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Firstborn: A Time Odyssey Book Three Hardcover – 29 May 2008

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz; 1st Edition edition (29 May 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575083409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575083400
  • Product Dimensions: 16.3 x 3 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,077,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"This is good, solid, hard SF, coming from a base of realism: the physics is speculative but as accurate as possible, as is the high-tech equipment. It's a strain of SF rarely done well these days: technology projected forward into a plausible future. It¿s a classic Arthur C. Clarke approach. Classic, if somewhat old-fashioned, science fiction thrills of the plausible future kind." (DREAMWATCH)

'Firstborn concludes the Times Odyssey trilogy - with the blend of hard scientific speculation, gripping narrative and cosmic sense of wonder that always marked Arthur C Clarke's science-fiction novels. An enjoyable read." (Lisa Tuttle THE TIMES)

Solidly traditional SF. (Dave Langford SFX)

"Clarke and Baxter deliver that sense of wonder which has always been one of the things we read science fiction for. And for once the wonderful mysteries of the plot remain magical even after they've been explained." (TIME OUT Roz Kaveney)

"Firstborn is a rousing adventure, full of convincing near-future detail and a proper Clarkian sense of wonder. The enthusiasm for exploring, spreading out, solving puzzles and building a better future are relentless. Be compassionate, it says, but be clever - and never give up. It's a fitting capstone to Arthur C Clarke's writing life." (DEATHRAY)

Book Description

Two of the biggest names in SF together again, with the third of the acclaimed Time's Odyssey sequence

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3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Electric Gypsy on 19 Jan. 2008
Format: Hardcover
I'd waited a long time for the concluding book in the excellent Time Odyssey trilogy, and wasn't disappointed by it. True to form, Clarke and Baxter's latest collabaration delivers. If sci-fantasy is your thing, this may not be for you, but for fans of pure science-fiction, there is much to make you think. In terms of style, I would say most of the writing is Baxter, but the plot is definitely ACC's broad visionary style. I would say that it is almost essential to have read the previous 2 books in the trilogy first in order to fully appreciate the detail and subtleties. Even though it is the last book in the trilogy, some details and questions remain when you get to the last page, scope for another book? I hope so. In summary, there is much here for the discerning sf reader, an excellent story backed up by good scientific thinking.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. Wilson on 24 Jun. 2008
Format: Hardcover
The way things are described is great, entirely feasible space elevators, procedures to stop contamination on Mars, orbital physics, light sails... all based on real knowledge. Quite exciting to the last page as doom threatens the planet.

My issue with the book was that it skips around too much. I found it hard to follow where we were being taken within the story and at some points I hadn't a clue what just happened. Maybe thats just me, but some things seemed to happen out of sync and I lost the book a couple of times. I'll be interested to read other reviews and see if people found similar to me.

Overall a good read. It didn't take me too long to finish this one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By D. Jones #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 8 Dec. 2011
Format: Kindle Edition
This third novel binds together the stories weaved in the first two books. The first two novels were largely independent of one other and could be enjoyed separately, but this one will make little sense unless you read the first two.

Having survived the first onslaught of the Firstborn in book two, in this one they have yet another trick up their sleeve in the form of an invulnerable quantum bomb headed straight for Earth. It will take months to arrive so can this be prevented? - This is the crux of the story.

This Q-bomb beastie creates a mini-universe that surrounds the target - which gradually removes the object from this reality. The science of expanding and imploding universes are weