights beaten out of them. The entire story could have been a trilogy: Flood, Ark, and then another novel that comprised the after-backstory element, as it stands "Ark" feels like one bad story with another 'could have been better' story quickly thrown in and just as quickly thrown out. And I chose to give it 2 stars because 1 and a half was not an option and I feel sorry enough to scale up rather than scale down.
If you're going to read it I suggest you either: take it out of a library, buy it at a bookstore and then return it after reading, or just buy the book used because it does not hold up well enough to be read again and it is not something that anyone who calls themselves a sci-fi fan would want to have on their shelf. Final words: should have been made into a sci-fi channel movie of the week because it's just as easily forgettable and it would have saved a lot of resources being wasted on its printing.

5-0 out of 5 stars A captivating, moving story no library should be without
ARK provides a fine, satisfying sequel to the flood-of-the-world novel FLOOD from 2009, this set in the year 2041 when the oceans are covering the earth. A chosen few have their sights set on fleeing the planet - and Holle's entire life has been one of training for this event. ARK is a captivating, moving story no library should be without!
... Read more

4. Manifold: Space
by Stephen Baxter
Mass Market Paperback: 512 Pages (2002-01-02)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$1.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345430786
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The year is 2020. Fueled by an insatiable curiosity, Reid Malenfant ventures to the far edge of the solar system, where he discovers a strange artifact left behind by an alien civilization: A gateway that functions as a kind of quantum transporter, allowing virtually instantaneous travel over the vast distances of interstellar space. What lies on the other side of the gateway?Malenfant decides to find out. Yet he will soon be faced with an impossible choice that will push him beyond terror, beyond sanity, beyond humanity itself. Meanwhile on Earth the Japanese scientist Nemoto fears her worst nightmares are coming true. Startling discoveries reveal that the Moon, Venus, even Mars once thrived with life, life that was snuffed out not just once but many times, in cycles of birth and destruction. And the next chilling cycle is set to begin again . . .
Amazon.com Review
Stephen Baxter follows up his Arthur C. Clarke Award nominee Manifold: Time with thesecond book in the Manifold series, Manifold: Space. In this novel,former shuttle pilot and astronaut Reid Malenfant meets his destiny onceagain in a tale that stretches the bounds of both space and time.

The year is 2020 and the Japanese have colonized the moon. The 60-year-old Malenfant is called there by a young scientist named Nemoto who has discovered something in the asteroid belt that can only mean humans arenot alone in the universe. The aliens seem robotic in nature and appear tobe building something in Earth's backyard. The Gaijin, as theyare called by humans, don't respond to communication efforts so an unmannedship is launched to investigate. In the meantime, Malenfant decides answersare only possible by mounting an expedition to Alpha Centauri, which may bewhere the Gaijin come from.

Baxter, who won the John W. Campbell Award and the Philip K. Dick Awardfor his novel The Time Ships, orchestrates a stunning array of scientific possibilities in Manifold: Space. Each chapter adds a new piece to his mosaic of humanity's future. The novel is admirable in its enormous scope, but it's hardto invest much emotion in the characters. Although they are well drawn,they vanish for long periods of time as Baxter leapfrogs through time and space.Manifold: Space, by its nature, lacks passion but excels in grand ideas. --Kathie Huddleston ... Read more

Customer Reviews (39)

4-0 out of 5 stars Cruel, austere, but immensely enjoyable.
(If you're not here for a spoiler, don't read past the spoiler line!)

If you're looking for jarheads in space, egyptian aliens, pod races and feel good endings about humankind's unique humanity you can step away now.

The rest of you can face the bloody harsh wind of Baxter's second attempt at explaining the Fermi paradox: if life just happens, why have we only found it on our planet? The book takes a long, descriptive path through the next few thousand years, painting on a grand scale what's going on in our stellar neighborhood. Relatively convincing quasi physics are woven into a surreal picture of space/time travelers, incomprehensible aliens, resource struggles on a ridiculous scale, and ultimately a cold, cold, unfortunately teetering universe.

The payoff for sticking with this very deliberately paced revelation of the universe's mechanical heart is gaining a moment of clarity where you get to pose yourself the question: If the universe is "just" the universe, sans the metaphysical we've imagined, if it really is just a big cooling explosion and we're just bizarre knots in the eddies of cooling gasses... do waffles and bacon still taste good?

***** HERE BE SPOILERS *****

For those who'd like a few more details before committing to the book:
Malenfant is back, and ends up with a key role again. He isn't the same Malenfant, just as this isn't the same universe as the first Manifold book. The idea here seems to be that Baxter is using each book to explore another answer to the Fermi paradox. Some of the first book's characters make cameos here, but there's a new cast to make room for too.

This time around, the answer to the paradox revolves around the idea that life does happen all over the place, but it gets wiped out all the time. This seems to happen on a period that allows for a sufficiently high degree of sophistication that the relics of those civilizations are incomprehensible to us. Baxter would like us to picture the idea thatsufficiently advanced resource plundering is indistinguishable from geology. As with the first book, he also casually tosses star engineering out there as part of his mechanism. Given the nature of the relics, the timescales involved, and the thoroughness of the "reboot" function, he paints a convincing picture of why we aren't seeing any evidence of others in the sky.

As per the first book, we follow our ragged collection of human observers out to the stars to observe all of this first hand en route to the melancholy final reveal. The pacing is slow and Baxter spends what feels like more time describing every nut and bolt compared to the first book. Given that the whole point of the book is to paint you a picture of this tragic universe though, this really is only a bad thing if you have a short attention span.

The punchline, the bit about our part to play, is refreshing. No magic invoked here, no triumph of vague spirit or ill defined virtue. Baxter calls us out for being what we manifestly demonstrate ourselves to be rather than what we'd like to think we are, and finds a use for it!

I very much enjoyed this book. Two thumbs (flecked with maple syrup) up.

4-0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly imaginative - a novel of epic proportions
"Space" is the second book in Stephen Baxter's Manifold trilogy, and a sequel of sorts to "Time", although it can also be read independently. Once again the central character is Reid Malenfant, an ex-NASA astronaut and failed entrepreneur. Obsessed with the search for extraterrestrial life, Malenfant seeks a solution to the Fermi paradox: given that the universe is billions of years old, if life exists out in the cosmos, why don't we see the evidence of it all about us? Thus when alien intelligence is detected out in the asteroid belt, Malenfant takes it upon himself to investigate, to make contact and ultimately to follow them back to the stars, through the mysterious blue portals through which they came.

The action unfolds over no less than 1,800 years, from the present day up to the thirty-eighth century, with the final, epic conclusion set another 5,000 years after that. In this way Baxter lays out a compelling vision of the possible long-term effects of Earth's contact with aliens. Unlike in "Time", where he employs an interesting mix of faux newspaper articles, blogs and journal entries to tell his story, in "Space" he sticks to a more conventional third-person narrative. The story is related through the perspective of four or five main characters, all of whom use the portals to travel to the stars and see life beyond Earth, and who, over the course of many years, become witnesses to the gradual decline of human civilisation.

The story is episodic in nature, and has the impression of a number of short stories loosely linked together. This can be frustrating for the reader, as there are enough intriguing ideas packed in this book to sustain half a dozen different novels. Each successive world is imaginatively drawn - from Earth, Io, Triton and Mercury to Alpha Centauri and far beyond - but Baxter tends to pass over them all very quickly, which does become tiresome. There comes a point about two-thirds of the way in when one wonders what the ultimate point is. Another result of the disjointed nature of the novel is that is difficult to feel fully engaged with the characters or get a sense of their development in these extraordinary circumstances. It is disappointing, too, that Malenfant - in principle a fascinating character - does not feature more, despite his centrality to the story. However, it is clear that this is not meant to be a character-driven novel so much as one based around ideas. Indeed "Space" has at its heart themes of human ambition and determination, consciousness and identity, self and soul, and the will to survive in a hostile universe, all of which are explored in depth.

In "Space", the author shows an imagination and consideration of the big questions of existence which is not often seen in most modern SF. It is true that there is less hard science and more scientifically-informed speculation than there was in "Time", but Baxter delivers it with such confidence that it hardly matters. This is truly a novel for the twenty-first century.

4-0 out of 5 stars Slow but good
Manifold is a series of books with big, visionary concepts, and Space is no different. This time the twist on the Fermi paradox has the aliens existing and actually quite near the Earth. Reid Malenfant investigates with a mysterious Japanese scientist Nemoto. The first contact is made and the truth starts to unfurl...

As I said, the ideas are big - seriously big. The flow of the story isn't always fast enough, it all gets a bit too slow at times. Still, one has to admire Baxter's vision and while parts of the book were slightly boring, the whole of the story was definitely captivating enough to get me through the slower bits.

Manifold: Space offers an interesting what-if scenario of the future of humankind in a world that has extraterrestrial life.

3-0 out of 5 stars Technically great, but ultimately cold and depressing
Manifold: Space is a very frustrating novel.As with its predecessor, Manifold: Time, it is brimming with great hard science surrounding a very good premise.In the Manifold series, Baxter gives detailed and extended perspectives to "Fermi's paradox".Fermi articulated that, due to the huge extent and age of the universe, either life on Earth is completely unique and we are alone in the universe (the basis of in Manifold: Time), or life must be everywhere and we simply have yet to discover it (as espoused in this novel).The paradox with the 2nd view is that if life is everywhere, the age of the universe implies that we cannot be the first cognitive, noise-making intelligence; why, then, haven't we found evidence of this other life?Baxter's answer to this paradox is quite interesting:he ties up the multiple story threads of Manifold: Space with a good ending.

Unfortunately, problems Baxter had with characterizations in Manifold: Time come to full flower in Manifold: Space.This novel is too seriously flawed too make it an overall enjoyable read.

There is a lack of any kind of human "community" in Manifold: Space.The various astronauts/space discoverers that are central to the story are all unhappy loners.They go into space alone, seemingly unaided, and appear to have no friends or colleagues.The first astronaut to set foot on Venus, as one example, never communicates with anyone beyond a single individual on earth, and that individual is also a loner.Baxter often beautifully elucidates the technical side of space exploration, but appears to have no clue as to the human elements. Manifold: Space is a cold unhappy story:interesting science populated by lonely, depressed individuals.

2-0 out of 5 stars MANIFOLD ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzz
Let me start by saying I am an avid Sci-Fi reader, the longer the book the better. I believe a good story takes a long time to tell ala Harry Turtledove. So when I read the plot and saw the book size, I thought I was in for a good read. I could not have been more incorrect. Here are my bullet points:

1) Excellent plot idea, but I think Baxter forgot what is was after the first 12 pages. I have never been a part of such a plot trainwreck as this. Its like he compiled a dozen different stories into one without any of them going anywhere.
2) Character developement was horrendous. He needs to take a lesson from Harry Turtledove or Kevin Anderson. Those guys can present twenty or more characters, make you remember and love each one, this guy can't do it with two.
3) Science. About the only thing this guy can get across, but its not involving, its like reading a NASA technical paper, done with lots of coffee.
4) Writing. He needs to take a lesson from Jack McDevitt. You need to make the book an incredible journey independent of the ending. I begged for the ending just to finish the book. If Nemoto was one thousand years old, I felt like it half way through the book. Baxter's writing style is cold and easily forgotten.

The plot to this review, skip this book. It goes everywhere and nowhere all at once. I implore Baxter to work on his writing style and present more concise plot lines, eliminate all the extra about prehistoric men crapping on themselves on Jupiter's moon and stick to the plot. The editors need to quite screwing around and edit these books. Like previous readers, the book could have been cut in half... ... Read more

5. Weaver (Time's Tapestry)
by Stephen Baxter
Paperback: 384 Pages (2010-03-30)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0441018548
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
The concluding volume of the acclaimed Time's Tapestry series.

In the early days of WWII, the Nazis have a secret plan, far grander than simply subjugating an enemy. And three people are caught up in a conspiracy that threatens the fabric of the tapestry of time. ... Read more

6. Navigator: Time's Tapestry, Book Three
by Stephen Baxter
Paperback: 368 Pages (2009-11-24)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.37
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Asin: 0441018009
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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In 1492, as men of vision, weary of the strife of war, are drawn to the unknown West, an explorer seeks the funding for his voyage-while a mysterious Weaver plots to unravel the strands of time and stop him.

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Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars A darker turn of events for Time's Tapestry
The third book in Stephen Baxter's Time's Tapestry series, Navigatoris striking in how it differs from the first two novels in the series. Although the historical detail is still present, the setting is different, the characters highly different, and a great deal of complexity is introduced into the mystery surrounding the entity called "The Weaver" and his/hers/its manipulation of time and history.

Some similarities do remain. Like its predecessor, Navigator begins in Great Britain, with a prophecy uttered by a now-dead woman playing a major role in shaping the story. That is where the similarity in setting ends. Unlike the first two novels, Great Britain is little more than a side-show in this book, returned to on a handful of occasions - the major events take place in Spain, as the muslim kingdoms left behind by the spread of Islam in the 7th and 8th centuries are slowly crushed, their populations driven out and replaced by Christian conquerors.

Baxter also continues the pattern he did in the previous two books, with separate "slices" of time in chronological order each containing their own character arcs, dealing with the issue of the prophecy. The characters continue to improve, although most of them are much darker and less sympathetic than their earlier counterparts (particularly the brutal and fanatical Joan and Grace). At the heart of many of their motivations lies religious hatred and intolerance, shaped by years of war between Christian and Muslim. One major difference, though, lies in both the number of arcs (there are fewer of them, and the book is dominated by three arcs in particular), and the fact that the characters of the last character arc in Conqueror are also the characters of the first story arc in Navigator.

Perhaps most interesting of all, the mystery of "The Weaver" and its interventions in time becomes drastically more complex and puzzling. The characters in the book come to understand that there is more than one force meddling in the past, and some are capable of more than sending prophecies through the mouths of women - they send objects, knowledge of powerful weapons, and even people back in time. Baxter in particular dwells on a number of historical "what-ifs" that are avoided by the interventions in time, such as a Islamic conquest of Europe that creates a world nearly united in Islam by different outcome at the Battle of Poiters (in the early 8th century), a Mongol conquest of Europe, and a massive future war between the New World and the Old.

Some of these historical scenarios seem questionable in veracity; many historians, for example, have downplayed the traditional importance placed on the Battle of Poitiers (particularly since Islamic armies returned north of the Pyrenees later in southern France and were driven). The "New vs Old World" scenario seems far-fetched (although there is a reason for this that becomes clear in the fourth and final book), and although the Mongols were highly dangerous and heavily influential, it is important to not over-emphasize their capabilities. Moreover, the drastic move from a subtler, mysterious prophecy to much more specific and dangerous information (such as weapons from the future) doesn't pan out too well; it and many of the developments come across as silly and unrealistic rather than threatening and possible. While alternate history doesn't need to be 100% justified, it does at least need to be -likely-.

This book is, in many ways, much darker, with far more of an emotional gut punch - hardly surprising, considering its subject material and setting (the reconquest of Spain by Christians after centuries of Muslim rule). Although the key framework continues to be the prophecy (now prophecies) of those trying to shape the past from the future, their secrecy beings to unravel, with some well-done and not-so-well-done outcomes written. Although inferior to the second book (arguably the best in the series), Navigator is a fairly interesting novel that drew me and kept me until the end.

4-0 out of 5 stars A Peculiar But Compulsively Readable Alternate History Series
Huddled in a church cellar hiding from Normans putting down an English rebellion in the wake of the Norman Conquest, a woman seemingly becomes possessed and utters a strange prophecy about a Dove to the Viking mercenary that will become her husband.That prophecy will be remembered by her descendents, and it will seem to contradict another prophecy held by an ambitious priest who has left England for Spain and its Moorish learning that may help him realize weapons designs from the future.

So begins the third book in this compulsively readable "alternate history epic".This novels differs from its two predecessors with an alternate history actually developing.There is a deviation from our historical timeline when weapons technology develops slightly faster.The big historical events, however, are not different.The Battle of Potiers still stops a Moslem advance into Europe, and Western Civilization dodges a bullet with the sudden death of Genghis Khan.But Baxter's story says there's more involved in those events than it seems, that there may not be, as implied in previous books, just one entity from the future attempting to manipulate history but two or even four, all with different agendas.And the last third of the book makes Columbus the pivot in another struggle to change history.

This book, like its predecessors, is still mostly an historical novel.It's not a genre I normally care for, but the short lengths of the books and Baxter's epic sweep make him concentrate on the grand sweep of history, not the minutae of daily life in any one era.If the latter is what you like in your historical fiction, than these books may not appeal to you.

If you like alternate history, Baxter has created an interesting one.But you should start at the beginning of the series and not with this book.Those that have come this far will not be disappointed with this book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Story Line Running out of Steam?
I enjoyed the first two books in this series for their historical detail.However, that's less prominent in this book, which seems to be a triptych of three stories involving generations of people scheming to get their hands on documents purporting to contain designs for "superweapons" that will give an advantage in the battle between Western Europe and the Muslim Crescent.

Each of the three novelettes seem to involve the same character archetypes:a scheming priest or religious figure, a dominant woman (or two) who ends up badly, a warrior type who tries to understand it all, and a "mad scientist" type obsessed with bringing the secret weapon designs to life.While the first two books in the series closely followed the realities of the time period they were set in, now we are getting a little more unbelievable with proto-cannons, gunpowder, automobiles, and flying devices.

Also, as the series progresses it seems to be jumping further and further ahead in time, making larger gaps in the time periods between stories.There is also an emergence of more and more "prophecies" from various sources, diminishing the mystery and portentiousness of the oracle and making it seem instead like an incompetent ham radio operator.

I see that the next book in the series jumps ahead all the way from 1492 to WWII.It seems to me that the author is getting tired of his story line and just wants to wrap it up.I'll probably read the concluding book ("Weaver") in the series, just for completeness, but at this point I don't have high expectations.(In my opinion, Book #2 "Conqueror" was the best of the series and could have been a stand-alone novel.)

3-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed by yet another postponed conclusion (no WOW payoff)
I have been a longtime fan of Stephen Baxter's books, and have been particularly impressed by his ability to give mind-bending WOW payoffs for each novel. However, I have been progressively more dissatisfied by the Time's Tapestry alternative history series. I keep reading them, hoping for some WOW, but have been disappointed once again by Navigator. It seems we must wait until the end of the series (if even then?) for some resolution to the time meddling interference of the Weaver or Witness or whoever. I have to wonder that after an amazingly prolific writing career, or perhaps because of pressure from his publisher for increased book sales, that what once would have been a single book with a splendid WOW conclusion has been split into four (or more?) shorter books that lack the punch of novels earlier in his career (Timeships comes to mind here).

The prior review gives a good summary of the threads of Navigator, so I won't repeat that here. My only summary impression is that it has the flavor of a historical travel-log, but is not great science fiction. As a result I have learned something of the history of those span of centuries and now have a better appreciation of what the lives of people might have been like, although the portions relating to the Spanish Inquisition are quite gruesome (and probably true) and I found that rather unpleasant.

I have to wonder if the overarching theme of the conflict between Christian and Islamic cultures has been inspired by events since 9/11 and the Iraq war. The book does give a western person like myself better understanding of the distinctly positive cultural contributions of the Islamic world. It makes the prospect of global war between cultures that some advocate seem even more stupid. I have no idea if this idea is intended by the author.

To conclude, I would recommend that someone other than a dedicated Baxter fan postpone starting down the Time's Tapestry road until the next book comes out in July 2008. If readers then find it has a WOW payoff, then, yes, go ahead and dive into the series. I have to admit, however, that my enthusiasm for Baxter has been dampened.

5-0 out of 5 stars great thought providing alternate historical epic
I Musta'rib AD 1085.In northern Spain, English teenager Robert wants to become a holy warrior until he meets and falls in love with intelligent Muslim Moraima.At the same time, scholar Father Sihtric and the Vizier of Cordoba hate their symbiotic relationship as the Christian is forced by the Moors to build God's weapons from the Eadgyth of York prophesy he possesses while the Vizier is forced to rely on the priest to obtain the wine he needs to quench his alcoholic dependency.These two enemies work together on their personal needs, but will do anything to keep Robert and Moraima apart; as cross religious love has no place under God.

II Crucesignati AD 1242-1248.The Christian crusading armies force the Muslim Subh to flee Seville where she hid her shame of a Christian ancestor circa the late eleventh century.At the same time Joan the Christian fled the Christian Holy Land kingdom Outremer when it fell.Each possesses a segment of a prophecy that when combined will make God's engines drive the infidels out.When these two women meet, hell has come to Spain in the fury of these two enemy combatants.

III Navigator AD 1471-1492.A new power has surfaced in Spain at a time when the Christian's Crusade against the Muslims proved successful.The middle class sees things more from an economic opportunity perspective than a godly viewpoint.This has led to a new religious fervor from within as the Spanish Inquisition weeds out heretics especially from the middle class.Talk is focused on womanizing Genoa baboon Columbus as he wants to sail west to reach the East instead of journeying through Islam.He might be the Dove named in a recently discovered prophesy or another heretic needing a fiery lesson.

The third Time's Tapestry (see EMPEROR and CONQUEROR) covers the century between William's victory and Columbus' trip.The book is divided into three stanzas that accentuate the changes in fortune of the prime groups especially the fall of the Moors and the rise of the Christian middle class.Stephen Baxter continues to make his case that those who sit on their past glory by introspection lose over time to those who look beyond barriers for opportunities.A terrific tome that provides readers with a great thought providing alternate historical epic.

Harriet Klausner
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7. Titan
by Stephen Baxter
Mass Market Paperback: 688 Pages (1998-11-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.87
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061057134
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Humankind's greatest--and last--adventure!

Possible signs of organic life have been found on Titan, Saturn's largest moon. A group of visionaries led by NASA's Paula Benacerraf plan a daring one-way mission that will cost them everything. Taking nearly a decade, the billion-mile voyage includes a "slingshot" transit of Venus, a catastrophic solar storm, and a constant struggle to keep the ship and crew functioning. But it is on the icy surface of Titan itself that the true adventure begins. In the orange methane slush the astronauts will discover the secret of life's origins and reach for a human destiny beyond their wildest dreams. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (86)

2-0 out of 5 stars Titan, by Stephen Baxter
"Titan's" initial concept is simple: Humans travel to Titan, seeking what they think may be some form of life.

The book itself is much less coherent than that. Involving a poorly-conceived global crisis, based upon faulty understandings of American, Chinese, and global politics, the Christian movement in the United States government, and the book suffers horribly for it.

Flat characters, a plot that develops much, much too slowly, and an over-large cast drag the book down throughout. Of particular annoyance to me was that Baxter includes an entire story-arc that adds absolutely nothing.

The arcs are as follows:

i. The mission to Titan
ii. An arc involving the Chinese astronaut Jiang Ling
iii. An arc involving several supporting characters that bears little coherence, and adds absolutely nothing to the novel.

"Titan", weighing in at just short of 700 pages, could have easily been pared down to 500, to give a better-tuned tale.

Please don't mistake me: I have no problem with long novels; I'm a big fan of Stephen Donaldson, and he is notorious for length, but this novel didn't need it.

"Titan", as a novel, may be a train-wreck, but as a piece of hard science fiction, it is spectacular unto the end. Of particular note, I found the "think-big" ending very interesting, philosophically and scientifically.

I've read Mr. Baxter before, and enjoyed him. Particularly, "Manifold Origin" and "Ring", but I find myself reluctant to recommend this book to even the hard science fiction fans.

Unfortunately, Ben Bova wrote this book, better. It's called "Titan (The Grand Tour)."

5-0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking hard scifi
Titan is one of the greatest science fictions novels of all time, because of its uncanny realism and physicality. Baxter is both an aeronautical engineer and good writer, and is thus able to put the reader right in the cockpit of the Shuttle. You are right there, in the Shuttle, from the Columbia crash at the beginning to the landing on Titan. Tom Lamb's old school Right Stuff skills are apparent, as he overrides the computer and tries to land Columbia using the OMS (Orbital Maneuver System) instead of the RCS (Re-entry Control System), because the RCS engines are on fire.

Titan, of course, was prescient in predicting the Columbia crash. Some have criticized Baxter for not understanding the US political system and the election of the far right Maclachlan. However, the US at this point is trending towards classic collapse of empire, due to lack of production, military overextension, and enormous government debt. The election of someoone like Maclachlan, at least around 2024 or so, is not out of the question Baxter was just a bit early. So this is decent social scifi.

Moreover, the collapse of Nasa creates an Everest/Antartica level of adventure for the crew. Scifi is usually not physical, and the heroes may face death due to crashes or being vaporized with phasors, but they are usually insulated from the physical environment. By going all the way to Titan on the Shuttle, with no help from Earth, our heroes have to face tremendous physical challenges. They then have to survive on Titan, living in the Shuttle. They are constantly cold, dealing with a reality of sticky slush and a sky of orange haze. As Baxter said, a "dull horror."This story is an Antarctic adventure on steroids. The critics who see the novel as bleak miss the entire point. This is an amazing survival story, precisely because they have been abandoned. As opposed to being part of a colony and skimming around Titan in a high tech rover, they have to walk 100 miles to the Cronos Crater, pulling 70 pound sleds, in a survival epic.

Again, as far the story being bleak, there is a happy ending. The heroeseventually find life on Titan, are reincarnated/resurrected, and hall in love. A happy ending after all.

4-0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. As some other reviewers have written, it's the closest any of us will ever get to being on Titan. The science seems accurate to me as a layman with a healthy interest in space, and the descriptions of space flight are very well done. The characters aren't the most fascinating I've ever read about, but the two main ones do grow on you, and by the end, you feel some warmth for them. The parts of the book that were least enjoyable were the parts that took place on earth, but I rushed through those and was rewarded by the descriptions of the mission and Titan.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent & mirrors some of today's politics!!
This was an excellent read with a good ending and oddly enough, the politics mentioned in this story are somewhat familiar today altho this book was written in 1997 - weird!It is an "end of the world" type book but with a twist.Anti-space and anti-Nasa creates a USA no longer interested in exploring space. However, the Discovery space ship with six astronauts is sent to Titan to discover life.Science info is well researched re: Nasa, planets, etc - a bit technical in areas, but the characters are believable and worth getting to know.In the end, I was rooting for Paula Benacerraf and Isaac Rosenberg to succeed,.... and they did :)

4-0 out of 5 stars Stephen Baxter's Titan - An amazing story
Not for the faint-hearted or the non-technically-oriented, this is a highly technical, prescient and terrifying believable speculative tale of the failures of the NASA space program and of human civilization but with a positive, amazing central plot of a seemingly doomed and desperate human mission to Saturn's enigmatic moon, Titan.The human characters are numerous and various with the central personalities quite well-drawn and sympathetic.If you ever wanted to know how to survive on a long space voyage and then on the surface of a frigid, hostile world, this is the book.Highly recommended for space buffs, Stephen Baxter does a wonderful job of story-telling with enough technical details to make the settings and events painfully believable. ... Read more

8. Phase Space
by Stephen Baxter
Paperback: 496 Pages (2003-07-21)
list price: US$14.45 -- used & new: US$93.85
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0006511856
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Tied in to Baxter's masterful Manifold trilogy, these thematically linked stories are drawn from the vast graph of possibilities across which the lives of hero Reid Malenfant have been scattered.It is the year 2025. Reid Malenfant is the commander of a NASA earth-orbiting science platform. The platform is intended to probe the planets of the nearest star system by bouncing laser pulses off them. But no echoes are returned! and Malenfant's reality begins to crumble around him. Huddling with his family, awaiting the end -- or an unknown new beginning -- Malenfant tells stories of other possibilities, other realities.The linked stories encompass the myriad possibilities that might govern our relationship with the universe: are we truly alone, or will we eventually meet other lifeforms? Perhaps intelligent species decide to turn their back on the stars, or maybe expansionist species are destined to fail. The final possibility -- that the Universe as we know it is in fact an elaborate illusion designed to protect us from the fearful reality -- is brilliantly explored in the tour de force novella that ends the volume. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars Manifold Series #4:Phase Space (UK only)
I personally feel this is the best of Baxter's Manifold series.The book is comprised of 23 separate vignettes or short stories all loosely tied together around the Manifold series themes and the famed Fermi Paradox (i.e.: if space really is that big, odds are we are not alone, merely really far apart...or some other explanation). The short story format truncates Baxter's normally oblique yet action packed writing style into 23 separate punches to the hard sci-fi face.It's a bit disorientating to read more than one story per sitting but still doable on a two-hour flight.The UK only release is noticeable in the some spellings. It's definitely worth your time.

4-0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and wide-ranging - a fine collection of stories
"Phase Space" by Stephen Baxter is a collection of 25 loosely-related short stories linked to - and expanding on themes introduced in - his Manifold novel trilogy of "Time", "Space" and "Origin". At its heart is the question posed by the physicist Enrico Fermi: given that the universe is billions of years old, if life exists out in the cosmos, why don't we see the evidence of it all about us? These stories represent the author's attempts to try to make sense of this paradox.

Pieces such as 'Open Loops', 'Sun-Cloud', 'The We Who Sing' and 'The Gravity Mine' explore the idea that other forms of intelligent life might exist or once have existed out in the cosmos. Baxter takes various scenarios, from the distant past - a mere few hundred thousand years post-Big Bang - to the distant future - trillions of years from now, when the universe is cold and dark - and supposes various alien civilisations, each of them coming to terms with their world and each of them with their own versions of the Fermi Paradox.

One of Baxter's favourite themes is space exploration and it is no accident that many of the stories take astronauts as their main characters: including 'Poyekhali 3201', an imagining of Yuri Gagarin's experience as the first man in space. One of the best stories in the collection is 'War Birds', in which the Cold War has escalated into space and the Shuttle fleet has fallen under the control of USAF, becoming an agent of destruction for a militaristic US government intent on demonstrating its capabilities to the rest of the world.

As interesting as such alternate histories are, however, they are unrelated to the main theme of the collection. Indeed the most intriguing stories are those which explore the idea that humanity exists either in some kind of simulation - as in 'Tracks' - or within a bubble or quarantine zone - 'Barrier' - in both cases set up by a higher intelligence, seemingly to foster or protect our species from true reality, but for what purpose is not clear. The collection's main piece, 'Touching Centauri', is perhaps the most exciting of all, as it examines what might happen when we begin to stretch that simulation to its limits.

Baxter's imagination surpasses that of most other writers of modern science fiction. But while the ideas are wide-ranging, the writing itself can occasionally feel awkward or disjointed. Often one feels that the themes have been compressed to fit the medium of the short story, when in fact there are enough ideas to sustain several longer pieces, perhaps of novella- or even novel-length. A more minor disappointment is that more of the stories do not feature the main characters from the Manifold arc; indeed Reid Malenfant appears in only one of the pieces.

That said, however, "Phase Space" is an exciting collection of work with tremendous vision, and an excellent companion to the Manifold trilogy. ... Read more

9. Voyage
by Stephen Baxter
Mass Market Paperback: 784 Pages (1997-11-01)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$16.49
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0061057088
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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The space mission of a lifetime

An epic saga of America's might-have-been, Voyage is a powerful, sweeping novel of how, if President Kennedy had lived, we could have sent a manned mission to Mars in the 1980s. Imaginatively created from the true lives and real events., Voyage returns to the geniuses of NASA and the excitement of the Saturn rocket, and includes historical figures from Neil Armstrong to Ronald Reagan who are interwoven with unforgettable characters whose dreams mirror the promise of a young space program that held the world in thrall. There is: Dana, the Nazi camp survivor who achieves the dream of his hated masters; Gershon, the Vietnam fighter jock determined to be the first African-American to land on another planet; and Natalie York, the brilliant geologist/astronaut who risks a career and love for the chance to run her fingers through the soil of another world.Amazon.com Review
Kennedy survived. Like many alternate history stories, that'sthe premise of Stephen Baxter's Voyage. But in Baxter's versionof the past, that one altered fact is the propellant that driveshumanity into space, beyond the primitive lunar landings of the 1960s.Spurred by a JFK who champions space flight and a Nixon administrationthat backs NASA, humans reach Mars in 1986. But this is a tragic taleas well as a triumphant one, for Baxter's relentless realismchronicles the perils of extended space flight as well as itsglamorous achievements, making for a gritty, true-to-life story. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (41)

2-0 out of 5 stars Too Bad So Much of this Novel is Plagiarized!
Two reviewers have mentioned that this book relies or draws on Charles Murray and Catherine Bly Cox's excellent nonfiction book, "Apollo." I will go further to say that there is significant plagiarism from that work.I do not use the term "plagiarism" lightly.There are whole passages that Baxter copied almost verbatim.Here's one example--a quote from page 86 of the paperback edition of Voyage--the character is driving to Langley, Virginia:

"When Jim Dana passed Richmond he turned the Corvette off Route 1 and onto the narrow highway 60 headed southeast.The towns were fewer, and smaller.And, at last, after Williamsburg, there seemed to be nothing but forests and marshland, and the occasional farmhouse."

Here is text beginning beginning on page 9 of the new edition of Apollo describing the car trip of Owen Maynard and his family to Langley, Virginia in 1959:

"The next morning they continued south to Richmond, where they turned off busy Highway 1 onto a narrow two-lane road, State Highway 60 and headed southeast.The towns were fewer now, and smaller.Fifty miles outside Richmond they came to the only sizable town on the route, Williamsburg, and after that it seemed there was nothing but forests and marshland and an occasional farmhouse."

There is much, much more.The image of a flight controller lifting his hand from a flight plan leaving a soaking wet image of his hand, a word for word description of what a spacecraft Contract Acceptance Readiness Review is, words of NASA executive Joe Shea put in the mouth of the fictitious person who held his job in the novel, the description of what the fictitious person did when kicked upstairs to NASA headquarters lifted from Murray/Cox's description of Shea's activities down to key phrases, the description of the deportation of a key engineer on the Saturn V taken from the description of what happened to Arthur Rudolph--again taking not just the events but the words used to describe them, descriptive language that painted a word picture of Langley, the word picture of the Mission Control Center after the last Apollo flight (Apollo 17 in real life, Apollo 14 in the novel) down to the little flags left on the consoles and the gumbo party hosted by MER . . . .I could go on for pages.

I have seen the phrase "sang like a rattlesnake" in only two places in my life:in the Murray/Cox description of why two engines of the Apollo 6 second stage shut down early, and why--due to a failure that was identical in almost every respect to the Apollo 6 failure--a nuclear rocket failed in Voyage.

In the discussion of the Mars voyage mission mode in Voyage, one character even echoes a Murray/Cox chapter title (Chapter 9):"What sonofabitch thinks this isn't the right thing to do" or something very close to that.

I challenge anyone to read side by side the parallel sections of Apollo and Voyage and to tell me that Mr. Baxter did not lift whole sentences, key images, colorful and evocative language, quotes, and key ideas.This is not the garden variety accusation of literary plagiarism from non-fiction to fiction that "he stole the idea for this book."

Rather, it is as though Mr. Baxter ingested the whole of Apollo and then regurgitated key portions of it when they fit his narrative.

This is plagiarism, plain and simple.It is an outrage.

And, in case anyone thinks that it is possible that Baxter contacted the authors and obtained permission, it ain't so.I have personally contacted Dr. Charles Murray and he informs me that he has never given permission to Baxter to draw from Apollo, and--further--that he regards this situation as plagiarism.

Stephen Baxter should acknowledge his wrongdoing, should apologize, and should certainly make some sort of financial reparations to Murray and Cox for his appropriation of so much of their very fine book.

H. Paul Honsinger

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Book
I loved this book, but I recognize that it is not going to appeal to everyone.It likely will not appeal to most science fiction fans (it isn't space opera - it's truly hard SF) and will not appeal to most alternative history buffs (it's focus is very narrow).However, if you are an Apollo man-on-the-moon space program nut and love books like Chaikin's A Man On The Moon, documentaries such as For All Mankind, and movies along the lines of Apollo 13 and From The Earth To The Moon, then you may just love this book as much as I did.Baxter answers the question what if instead of the space station and space shuttle programs NASA instead focused on a manned voyage to Mars.His focus is not on what happens when/if they get to Mars, but more on how they get there.Baxter does his homework and thoroughly thinks through the implications of his thesis.He shows not only the excitment of this alternative path of history, but the consequences as well.For me, reading Voyage was just as exciting as reading the memoirs of anyone associated with the Apollo space program.

3-0 out of 5 stars Over all, it's OK
In voyage, Baxter introduces the politics driving the space program.It is amazing any of the big space projects kept funding and momentum long enough to yield fruit.As always, I learned more about the world thanks to Baxter.

On the other hand, he unecessarily convolutes time lines and seems to have put down and restarted the manuscript a number of times (repetition of minor details).The convolution made a fairly simple narative take on an undeserved importance and helped camouflage the repetitive parts.I wonder if the book's length is due to contractual obligation instead of story telling.

Regardless, the good overshadows the bad.I'm glad I read it.

3-0 out of 5 stars Technically excellent, but overwhelmed by back story
Stephen Baxter's VOYAGE takes place in an alternate past: What if John F. Kennedy had survived assassination and lobbied for NASA to send astronauts to Mars in the 1980s, instead of building the space shuttle? It's a fascinating premise and certainly one worthy of a unique Mars novel.

Baxter himself holds a doctorate in engineering, so it's no surprise that he really knows his way around the technical stuff of spaceflight. He's quite knowledgeable in space history, as well. He presents an impressive amount of authentic detail, far more than I've seen in any other novel of its kind. Perhaps too much, in fact, because many spaceflight scenes repeat events and dialogue from real-life missions almost verbatim. On the whole, VOYAGE feels quite faithful to the era described, even if it's somewhat too faithful. It's also interesting to catch him using a few historic dates in spaceflight -- July 1976, April 1981, January 1986 -- so we can contemplate the differences in his alternate past.

Geologist Natalie York is VOYAGE's most reliable protagonist; she comes across as determined but not easy to root for. Baxter makes a few generalizations based on astronaut mythology, and he rarely hides his disdain for NASA's old "pilot vs. scientist" culture. One veteran astronaut is so surly that in the real space program he would have been permanently shelved from flight status (a la Wally Schirra). Nonetheless, Baxter avoids many of the stilted stereotypes of Ben Bova's Mars novels, so at least these characters are more subtle and level-headed. For the most part, he steers clear of the soap-opera style plotting that cripples most Mars books, and that alone is commendable.

VOYAGE's "major malfunction" is that Baxter spends far too much time laying the groundwork for going to Mars, and it dominates the pace of the novel. Almost nine tenths of this book is back story. The launch of the Mars flight opens the book, but by page 200 we're only up to Day 3 and we've barely left the earth behind us. At page 466, we've reached Day 171 of the flight, yet we've only arrived at the swingby of Venus, and we're still almost seven months away from the red planet!

While the author deserves praise for presenting a credible rationale for going to Mars, you can only go so far with a book about a Mars flight without actually describing the flight. I kept pleading for Baxter to get away from the project's early days and get to the damn point, but it practically never happens. Once I figured out how diminished the Mars flight was, it took me ages to finish reading. Because it is so dominated by background, this 772-page story unfolds in almost geologic time.

Even with my complaints, VOYAGE is easily the most technically accomplished and reasonable Mars novel I've ever read, and I've read a great many of them. It is frequently interesting and packed with details, but I just wish Baxter had spent more effort flying the mission instead of building his case. It is a solid four-star novel if not for the heavy reliance on background.

3-0 out of 5 stars A somewhat flawed book about a manned mission to Mars
Voyage, by Stephen Baxter, offers the intriguing possibility of NASA undertaking a manned mission to Mars in the 1980s instead of building the space shuttle. The book, however, suffers from a couple of flaws.

First, the narrative alternates between the years leading from the Apollo moon landing to the launch of the Mars expedition and the voyage to Mars itself. It is sometimes very hard to keep the two separate stories straight in one's memory. There is also next to nothing about what happens on Mars after the landing.

Second, Baxter totally fails to suggest that doing Mars instead of the shuttle would have any effect on society and history outside of the US space program. This is doubly puzzling because he basis his altered history on a John F. Kennedy having survived Dallas a cripple. (That premise may be one built on quicksand. Recent revelations about JFK's health problems and his private feelings toward space exploration make the idea of his physical survival into the 80s problematic, not to speak of his advocacy of a manned mission to Mars.) Regardless, the survival of JFK to be a kind of gray eminence of the Democratic Party would have been an interesting concept to explore, even without the space theme.

The story also has a bitter sweet air about it. Several Apollo lunar missions, as well as a number of unmanned probes such as the Pioneer and Voyager missions to the Outer Planets are cancelled to pay for sending people to Mars. And there is the faint whiff of melancholy that after humans return from Mars, there might be no further expeditions.

--Mark R. Whittington (...) ... Read more

10. Weaver: Time's Tapestry, Book Four
by Stephen Baxter
Hardcover: 336 Pages (2008-07-01)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$5.82
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B001LF4ANQ
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
The climax of the “fascinating”( Locus) alternate-history series— from the national bestselling author of Navigator, Conqueror, and Emperor.

It is a war that has been fought throughout the centuries—with the fate of Rome to Christendom to modern America at stake. Now, during World War II, Germany launches a successful invasion of England. But in secret they are waging a war on an even larger scale. Trapped in the middle of it is Mary Wooler, an American historian caught in the Blitz and tangled up in strands of history; her son Gary, fighting a ruthless invader at civilization’s frontier; and Ben Kaman, a Jewish refugee whose very dreams place him at the heart of a conspiracy that threatens the very fabric of the tapestry of time. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

2-0 out of 5 stars A disappointing end to Baxter's alternate history series
The final book in Stephen Baxter's Time's Tapestry series, this book sheds light on the nature of those meddling in time (or at least most of them). It integrates the events of previous books with this book into an interesting framework, opening up fascinating possibilities for story-writing. Unfortunately, this book does not live up to that potential; the interesting framework can not offset the uninteresting characters and setting.

Unlike the predecessor books, this novel exists wholly in an alternate history, one in which the British Expeditionary Force in World War 2 was routed rather than escaping to Britain, and as a result Nazi Germany was able to do a successful invasion of Great Britain (at least initially - by the end of the novel, they have been driven back). It is in this setting that we find out who "The Weaver" (and other meddlers in the past) are, and Baxter does not hold out until the climax of the novel. In fact, he gives away the identity of "The Weaver" right away, along with the means of changing time (a strange machine called "The Loom" built in the early 1940s after the events above that can somehow use a psychic kid with the ability to send messages by dreams to send messages into the past). It then turns into a kind of "chase" story, with our protagonists racing after a group of Nazi sympathizers, with the fate of the world quite literally on the line.

Or at least it would seem that way, were it not for the fact that these characters are not at all interesting. Baxter's characters in the earlier books usually excited either sympathy or disgust, but at least they garnered a reaction; these characters bored me immensely, and I could not find myself with concern over their plight.Whereas Joan's fanaticism and hatred made my blood boil in Navigator, her successor Julia couldn't even rouse my ire.

Just as weak as the characters is the "alternate history" premise listed above (the destruction of the British Expeditionary Force and resulting successful invasion of Great Britain by the Nazis in an amphibious assault), the one that apparently forms the foundation for all of the events and meddling that occurs in the earlier. To be honest, it's just too unlikely to form a plausible alternate history. While as in any story, the characters and plot come first, alternate history at least has to appear -plausible- as an outcome, otherwise the author is writing arbitrary fantasy. Baxter portrays the defeat of the BEF as a near-thing, solely the result of an arbitrary hesitation on the part of the Nazi forces. It was not. Aside from the fact that the BEF was not just sitting there helpless waiting to be destroyed (in fact, they were sitting on good defensive ground, marshy with a choke-point that constrained supply lines going either way across it, with weather so bad it prevented nearly all German flying missions during the period, and extensively positioned field artillery and anti-aircraft guns), the Germans had exceeded both their supply lines (fuel and ammo were running low) as well as their command-and-control system, and needed a few days to recalibrate. If they had attempted it anyways, they would have likely seen massive casualties, and while they would have eventually taken Dunkirk, the BEF would have had plenty of time to escape during the whole process. Moreover, the Germans would have largely been killing Frenchmen instead of Brits, since the French were the ones fighting the rearguard action for the BEF. The end result would be little change to history, aside from significant German losses slowing them down further and making it even more unlikely that they'd be able to launch an amphibious invasion of the UK.

It's a pity that this potential is squandered by a weak story, weak alt-history premise, and weak characterization, because the framework and nature of the Prophecies and Interventions becomes fascinatingly clear in this novel. We find out that Prophecies are limited and sometimes preposterous (such as the "Old vs New World/Feathered Serpent vs Dragon" prophecy in Navigator) because they were actually meant to counter already-sent prophecies, like the sending of weapons designs to middle-ages Spain for use against the muslims. The outcome merely had to be threatening, not absolutely true. Other prophecies (including the very first one from Emperor) are clearly shown to reflect the ignorance and limited capabilities of their creators. At the same time, we find out that the interventions have been categorized and noted as such by authors set in the "past" (meaning the late 15th century).

In the end, this book had the feature that dooms any novel - it was boring. By the end, I had gone from following every word to skim-reading, and an interesting inversion of the usual alternate-history process at the end of the novel did not salvage it. While I doubt this will deter those who have already read the first three books (they are likely to see it through to the very end), I still recommend that you pass on this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars As advertised
The book came as advertised.Quick delivery and response.

Joe in Mobile

5-0 out of 5 stars Satisfying End to the Series
Baxter brings his series to a very satisfying conclusion.Not only do we see the parties who have been trying to manipulate history since 4 BC but, unlike earlier books, we actually get an overt alternate history.

Some of those parties turn out to by Rory O'Malley and Ben Kamen, two physics students in this world'sBoston of 1940.Using Kurt Godel's mathematical explications of Einstein's Theory of Relativity and J. W. Dunne's theory of time, O'Malley is trying to alter history.But others want to manipulate the past too.Some are only known by their fingerprints on history, but others are onstage, specifically one Josef Trojan, officer in the Nazi research organization the SS Ahnenerbe, and Julia Fiveash, an English Nazi.

Fiveash is an example of the strong women, for good and ill, that are throughout this seriesAnother is Mary Wooler, an American journalist and historian trapped in England when the Nazis invade in 1940.She and her son Gary meet Kamen there on the eve of the invasion.Kamen is captured by the Germans, and Wooler and a British Intelligence officer began to suspect the extant of the Nazi plans to alter the world's past.

That invasion is possible because, unlike in our time, the Germans wiped out most of the British Expeditionary Force at Dunkirk, but the timeline of this story seems to have diverged from ours at least as far back as the end of World War One though Baxter never explains why Armistice Day is Nov 9th and not Nov. 11th in this world.The invasion doesn't occupy all England - and Baxter presents a clever reason why - but the effects on those under the Nazi boot are well depicted through the life of Ernst Trjoan, the "good" German soldier who is Josef's brother, and Gary Wooler.Ernst's relations with his French mistress and the Millers, the English family he billets with, show the compromises, resentments, violence, and surprising affection that can crop up between conquered and conqueror.

And Baxter ends his story with a surprise entirely consistent with the series.

5-0 out of 5 stars The "Weaver's" Tapestry More of a Crazy-Quilt (Spoiler Alert)
The final installment in this series takes place in 1940-1943, with an altnernate unfolding of WWII in which the British Expeditionary Force fails to escape at Dunkirk, and is nearly wiped out instead.This sets the stage for "Operation Sea Lion," in which Germany invades Britain, only to grind to a halt along the "Winston Line" in the southeast of the country, just short of London, until America enters the war and turns the tide in favor of the Allies.

We learn that the prophecies of the "Weaver" were not due to some supernatural cosmic wizard, but rather a fumbling Nazi scheme to alter the course of history in favor of the Aryan nation, by SS researchers using a combination of Godel's physics theories and early computing power, coupled with a psychologically-manipulated Jewish psychic/dreamer.Each of the prophecies that people lived and died for in past centuries are revealed as crude experiments to alter time by the Nazi researchers, unsuccessfully attempting to alter the overall stream of time (like throwing hand grenades into a hurricane), as they first send out a "practice" message, then an attempt to change the battle of Hastings, then an attempt to alter the course of medieval history by sending back plans for advanced weaponry, and finally an attempt to divert Columbus from his journey to North America, hoping to prevent the USA from coming into being by sending Columbus east instead of west.

In the end, the "Weaver" is stymied and the Jewish psychic is saved by the Allies, as he sends one final psychic message back across time, so that none of this will have ever happened - he sends a dream to a key Nazi advisor, who will counsel Hitler to hesitate at Dunkirk, allowing history as we know it to transpire after all.

I enjoyed the detailed "what if" scenario of seeing how a Nazi invasion and occupation of Britain might have occurred.It was quite jarring to watch the "S-Day" invasion landing on British soil by the Wehrmacht troops, sort of an opposite-direction D-Day landing as we have all seen in newsreels.Baxter does a good job of making historical periods come to life once again, as we become involved in the unfolding of various characters' lives.The book does diverge from the format of the previous books, however, in that all the characters and their story lines continue throughout the segments of the book.

Although the "Weaver" denouement is revealed to be of much more prosaic nature than the preceding books hinted at, I felt that Baxter did a good job of tying together all the story lines of the previous books.It might be interesting to go back now and read them all again, to see how the ripples in the pond smooth out.

It is understandable that some readers might find the series conclusion a bit disappointing, like finding out that a mysterious "locked room" murder mystery was really a case of accidental death.For myself, however, I enjoyed the puzzle.

2-0 out of 5 stars Shockingly Disappointing
Having read the series as they were released, I was anxious to read this concluding book. Emperor, Conqueror, Navigator were subtle and interesting as Baxter melded history with a sci-fi theme with the prospect of 'something' out there pulling the threads in mysterious ways.

Baxter has written brilliant books. He got my attention years ago. He was one of the best sci-fi creators I'd come across. This series is something of a departure for Baxter as he played with alternate history. Perhaps, my expectation that Baxter would reveal his usual over the top sci-fi skill in concluding the series was too high.

The story picks up in early WW2 England. The alternate history he unfolds in this installment is droningly mundane with too many irrelevant, inane characters incessantly talking in one sentence sound bites ("Umm ...", What? ..., etc). The conversations are small talk, over wrought, archetypal good guy/bad guy/clueless guy. The dialogue is simplistic and generally irrelevant to the theme. At 1/3 of the book I considered tossing it, at 2/3 of the book fragments of the theme appeared, then it just runs out of energy and finally you get this "You got to be kidding me!" frustration with the whole charade.

Thankfully, the 2-3 page chapter scheme takes up the volumetric bulk of the pabulum by creating plenty of header space and reducing the verbiage. I started to imagine that Baxter may have been feuding with agents, deadlines or his publisher and was merely going through the motions in completing this book and closing out the series.

The book is boring to the point that one might consider it intentional. Weaver is a dupe on the reader of the 4 books in the story. I'd like my reading hours and money back on the series, please.
... Read more

11. Timelike Infinity
by Stephen Baxter
Paperback: 256 Pages (1997-08-18)
list price: US$12.40
Isbn: 000647618X
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
First there were good times: humankind reached glorious heights, even immortality. Then there were bad times: Earth was occupied by the faceless, brutal Qax. Immortality drugs were confiscated, the human spirit crushed. Earth became a vast factory for alien foodstuffs.

Into this new dark age appears the end of a tunnel through time. Made from exotic matter, it is humanity's greatest engineering project in the pre-Qax era, where the other end of the tunnel remains anchored near Jupiter. When a small group of humans in a makeshift craft outwit the Qax to escape to the past through the tunnel, it is not to warn the people of Earth against the Qax, who are sure to follow them. For these men and women from the future are themselves dangerous fanatics in pursuit of their own bizarre quantum grail.

Michael Poole, architect of the tunnel, must boldly confront the consequences of his genius.

Timelike Infinity: the strange region at the end of time where the Xeelee, owners of the universe, are waiting . . . ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars Rare Opportunity
Very happy with the quality and pricing of this product.I've been looking for this novel for quite some time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wow!Word of warning to the first-time reader of a Stephen Baxter novel
Read them in order!I tried reading Ring before TimeLike Infinity and was completely lost.

Did the reverse (TLI first) and the thing pops!So many amazing ideas all wrapped up in a terrific story.Highly recommended for the fan of hard sci-fi

4-0 out of 5 stars This is a very good book
While it moves somewhat slow, "Timelike Infinity" is still very good.This book is about Michael Poole, a brilliant scientist who wants to build gates to link up the galaxy.Using this gates, it is possible to travel from Earth to Pluto nearly instantaneusly.Once he pulls this of, Poole decides to try to make a gate to connect to the future.

This works all to well, because Poole connects to an Earth that is occupied by an alien species called the Qax.The humans in this time are desparate to end the occupation and journey back in time to stop it from happening.Poole then finds himself fighting to preserve history.

"Timelike Infinity" is a wonderful book about the consequences of innovation and a very good read.

4-0 out of 5 stars An excellent second novel for Baxter
This novel is a step up from Baxter's well done first novel, Raft.In this case, his writing is much more tight and clear.

As for plot, this one is fascinating.I don't think that the topic of time-travel will ever lose its interest for me; in this case, Baxter was able to maintain my interest consistently throughout the book.Moreover, he adds other oft-used, but always interesting topics such as alien opressive rule and interplanetary communication.I have learned that there are more books about the Xeelee and now I want to find out more about these mysterious creatures who have such advanced technology.Baxter is indeed a master of "hard" sci-fi.

On the negative side, I was disappointed with the ending that in some ways was predictable and awkward.Nonetheless, he kept the theme provocative and thoughtful

5-0 out of 5 stars A terrific read
I found Stephen Baxter quite by accident in an airport bookstore. I picked up 'Titan' and thoroughly enjoyed it. So I decided to get all his books and start reading them from the beginning. I was fascinated by the Xeelee Sequence thread through his early works. Raft was very interesting and Baxter's immense imagination caught me by surprise.

I've just finished 'Timelike Infinity' and could not put the book down. It is hard SF with some deep descriptions of black holes, event horizons et al but it is a superb read. While this is hard SF, I think Michael Poole's character was well developed without giving away some secrets about how he knows all the astro-physics stuff (that comes later I hope).

All in all, a terrific read for SF'ers who want a good story, a quick read, threads to future books, and an imagination that is difficult to find nowadays.

Oh, by the way, I've read accounts of other Baxter books and there are references to the fact that the Xeelee Sequence books are standalone books. Perhaps, but my advice is to start at the beginning and work your way through the 5 books beginning with Raft. While the stories are definitely set in different era's, there are plenty of references made in each of the books I've read so far that the chronology is necessary ... Read more

12. Conqueror: Time's Tapestry Book Two
by Stephen Baxter
Hardcover: 320 Pages (2007-08-07)
list price: US$24.95 -- used & new: US$3.53
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B002FL5FS4
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The second novel in a thrilling alternate-history series-from national bestselling author Stephen Baxter.

Three centuries have passed since Rome fell, as The Prophecy foretold. Now The Prophecy's scroll is in the hands of a young girl, the last surviving member of the family who received The Prophecy. She lives in tranquility, disguisd as a boy among the monks on the isle of Lindisfarne-until the Vikings come, deliberately destroying the final copies of the scroll.But it remains in her memory, and when William of Normandy, who history will call the Conqueror, rises to power, once more the fate of the land rests on actions inspired by those age-old words.

But as time passes, memory of The Prophecy dims--and the veiled girl struggles to understand her heritage before all knowledge of the future will be lost to the past. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

4-0 out of 5 stars A good piece of alternate history
In this book, "Conqueror", author Stephen Baxter continues the "Time's Tapestry" series he began with "Emperor". Like the first book, it is a book with interesting historical detail, some strong and weak characters, all written into a series of different story arcs taking place in sequential sections of time. This makes for an interesting novel, and one that is stronger than "Emperor".

"Conqueror" begins in the same way that "Emperor did", with a new prophecy (although uttered at the end of "Emperor") that shapes the actions of the characters who try to divine anduse it for their own ends. Like "Emperor", it is set in Great Britain, although this is a Britain shaped by waves of post-Roman invaders such as the Danes and Angles, as well as the full advent of Christianity. Baxter reveals his story through separate story arcs that take place in sequential periods of time (such as 793 AD, 1064 AD, and so forth), although the characters in the arcs are usually connected by either family or contact.

The historical detail in this novel is rich and, to the best of my knowledge, reasonably accurate. Baxter uses this to create some very good imagery, both mundane and terrible (one scene describes a particularly gruesome and savage act of brutality by one of his characters). Although the characters are still mixed in quality, virtually all of them are fleshed out well, and even the weakest of them is stronger than the weakest-constructed characters in "Emperor".

Like its predecessor, this novel is still largely historical fiction; rather than showing a changed past and changing future, it mostly shows the key events where changes might have occurred due to the effect of the prophecy, even if they do not end up doing so. The mysterious force called "The Weaver" remains as shrouded in mystery as he/she/it was at the beginning of the series, and the nature of the intervention in time's tapestry remains largely an attempt to shift what would otherwise be a real historical time-line.

This is probably the best novel in the "Time's Tapestry series". While I would not recommend it to anyone who has not read "Emperor", it is overall a solid book.

5-0 out of 5 stars As advertised
The book came as advertised.Quick delivery and response.

Joe in Mobile

2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I bought the first book in this series expecting to read an alternative history.The history is interesting but through book #2, nothing out of the ordinary happens & I've been very disappointed.I enjoy reading historical fiction but was looking for a twist which these aren't delivering.If you want to read historical fiction for the time period covered by books #1 & 2, pick up Bernard Cornwell instead.I'm going to read book #3 with the hope that finally something historically different happens but if you picked the series hoping for some sci-fi element, you will be sorely disappointed.

5-0 out of 5 stars Conqueror: Time Tapestry Book 2
Good stoeymade me go and look up history of that time Hope for a new books by author

5-0 out of 5 stars A sideline seat at the Battle of Hastings
I enjoyed this book, filled with historical detail about the time period of the Viking age leading up to the Norman Conquest.The book is a collection of novelettes with different generations of characters, all fulfilling an obscure prophecy foretelling events that are heralded by each appearance of what will be known as Halley's Comet.

The book concludes with one of the most famous appearances of Halley's Comet, during the time when William the Conqueror defeated King Harold at the Battle of Hastings, establishing the Norman dominance of Britain.The author deftly weaves characters through interactions with Harold and William, allowing us a ringside seat during this epic battle.The book also weaves the characters into another actual historic occurrence, a Viking chieftan's funeral and ship burial as recorded by a contemporary Arab observer.(This burial did occur and was also adapted into a scene in the movie "The 13th Warrior" with Antonio Banderas.)

The only downside to this book is that each of the novelettes is a separate story, so that the reader becomes engaged with the characters only to come to the end of their particular saga, moving on to the next century's descendants and their life and times.In the process, however, one gains a consciousness of how time unceasingly marches forward in one's own ancestry, as we each have our brief time upon the stage of history.

(I believe this is the best book of the four-part series.In fact, it could be read/appreciated alone.) ... Read more

13. Coalescent: A Novel (Destiny's Children, Bk. 1)
by Stephen Baxter
Mass Market Paperback: 544 Pages (2004-11-23)
list price: US$7.50 -- used & new: US$4.09
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345457862
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Now, joined by his boyhood friend Peter McLachlan, who arrives in Rome with a dark secret of his own, George uncovers evidence suggesting that the women of the Order have embarked on a divergent evolutionary path. But they are not just a new kind of human. They are a better kind, genetically superior, equipped with all the tools necessary to render homo sapiens as extinct as the Neanderthals. And, chillingly, George and Peter soon have reason to fear that this colony is preparing to leave its overcrowded underground nest. . . .
Stephen Baxter possesses one of the most brilliant minds in modern science fiction. His vivid storytelling skills have earned him comparison to the giants of the past: Clarke, Asimov, Stapledon. Like his great predecessors, Baxter thinks on a cosmic scale, spinning cutting-edge scientific speculation into pure, page-turning gold. Now Baxter is back with a breathtaking adventure that begins during the catastrophic collapse of Roman Britain and stretches forward into an unimaginably distant, war-torn future, where the fate of humanity lies waiting at the center of the galaxy. . . .

Destiny’s Children

George Poole isn’t sure whether his life has reached a turning point or a dead end. At forty-five, he is divorced and childless, with a career that is going nowhere fast. Then, when his father dies suddenly, George stumbles onto a family secret: a sister he never knew existed. A twin named Rosa, raised in Rome by an enigmatic cult. Hoping to find the answers to the missing pieces of his life, George sets out for the ancient city.

Once in Rome, he learns from Rosa the enthralling story of their distant ancestor, Regina, an iron-willed genius determined to preserve her family as the empire disintegrates around her. It was Regina who founded the cult, which has mysteriously survived and prospered below the streets of Rome for almost two millennia. The Order, says Rosa, is her real family– and, even if he doesn’t realize it yet, it is George’s family, too. When she takes him into the vast underground city that is the Order’s secret home, he feels a strong sense of belonging, yet there is something oddly disturbing about the women he meets. They are all so young and so very much alike.
Stephen Baxter possesses one of the most brilliant minds in modern science fiction. His vivid storytelling skills have earned him comparison to the giants of the past: Clarke, Asimov, Stapledon. Like his great predecessors, Baxter thinks on a cosmic scale, spinning cutting-edge scientific speculation into pure, page-turning gold. Now Baxter is back with a breathtaking adventure that begins during the catastrophic collapse of Roman Britain and stretches forward into an unimaginably distant, war-torn future, where the fate of humanity lies waiting at the center of the galaxy. . . .

Destiny’s Children

George Poole isn’t sure whether his life has reached a turning point or a dead end. At forty-five, he is divorced and childless, with a career that is going nowhere fast. Then, when his father dies suddenly, George stumbles onto a family secret: a sister he never knew existed. A twin named Rosa, raised in Rome by an enigmatic cult. Hoping to find the answers to the missing pieces of his life, George sets out for the ancient city.

Once in Rome, he learns from Rosa the enthralling story of their distant ancestor, Regina, an iron-willed genius determined to preserve her family as the empire disintegrates around her. It was Regina who founded the cult, which has mysteriously survived and prospered below the streets of Rome for almost two millennia. The Order, says Rosa, is her real family– and, even if he doesn’t realize it yet, it is George’s family, too. When she takes him into the vast underground city that is the Order’s secret home, he feels a strong sense of belonging, yet there is something oddly disturbing about the women he meets. They are all so young and so very much alike.

Now, joined by his boyhood friend Peter McLachlan, who arrives in Rome with a dark secret of his own, George uncovers evidence suggesting that the women of the Order have embarked on a divergent evolutionary path. But they are not just a new kind of human. They are a better kind, genetically superior, equipped with all the tools necessary to render homo sapiens as extinct as the Neanderthals. And, chillingly, George and Peter soon have reason to fear that this colony is preparing to leave its overcrowded underground nest. . . .

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (36)

4-0 out of 5 stars Ancient History rather than SciFi, but still worth a look
It's not often that a SciFi book can spend three-fourths of its material in the early Middle Ages and pull it off, but the (hopefully accurate) historical story was facinating in its own right. Definitely more donkeys than spacecraft, but like all good SciFi, Transcendent does chart some new territory and suggests never before considered patterns in human development.

2-0 out of 5 stars Please, can't this just end?
By and large I've enjoyed previous books by this author, but this has a serious disappointment.The plot, or rather the combination of plots, is chaotic and simply not riveting.The bulk of the book is given over to a historical novel, but it's not historical enough to really be educational, not rich enough to be gripping, and it simply doesn't mesh well with what should be the main plot line.

The writing style is fine but overall the plot just doesn't feel like it works and the characters don't really win over either our empathy, compassion or hatred.

SInce I've like the author's work in the past, I held out hope for a satisfying merging of the plot lines long after I should have given up on the book.Let's just say I wasn't satisfied.It's hardly the worst book I have ever seen, but it's one of the least satisfying books I have actually stuck with from cover-to-cover, partly due to high expectations from the author.

3-0 out of 5 stars Setting the scene for the rest of the series?
I got the feeling with this book that its really setting the scene for the next books of the series (which I haven't read).

The trouble with this book is that its just plain dull for hundreds of pages - and only really started to get my interest in the last 50 or less pages - which is a shame, because the story has a lot of potential that will hopefully be developed in the next books. Its for that potential that I've given 3 stars.

I might try and track down the others in the series from a library (buying them is out of the question) - but Stephen really should have made an effort in making this one more lively if he expected readers to make the investment of reading others in the series.

2-0 out of 5 stars Somebody please tell a story!
How to describe this novel? Well, there's a bunch of people, mostly women, living in the catacombs under Rome. Then there's this Brit software engineer who's going through a meaning-of-life crisis, who's somehow connected with them. His story is interleaved with the historical flashbacks of a woman named Regina, who lives through the fall of the Roman Empire and is responsible for the aforementioned catacomb community. That and a couple of other story threads lead up to the BIG SECRET, which is basically that under certain circumstances people will tend to adopt the same social patterns as naked mole rats.

Sort of an interesting premise, but not really worth all the time Baxter spends on it. Oh, and there's also yet another version of the King Arthur Was Real story that Baxter trots out as if it were new, interesting, and had anything at all to do with the rest of the book.

But what's *really* frustrating is that this book is advertised as the first volume in a new series called "Destiny's Children". Which is pretty much a lie: there's no new series, just more stories set in the "Xelee Sequence", the future history that most of Baxter's early work is set in. Which would be forgivable, except that the "Destiny's Children" stories make all kind of references to the "Xelee Sequence" stories, so you'll never understand everything that's going on unless you read the other books in the XS -- which you can't, BECAUSE THEY'RE OUT OF PRINT.

Writers like Baxter seem to think that they can just throw ideas at us without actually trying to tell a story. What am I saying, of course they can -- half the books that consider themselves "hard" SF are like this. Which is why I'm about ready to give up on the genre.

3-0 out of 5 stars Mixed
Very very slow, but very very good.Sometimes Baxter's books feel like they were written in a rush; not this one.I get the feeling that it was very well crafted. However, it is excruciatingly slow in spots.I borrowed this book 3 times from the library and was unable to get past the first chapter each time and had to return it when it was due.Finally they gave a used copy of the book away and I snagged it, given 2 months, I could finally slog into the book enough to be able to finish it.

Overall though I would say that this is excellent writing. ... Read more

14. Conqueror: Time's Tapestry Book Two
by Stephen Baxter
Paperback: 352 Pages (2009-07-28)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0441017428
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Product Description
When William of Normandy, whom history will call the Conqueror, rises to power, the fate of the land rests on actions inspired by the words found in an ancient scroll. It is known as The Prophecy, and it reveals secrets about the future. ... Read more

15. Manifold: Time
by Stephen Baxter
Mass Market Paperback: 480 Pages (2000-11-28)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$2.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 034543076X
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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The year is 2010. More than a century of ecological damage, industrial and technological expansion, and unchecked population growth has left the Earth on the brink of devastation. As the world's governments turn inward, one man dares to envision a bolder, brighter future. That man, Reid Malenfant, has a very different solution to the problems plaguing the planet: the exploration and colonization of space. Now Malenfant gambles the very existence of time on a single desperate throw of the dice. Battling national sabotage and international outcry, as apocalyptic riots sweep the globe, he builds a spacecraft and launches it into deep space. The odds are a trillion to one against him. Or are they?Amazon.com Review
Leave it to the consistently clever Stephen Baxter to pull the old bait and switch. A story that begins as a hoary asteroid-mining tale, set in 2010 against the by-now familiar spiel of fulfilling humanity's pan-galactic Manifest Destiny, instead takes a bold, delightful ascent into a trajectory far more ambitious. To ensure its survival, humankind need not merely master the galaxy but also the flow of time itself.

Manifold: Time's would-be asteroid-miner-in-chief is bootstrap space entrepreneur Reid Malenfant, a media-savvy firebrand who's showed those crotchety NASA folks what's what with his ready-to-fly Big Dumb Booster, piloted by a genetically enhanced super-squid. But Malenfant's near-term plans to exploit the asteroids get diverted when he crosses paths with creepy mathematician and eschatologist Cornelius Taine. Applying Bayes's theorem and a series of other statistical do-si-dos, Taine convinces Malenfant that an inescapable extinction event--the "Carter catastrophe"--is nigh, and that even working to colonize the galaxy might not be enough to save humanity. The answer: build a Feynman "radio" to listen to the future and, by detecting coded quantum waves traveling back through time, divine the fate of human "downstreamers" and find the key to their survival. Space flight, time travel, and even squid negotiations ensue, while Earth is gripped in Last Days madness.

Once again, the award-spangled Baxter gives us sci-fi at its beard-stroking best, with an imaginative, audacious plot line that's firmly grounded in good science, reminiscent of Baxter's own excellent Vacuum Diagrams. --Paul Hughes ... Read more

Customer Reviews (113)

4-0 out of 5 stars Profound Ideas
Baxter's 'Manifold Time' focuses on some truly profound ideas and mind-boggling time scales. Very deep.

Yes, the dialogue, plot, and characters are at times a bit thin. Overall the plot and writerly craft pick up during the second half. But the point of 'Manifold Time' is the science and the ideas, and sublime ideas they are. If you are just looking for a dumb, cheap thriller, this is not for you. But anyone who appreciates Carl Sagan or Michio Kaku and the accompanying deep thoughts of astrophysics and the universe should appreciate this book.

1-0 out of 5 stars wasted potential
The beginning of the book was quite engrossing, but the plot kept wandering all over the place.When the story suddenly, and unexpectedly, started talking about some super-intelligent squid, I quit.Any interest I had in continuing the book was gone.

1-0 out of 5 stars A Physics Fairy Tale - Undisciplined Writing - Cheesy
The characters were weak, but so was the story line. Too many times I had to suspend my understanding of physics to let the author plod to the next impossible description. For example, the author seems to think that reflected light travels at infinite velocity (or very much faster than c) whereas the light coming directly at you from the event is traveling at c. (Characters are watching an expanding sphere of light from an explosion, waiting for it to hit them.) The book has many such flaws. And the characters are equally flawed and thinly portrayed. I can't recommend this book to anyone expecting hard SF, unless you want to groan a lot.

3-0 out of 5 stars I Got Bogged Down...
I am a fan of Stephen Baxter's. Vacuum Diagrams and The Time Ships were two of my favorite sci-fi books in the last ten years (at least among the Sci Fi I have read.) And I was looking forward to diving into a meaty trilogy of his that we could me reading for awhile. However whereas those two novel's took some fascinating contemporary science and built interesting conflicts and narratives on top of them, this book drowns beneath them.

Too often the action gets bogged down in a scene where one scientist or mathematician is standing in a room with one of the protagonists (who were neither) explaining some scientific principle or another which Baxter feels in imperative to the story. And just as the protagonists through one cliche or another express their confusion ("In English" - "X...tried to act like they understood." - "Malenfant tried to contain his frustrating confusion.") over and over and over again, so too was I squinting at the page and struggling to distill the important principles. Invariably the scientist or mathematician would sigh in patronizing frustration at the protagonist/me and simplify things...which they could have just done to begin with.

This happens over and over again to the point where I just got bored and ended up getting bogged down in this one for quite awhile. It's a pity because this past weekend I finally made a concerted effort to finish it and, where the first 250 pages were like a pushup drill, the last 150 were a lot of fun and I flew through them. In typical Baxter style, the story was elevated from interesting straightforward premises to questions about the very nature of the universe and what could be our place in it's present, beginning, and ultimate end. Even in the midst of the climax there was STILL that convention of the smart characters stopping to explain what was happening to the dullards in the story, but at that point the action had reached a level that I didn't care.

Even though I found this one excruciating at points I'm surprisingly still interested in the sequels, if only because I have no idea how this one could carry on. If you can soldier through the first half this one gets a hesitant recommendation.

2-0 out of 5 stars confuses scale with depth
much less thancompelling characters. the truths described in the book make little sense and have other easier explanations. in short. big ideas but trite. ... Read more

16. Raft
by Stephen Baxter
Paperback: 256 Pages (1999-08-02)
list price: US$12.40
Isbn: 0586210911
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Stephen Baxter's highly acclaimed first novel and the beginning of his stunning Xeelee Sequence.A spaceship from Earth accidentally crossed through a hole in space-time to a universe where the force of gravity is one billion times as strong as the gravity we know. Somehow the crew survived, aided by the fact that they emerged into a cloud of gas surrounding a black hole, which provided a breathable atmosphere.Five hundred years later, their descendants still struggle for existence, divided into two main groups. The Miners live on the Belt, a ramshackle ring of dwellings orbiting the core of a dead star, which they excavate for raw materials. These can be traded for food from the Raft, a structure built from the wreckage of the ship, on which a small group of scientists preserve the ancient knowledge which makes survival possible.Rees is a Miner whose curiosity about his world makes him stow away on a flying tree -- just one of the many strange local lifeforms -- carrying trade between the Belt and the Raft.Accepted as an apprentice scientist, he learns that their world is dying, and that in order to live these survivors must contemplate a journey even more perilous and fantastic than that of their ancestors. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

4-0 out of 5 stars This is good "old school" Baxter, unlike his recent rubbish
I love the old works of Stephen Baxter, but dislike his modern works to such a degree that I can hardly believe it is the same author; it's as if someone has stolen his identity and in the last 7 or so years has been publishing with his name. Nevertheless, RAFT is a very creative story that takes you to another universe with a different set of physics. I was in awe at times, in wonderment at others, and felt disgusted with some of the themes, but there is a story here that will fascinate.

What I do find unlikely, from a sociological point of view, is Baxter's British worldview, which places individuals in living conditions which they are either unable or unwilling to change, even when given an opportunity. The cannibal Boney people, for instance, willingly trade with Belt traders, but do not care to take over the Belt fellow's craft in order to escape the nightmare of their decaying home of human waste and dead bodies. Are the Boneys happy, or so apathetic, that they would ignore such a thing and continue to let their children grow up in a hopeless, utterly pointless existence on a little ball of dead bodies, and how long can anyone survive drinking their own...? Give me a break.. that is implausible. The nonsensical unwillingness for characters to warn others when bad things are about to happen is baffling: why would someone knowingly allow a train of events to occur, and then deal with the consequences, when one might have stopped them from happening? It's more of the same--"this is your lot in life, and there's nothing you can do about it" worldview. The social strata of the people in this alternate universe Nebula seem to have parallel to the social strata of Britain--whether as an intended social parody or not, I cannot say, but I would hope that this is intentional and not just Baxter's subconscious worldview exerting influence over his story. One might find a similar parody in H.G.Wells, if indeed a parody it is.

3-0 out of 5 stars Used Stephen Baxter paperback
The product was accurately described.Condition was fair.Delivery was in a timely manner.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read.
I found review of Dec, 2003 interesting for its explaining the critic's contentions over the inaccuracies of the science, but I think the point of the book was missed.This book is a great read.It is unfortunately, one of very few of Baxter's books which have characters you can actually sympathize with.The story is moving and interesting but most of all it will set you up to read and appreciate the rest of the Xeelee sequence like Timelike Infinity and Ring (which are both amazing).Think of this book like The Hobbit is to the Lord of the Rings.

2-0 out of 5 stars Really Interesting Idea, but Flawed Execution
The idea behind this novel (a cosmos where the gravitational constant is one billion times that of ours), is extremely interesting.Baxter should definitely be applauded for coming up with something like this and fleshing it out somewhat.Unfortunately, his writing skills are lacking.First, the overall flavor of the novel is somewhat juvenile.Characters are flat but also inconsistent (similar to what one reviewer here said, the main character is a genius leader one minute but an idiot child the next).Second, the plot basically is held together through miraculous happenings.

But, worst of all, since Baxter is a physicist, is that Baxter's physics are inconsistent (i.e., wrong in some places).For instance, the Belt is a linked set of facilities in orbit around a "star" (which is, itself, in orbit around the center of the cosmos, the Core).There's a microgravity field from the Belt's own mass pulling things from above and below.Yet, somehow, the miners drop a chair down to the "star" by cable.Orbits don't work that way.Assuming they could get the chair away from the belt (and a simple push would probaby be enough), all it would do is go into an elliptical orbit crossing the Belt's orbit.To get to the surface of the "star," they'd need some kind of thrust (and I won't even go into how the cable would end up wrapping around the "star" as the chair changed orbits).

Another example from the Belt is when they're trying to deliver a very heavy food machine.The thing is floating above the Belt.That means it's co-orbital with it.The ropes holding the machine break and the thing falls past the Belt, past the star, and down to the Core.Sorry.But since it's co-orbital, the darn thing would just float around there.Baxter uses that co-orbital floating trick later in the book when a couple of the characters float around "above" the Belt until rescued.

There are similar physics problems at the Raft.First, and very obviously, there is a "star" which is "falling" towards the Raft.It stays there for most of the book.But, since the Raft is orbiting the Core, there's no way something falling toward the Core from a higher orbit would stay fixed above the Raft.Since the gravitational constant is so huge in this cosmos, orbiting bodies move VERY quickly.That "star" would be spiralling all over the heavens on its way down.

In another Raft case, some bad people are trying to make some others "walk the plank" off the edge of the Raft.So what?Again, this thing's in orbit.Walk off the edge, and aside from local gravitational effects, you'd just hang there.This is very similar to a point near the end when the people break a big chunk of the Raft off.It goes plummeting "down" and people fall though the hole to their death.Once again, orbits don't work this way.

There are a lot of other lesser things that are wrong about the physics (the atmosphere is in orbit, too -- where's the weather?), but those are the big ones.With the plot and character problems, these essentially make the book not really worth reading.It's a shame, since the idea behind the book is so clever.But, I just can't recommend the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good start for Baxter
For a first novel, Baxter has done a superb job of thinking about wht would happen in a scenario where gravity is one billion times greater than it is in our universe.Imagine each person having their own gravity field!I always like an SF book that is set in the future, but also hearkens back to the "days of earth" where humans originated and the ideas that come from that.As a physics teacher, I will find it interesting to have a discussion about this scenario and I hope to bring up this book in class.

Baxter needs to work on some of his descriptive abilities, on the other hand.Granted, it may be my problem, but I was unable to picture some of the things he was trying to describe in the book and I think it lacked in being able to effectively describe what something looked like.

All in all, this book has some great imaginative features, and Baxter is someone I am happy to read again. ... Read more

17. Emperor: Time's Tapestry Book One
by Stephen Baxter
Paperback: 384 Pages (2009-03-31)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$4.01
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0441017037
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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A Celtic noble betrays his people and sides with the conquering Roman legions—all because of a prophecy that reveals secrets about the world that is to come, guiding those who hold it to wealth and power. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (17)

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid, but not equal to Baxter's best
"Time's Tapestry" is a four-part series by sci-fi author Stephen Baxter in the "alternate history" genre, beginning in the year 4 B.C. and ending in the 1940s (or their equivalent years). "Emperor" is the first book in the series, and while it trends more towards historical fiction than alternate history, it remains an interesting book.

"Emperor" begins in 4 B.C. in what is now central Britain, when a prophecy concerning the future is uttered in pure Latin - by a woman dying in childbirth who does not speak it. The novel then follows the story of this prophecy as its possessors divine its mysteries (as well as the mystery of its creator, whom they call "The Weaver") and attempt to use it to their own ends. Along the way, we see the progression of Great Britain through the characters' eyes from mere decades after Julius Caesar's conquest to the near-end of Britain's provincial status in the Roman Empire.

This is not the first time that Baxter has written a novel that took place in Roman-era Britain, and it shows. The work is rich in historical detail, which creates some excellent imagery. The characterization is more mixed in value; Baxter "jumps" different spans of time, so each story arc is effectively self-contained (although he does try to show some familial or other connection between an arc and the one preceding it). Some arcs are done very well (Severa comes to mind), while others are little more than plot conveniences to move the prophecy forward.

Much of the criticism of this novel has centered around the fact that it is, with the exception of the prophecy, virtually historical fiction. This is technically true; while it becomes clear, particularly near the end of the series, that this is alternate history, Emperor itself is almost an inverse of the typical historical fiction story. Rather than showing a past changed and moving outwards from there, it shows how the prophecy and attempts to follow it create the possibility for changing the future, whether or not that actually occurs..

Overall, it is a fairly solid work, although not one of Baxter's greatest books. I would recommend it for anyone interested in reading alternate history, as well as anyone interested in a reasonably short historical fiction novel set in the Roman-era Great Britain.

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting historical novel, but not very alternate
After finishing this novel, I noticed that there is a timeline in the front.I compared that to actual historical timelines.Um, where's the divergence?

The premise of the novel is a strange prophecy.The characters revolve around the prophecy, but if you don't bother to do some reading up on history yourself then you won't notice where history is supposed to diverge.

It is fairly engaging, with plenty of character development and historical accuracy.It doesn't fail to entertain, but it doesn't live up to its billing, either.

3-0 out of 5 stars enlightening but turgid
this would be a good read for a history class, bringing alive a milieu little known to most. Saying this is better than a history textbook is faint praise. Love the premise but I had to push through to the end, rather than be drawn effortlessly. I felt virtuous having read the whole thing, but not pleased.

4-0 out of 5 stars Ancient history buffs will like this.
From 4 BC to 418 AD, Baxter follows the legacy of two families from ancient Britannia led by a prophecy that proclaims from a "God-as-babe" birth to the dneath of an emperor. The brilliant interweaving of the lives of the characters and the relvance of the prophecy. As a history buff and a fellow writer of Roman Empire historical fiction, I recommend this book. Enjoy!

2-0 out of 5 stars Not bad as historical fiction, but not what its billed to be
As a fan of alternate history novels such as "1632" and "Island in the Sea of Time," I eagerly purchased "Emperor" with expectations of something similar. Instead, I got a "historical novel" not unlike any other historical novel ever written. "Emperor" is very similar to Rosemary Sutcliff's juvenile historical novel "The Capricorn Bracelet." Instead of following a bracelet through important historic eras, it instead follows a family as they are guided through time by a prophesy that leads them to make astute business decisions and become players in the larger background of history.

If you like historical novels, and especially stories of the Roman Empire, "Emperor" is a decent read. The characters are compelling and the storytelling good, if sometimes bogged down by description. My college class in Ancient Rome was helpful in understanding the political machinations we see in the story, but I wanted more explanation of the modern equivalent of some of the location

The biggest drawback is that "Emperor" is NOT what the cover claims it to be. It is not in any way, shape or form "alternate history." Because of that label, I kept expecting something to change, for history to be altered. I waited for the assassination attempt on Claudius to be successful, or for the Britons to be victorious against the Romans. But it never happened, history never changed.

I purchased this book as alternate history, and once I realized it was not going to "change history," I gave up. Since I am not a fan of historical fiction, the story is not compelling enough to keep my attention, but it probably would be an excellent read for those who simply enjoy multi-generation family historical fiction. ... Read more

18. Moonseed
by Stephen Baxter
Kindle Edition: 672 Pages (2008-01-08)
list price: US$11.99
Asin: B00120958U
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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It Eats Planets. And It's Here.

It starts when Venus explodes into a brilliant cloud of dust and debris, showering Earth with radiation and bizarre particles that wipe out all the crops and half the life in the oceans, and fry the ozone layer. Days later, a few specks of moon rock kicked up from the last Apollo mission fall upon a lava crag in Scotland. That's all it takes . . .

Suddenly, the ground itself begins melting into pools of dust that grow larger every day. For what has demolished Venus, and now threatens Earth itself, is part machine, part life-form: a nano-virus, dubbed Moonseed, that attacks planets.

Four scientists are all that stand between Moonseed and Earth's extinction, four brilliant minds that must race to cut off the virus and save what's left of Earth--a pulse-stopping battle for discovery that will lead them from the Earth's inner core to a daredevil Moon voyage that could save, or damn, us all.

Amazon.com Review
Stephen Baxter, the much-lauded author of Voyage and Titan, has been praised asa sci-fi writer who gets the science right. This rigor and research areclearly evident in Moonseed, a tale with high-energy physics andspace-travel technology in starring roles. It's Baxter's boyish enthusiasmfor science--especially space travel--that makes Moonseed soinvolving.

A world-class disaster epic worthy of any Saturday matinee, Moonseedopens with the spectacular, explosive death of Venus, an event requiringenergy a thousand billion times the world's nuclear arsenal. As theradioactive blast from the late Venus reaches Earth, scientists scramble toattribute a cause, with massless black holes and elementary particles thesize of bacteria pointing towards some sort of superstring as the smokinggun. The pace quickens when the substance that may have caused the demiseof Venus is accidentally introduced to Earth. This substance, dubbedmoonseed, acts as a geological lubricant: processes thatnormally take millions of years occur in mere months with moonseed in the picture. Once Scotland and the stateof Washington get gobbled up by this rock-eating, 10th-dimensionalnano-lifeform, all hell breaks loose and the search turns towards findingsafe refuge for humanity on the Moon. The book's second half is aseat-of-your-pants, what-if exploration of space travel andterraforming.

An over-the-top doomsday yarn by some measures, Moonseed keeps yourfeet on the ground with good science, good characters, and a good story.--Paul Hughes ... Read more

Customer Reviews (48)

1-0 out of 5 stars Adolescent chatter
Could not get past page 85; multiple references to "age" of characters that rendered them somehow incomplete or inadequate, including one such reference to a woman who was ONLY age 30.Either this author produced this manuscript in his young 20s and didn't KNOW any better or he's a blithering idiot.

3-0 out of 5 stars Very good, but not the best from Baxter
Baxter is one of the best living SF writers and all his books deserve a read (at least I have not yet found one that does not).
Moonseed is very good but is not his best. Maybe I'm being overly critic because the story is "too close to home", and does not go as deep as many others in exploring other life forms and time scales in the Universe. Or maybe it's the characters and some unrealistic plot twists.
On the positive, the book explores the possibility of the Earth being attacked by a nano-device that practically melts the soil, breaking the upper crust and stimulating heavy volcanic activity. It has some interesting "scenes" on the Moon, and is overall a pleasant read. However, for those used to Baxter, beware that this is not his best. Good read!

2-0 out of 5 stars Tedious and disappointing
(To avoid nitpicking and restating all the weaknesses of this book, please read other two- and three-star reviews for details I agree makes this book a poor read.)

I myself bought it some years back because I was wild about the other books Baxter had written, mostly the Manifold series.

Where this lets down is not the science, because as another reviewer states, in a sci-fi, you must (even as a science buff) be prepared to give established scientific fact some leeway to let a story and a problem come into being. It lets down on

* first, being Scotland-centric. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against UK SF writers paying homage to their homelands, as Baxter himself, Peter Hamilton, Iain Banks, Ken MacLeod, and M. John Harrison have done - in fact I like some local colour, so that all SF isn't set in the Crichtonesque USA. The problem is that it leaves the rest of the world in a dark vacuum, which robs the suspense; sure, the moon-seed is dropped in Edinbourgh and the catastrophe develops from there, but come on, the rest of the Earth is affected, too! But we learn little about it.

* Second is the discontinuities in the story, or at least one major I'll describe here; Nearing the end of the book, we go from an evacuated Scotland to, boom, one of the protagonists suddently being alone on the earth some years later. There was no story to fill that huge gap. Perhaps it was meant as an epilogue, but I feel there was no preparation for it.

* Third is the unreality of the whole scenario - not that the Earth is doomed (sci-fi, remember!), but that the evacuation seems to take place largely in an air of stoic calm. Not much of the human angle. Again, it leaves you feeling that the story universe is constructed inside a gaping vacuum that begs for some fulFILLment.

Baxter has done better in his earlier works. Avoid this one.

2-0 out of 5 stars Knows his Geology, but not his Biology or Planetology
Enjoying SF is all about suspension of disbelief. The author lost me the first time when the retired cop breaks some ribs (including a compound fracture)and keeps on truckin for HOURS. Unless the guy either can shut of pain or is Superman, this aint gonna happen.
Terraforming the Moon ? Maybe. But...there is no satisfactory answer as to WHY the Moonseed chooses this particular time to start doing its stuff when its been in the solar system for billions of years. I also found out from a planetologist friend of mine that the Earth has been bombarded by stuff from the moon for the same billions of years...Just as we have a meteorite from Mars which has been found in antarctica.
There also seems to be a time discrepancy as to how long the Earth will last once the Moonseed gets going. Henry thinks its on the short side. It turns out being decades. The story just keeps on getting more and more un-believable as it goes along. Too bad....

1-0 out of 5 stars Tedious
I hate it when I have to skip pages to enjoy a book.Page after page after page after page after page after page of needless details that don't further the plot.

Baxter got so bogged down in details about spaceflight and PREPARATION for spaceflight that he forgot he was telling a story.Hey, we're smarter than that.We get it. ... Read more

19. Exultant (Destiny's Children)
by Stephen Baxter
Mass Market Paperback: 512 Pages (2005-10-25)
list price: US$7.50 -- used & new: US$2.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345457897
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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When it comes to cutting-edge science fiction, Stephen Baxter is in a league of his own. His mastery of hard science, his fearlessly speculative imagination, and his ability to combine grand philosophical questions with tales of rousing adventure make him essential reading for anyone concerned with the future of humankind. Now, in Exultant, Baxter takes us to a distant future of dazzling promise and deadly threat, in which a far-flung humanity battles for survival against an implacable alien foe.

Destiny’s Children

For more than twenty thousand years, humans have been at war with the alien race of Xeelee. It is a war fought with armaments so advanced as to be godlike, a war in which time itself has become an ever-shifting battleground. At the cost of billions of lives, and with ruthless and relentless efficiency, the ruling Coalition has pushed the Xeelee back to the galactic core, where the supermassive black hole known as Chandra serves the Xeelee as both fortress and power source.

There, along a front millions of light-years long, a grisly stalemate reigns,
until a young pilot, Pirius, faced with certain death, disobeys orders and employs an innovative time-travel maneuver that, for the first time in the history of the war, results in the capture of a Xeelee fighter. But far from being hailed as a hero when he returns to base with his prize, Pirius is court-martialed, disgraced, and sentenced to penal servitude on a bleak asteroid.

It is not only Pirius who pays the price. In flying into the future and back again, Pirius returned to a time before he’d left, a time inhabited by his younger self. And that younger self, by the pitiless logic of Coalition justice, shares the older Pirius guilt and must be punished. Not everyone in the Coalition agrees. Commissary Nilis believes that the elder Pirius, whom he dubs Pirius Blue, may have found a way to defeat the Xeelee. But Nilis can do nothing for Pirius Blue. Instead, he takes charge of the younger Pirius (Pirius Red), and brings him back to Earth, the capital of a vast empire seething with intrigue.

There Pirius Red will discover truths that will shatter his preconceived notions of all that he is fighting for, even of what it means to be human. Pirius Blue, meanwhile, will learn truths harsher and more discomfiting still. Yet the most shocking revelation of all is still to come, waiting for them at a place called Chandra. . . .

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars an engrossing read
this book sort of seems like the odd one out when compared to the other novels in the destiny's children series (coalescent and transcendent are more like each other), but i really do like this one the most. although it is part of a series, i would say it is a stand-alone novel. it is more in continuation of the xeelee sequence than the others (even resplendent only contributes a little). jeez it just makes more sense and doesn't seem like a random story from the past as coalescent and transcendent do. regardless of all that: this book has fantastic characters and writing and if you like hard scifi, you will like this book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Space Opera at its (almost) best
Space Opera at its (almost) best.Galactic War, interesting alien races, new societal concepts, time travel,hard science: Exultant has it all.Baxter even managed to resist making everyone[...] or some other silly transformations, even though the story takes place 20,000 years in the future or thereabouts.Really a terrific book that probably would have been even better if it was longer as he didn't have enough time to drill down on all the different concepts presented.You will definitely want to read it.

4-0 out of 5 stars A little more space opera than normal for Baxter
Another reader characterized this work as "space opera." In fact, that's what Baxter has produced here. Much the same way Coalescent was, this book contains two major plot threads, which are (true to his normal style) related. Baxter's understanding of time dilation is keen, and he manages to explain it pretty well without using the typical deus-ex-machina style approach to it as other authors have.

That said, the book does have more or less cookie-cutter characters in it. The characters are all pretty wooden, and are nothing really new to me. For contrast, take some of the characters from Iain Banks' Culture books. While you still have gallavanting space oepra protagonists in the Banks books, there is vast depth to his portrayal (such as Sharrow in Against a Dark Background). However, reading a Baxter book, one has to understand that Baxter is an engineer, and is attempting to explain concepts and ideas, to project what he think a possible future may look like. Not to write a bedtime story about heroes and demons.

To that end, Baxter has done a very good job of taking this series (the Destiny's Children series, not all of the Xeelee Sequence) and extrapolating what seems to be Frank Tipler's ideas into a plausible description of a universe in which humanity is taking over.

Of the three books in the series, I do believe Exultant is my favorite. That's kind of sad, given it's 1500 pages, give or take. However, it's par for the course when you consider some of his other series, such as the Manifold books. It's not the misses which disappoint, it's the "hits" which are truly worth reading for.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great imagery
I read this one after "Transcendent".I liked Exultant much better.Actually, I like Transcendent better now than after first reading it because of the way some of the undercurrents from Exultant flow into it.

Humanity's galactic stagnation in the face of a galactic war reminded me of some of Baxter's other books in which civilizations went stagnent or collapsed due to lack of resources or slavish devotion to ideology.I find it an interesting commentary on the present because we're facing possible energy starvation and are experiencing a resurgence in mysticism.

Then, there is the physics underlying it all.Baxter's fiction is about the best intro to cosmology I've encountered.Before I read Exultant, I never really distinguished the surface of a black hole from the event horizon.However, the preservation of energy within a black hole is disturbing because I always assumed that it was homogenous in there.Time to read some physics again because I'm sure Baxter bases his fiction on reality.

So many concepts to dwell on, so little time.I could not put this book down - and I'm a slow reader.

3-0 out of 5 stars A bit too scattered
Probably should have been titled "Conglomerant." It's main value may be its multiple insert chapters which overview the how and why of the Baxter multiverse. But I think that could have been better done with a separate small guide book rather than squeezing it into the cracks of a space opera.I think Mr. Baxter may be trying to tie together all the conflicting technologies, characters, plots, and alien species of his other works into a unified body of work.All well and good but all those walk-on aliens, post-humans, technologies and the history of everything seem to get in the way of the space opera plot rather than illuminating it much.And if there is an overarching, thought-provoking, philosphical point here I seem to have missed it. This novel does explain why there are so many life forms in his other novels (think "intelligent design" with a twist) but I don't catch anything meaningfull from that other than maybe it is an answer to some technical critics.Some good hard science concepts here though so it isn't a total loss. Might also be interesting to teen readers since the protagonist is a teen (and simultaneously in his early twenties) and there is a lot of space war action. Anyhow, I'm sort of hoping that a time travel event in the next novel in the series, "Transcendant," edits out this draft time line. ... Read more

20. Sunstorm (A Time Odyssey)
by Arthur C. Clarke, Stephen Baxter
Mass Market Paperback: 368 Pages (2006-02-28)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.77
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0345452518
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
When Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the greatest science fiction writer ever, teams up with award-winning author Stephen Baxter, who shares Clarke’s bold vision of a future where technology and humanism advance hand in hand, the result is bound to be a book of stellar ambition and accomplishment. Such was the case with Time’s Eye. Now, in the highly anticipated sequel, Clarke and Baxter draw their epic to a triumphant conclusion that is as mind-blowing as anything in Clarke’s famous Space Odyssey series.


Returned to the Earth of 2037 by the Firstborn, mysterious beings of almost limitless technological prowess, Bisesa Dutt is haunted by the memories of her five years spent on the strange alternate Earth called Mir, a jigsaw-puzzle world made up of lands and people cut out of different eras of Earth’s history. Why did the Firstborn create Mir? Why was Bisesa taken there and then brought back on the day after her original disappearance?

Bisesa’s questions receive a chilling answer when scientists discover an anomaly in the sun’s core–an anomaly that has no natural cause is evidence of alien intervention over two thousand years before. Now plans set in motion millennia ago by inscrutable watchers light-years away are coming to fruition in a sunstorm designed to scour the Earth of all life in a bombardment of deadly radiation.

Thus commences a furious race against a ticking solar time bomb. But even now, as apocalypse looms, cooperation is not easy for the peoples and nations of the Earth. Religious and political differences threaten to undermine every effort.

And all the while, the Firstborn are watching...

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (56)

3-0 out of 5 stars Better than part one, but that's not saying much
I was tremendously disappointed in Time's Eye, the first book in this trilogy. I can definitely say that the sequel, Sunstorm, is a much better book, but that's faint praise.

Sunstorm is the kind of story Clarke could not only make look effortless, but could use to educate and entertain as well. Too bad that near the end of such a long and distinguished career he churns out a series that feels pointless and is more interested in lecturing than educating.

For what it's worth, Sunstorm takes one of the characters from the first book - U.N. peacekeeper Bisesa Dutt - out of the patchwork Earth called Mir and returns her to the real Earth the day after she disappears. Earth, it seems, is about to be deluged by a sunstorm caused by the Firstborn. This ancient alien race wants to wipe out Earth so that humans won't be competing for the universe's energy. Suddenly the human race finds itself in a race for survival and begins construction on a huge space shield to blunt the worst of the solar storm. Any guesses on whether humankind will survive?

Apart from the presence of a single character and the mention a few times of the Firstborn, Sunstorm seems hardly like a sequel. In fact, I wish I could have just skipped all the pointless running around and Alexander the Great vs. Genghis Khan of the first book. Perhaps it will all come together in the third book, though I'm not holding my breath.

If this series had been by a first-time author I'd probably be praising it and assuming the author would grow and improve over time. That it's written by a much-beloved writer who was one of sci-fi's giants only makes its mediocrity that much more apparent.

1-0 out of 5 stars Bad Sequel - Political Drivel
There are two problems with Sunstorm.The first is that it contains none of the excitement or excellent story telling found in Time Shift.The second is it takes Clarke's and Baxter's political beliefs to the nth degree.

In Sunstorm the authors explain to readers that Americans are selfish and overbearing.Thanks to the good people of the rest of the world man made global warming is finally being addressed, scientific discoveries are being made, and man kind is maturing.

All religions are bad, remnants of mankind's childhood.Constant references are made to the way "all religions" perform horrible acts of aggression including terrorism.Absent real world examples of terror acts perpetrated by Christians on Muslims, Clarke and Baxter make up a few.Oddly they never mention any of the thousands of real terror acts perpetrated by mad Muslims on "infidels".

Diversity is key in this story.There are constant passages containing look down the nose descriptions of evil or ignorant Americans.Somehow that a person is a scientist, or very intelligent, or insightful about events is secondary to their race.If the people in the future are beyond race, beyond nations, then they wouldn't think of everyone they meet in terms of race and nationality.

Nationality is replaced by a futuristic European union.The major power in the world, it's better than petty nations like America because, well, it isn't America.And when there's a world crisis, only the mighty government of this non nation can save the day.The world, according to Clarke and Baxter, is a better place because socialism and duty to the union has replaced individuality.

Just a few years later the perspectives delivered in the book are, far from forward looking, horribly outdated.Man made global warming has been exposed as a flim flam game.The idea that rabid Christian terrorists are running rampant is absurd.Diversity has been exposed by its adherents constant reference to race.Socialism in America and the European Union and all over the world isn't making the world a better place, it's failing under the weight of its own bloated programs and bankrupt social services.

Time Shift makes the reader look forward to a sequel.Sunstorm makes the reader dread a sequel.

5-0 out of 5 stars Could it actually happen? Find out here
In Sunstorm, the Firstborn -- an ancient alien race -- contrive to send a planet fifteen times the size of Jupiter hurtling into our sun causing a "sunstorm" (get it?) that would wipe us out.

But could it happen?

That question plaqued me as I read this book but I don't think it could...at least how Clarke told this story.

It all has to do with what he tells about the Firstborn.

For one thing, he describes the Firstborn as an ancient race that first evolved when the first stars alighted just after the Big Bang.Just after the Big Bang, the universe was entirely composed of hydrogen and helium (in a roughly 3 to 1 ratio).Though there may have been other elements created as a result of the Big Bang I think it's unlikely that any organic life producing elements like carbon or oxygen would have existed in sufficient quantities to give rise to life.

And time is a problem too!When the first stars alighted after the Big Bang, they were tremendously huge and as a result of their great size they burned themselves out very quickly on the order of millions, and not billions of years.As anyone familiar with Earth history can tell you there is no evidence that life existed here on Earth any earlier than 3.8 billion years ago, a full .8 billion years after the planet was first created.And significantly, when that life was created it was archaic and possessed nothing like the type of intelligence Clarke depicts his Firstborn possessing when their star had to have burned out.

What's more, Clarke says that the Firstborn first conceived of their plot to destroy Earth 4.6 billion years ago when the planet was first formed.At that time, any species observing our planet would have had no way of knowing whether Venus, Earth or Mars would be able to give rise to life.And there's even evidence to suggest that for a time both Mars and Venus may seemed to be superior candidates for giving rise to life.(In this regard, please see Impey's very excellent How it Ends for a full description of the scenerio.)

Long story short:As Clarke depicts it, I would have to say I don't believe it COULD happen the way he says.

But that being said, there could well be intelligences greater than ours and whether they view us with eyes envious or not, they could still view us with eyes malevolent and even now be casting...or executing...their designs.

Watch the skies...watch the skies indeed.

3-0 out of 5 stars 2 and 1/2 Stars -- A Major Disappointment
Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter's Time's Eye is one of the greatest recent science fiction novels, which makes it a true shame that this sequel is distinctly subpar - a great disappointment to fans of Time's, to say nothing of Clarke's many masterpieces. It has since emerged that, in contrast to Time's, the nearly ninety-year-old Clarke did little writing, but Sunstorm would not stand out even if written fully by Baxter or any other capable SF writer. Though not entirely without merit, it lacks nearly all of what made Time's and other Clarke classics great and has little else to recommend it. Though meant to be palatable as a standalone, it makes more sense if one has read Time's - and no one should have anything to do with it until having read the latter anyway. All Time's fans should read it because Firstborn, the concluding volume, is far stronger, but Sunstorm is of at best moderate worth in itself.

The novel is simply weak on every front. Clarke is known for brilliantly imaginative stories and plot elements, but this has his weakest premise. The general idea of a potentially catastrophic sunstorm is interesting, but the details are poorly thought out; for instance, the method by which the Firstborn instigate it is implausibly roundabout. The authors manage to work historical events into the context in an interesting and inventive way, but the plot is very dull. Early segments where the threat is discussed and possible defenses theorized are somewhat intriguing, but the solution is quickly reached - and is so obvious as to be passé. Its enactment takes up most of the plot and is simply not engaging enough to hold the book. One might think suspense would at least be high, but things work out just as anyone would have predicted. The distinctly anti-climactic ending is not helped by a contrived, out of nowhere crisis that is in any event almost instantly resolved. Clarke has thrilled and fascinated me since I was thirteen, and I never would have thought he could be associated with such weak material. I have read nearly everything he wrote, and this is by far his least successful dramatization.

The authors try to save the weak plot by throwing in numerous things of interest to Clarke buffs:space elevators, solar wind, references to the Space Odyssey series and other works, etc. These are somewhat fun at first but soon start to seem disingenuously manufactured. Clarke fans have long been used to such things, accepting them with a wink, but in the past they always had a strong story with mesmerizing ideas to hold them up. Here they practically stand alone and almost seem dangerously near self-parody. Clarke was after all not only one of the most brilliant writers of recent times but one of the most brilliant thinkers and inventors, and it is truly sad to see him recycling old ideas with nothing to add. He would have been better served by leaving Sunstorm unwritten than trotting out such a half-baked effort.

Clarke has always been criticized for weak characterization, and Baxter presumably contributed significantly to Time's relatively strong showing in this area. However, Sunstorm's characters are simply uninteresting; no other novel, or even short story, by Clarke has such bland and, above all, boring ones. It is almost impossible to care about them. The emotions we are supposed to feel simply do not come; even deaths fail to move. The younger characters in particular are downright annoying, as are the computers - a sad realization considering they come from the creator of HAl. Even the lone major character returning from Time's is newly uninteresting - indeed, is inexplicably practically a different character, everything that made her worthwhile somehow replaced by near-risible timidity. The authors of course had the right to take the series in a new direction, but it is extremely hard not to wish for Time's far superior cast. The slight romance attempt is also a failure, while the interesting Time's romance is mysteriously dismissed in an aside; several other continuity discrepancies are similarly jarring. The two researchers are the only even remotely alluring characters, and the book would probably have been better if their subplot had been developed more.

The novel's strengths are few. Clarke standbys like religious critique are here implicitly but a pale shadow of former depictions and hard to pay attention to in any case amid general mediocrity. His characteristic optimism and faith in technology are here in full, but the presentation makes them infinitely less compelling than usual. The fact that we can see where his strengths could have been utilized only makes the weak execution all the more depressing.

Sunstorm is simply a major disappointment. Clarke completists will of course want it, but anyone who liked Time's but is scared by my review and/or others might consider skipping to Firstborn, as it parenthetically explains the little one would miss. I am glad it was not Clarke's last novel, as I feared it would be, but it is still unfortunate that his canon has such a weak entry.

1-0 out of 5 stars Endlessly Ending His Career
FirstBorn has a great many plots all running at once and all leading to a final great climax. Very well written until the author ran out......the end is so pathetic as to be meaningless..... 2001 A Space Odyssey at least had a suggestion of meaning.This was a Dead.....end ... Read more

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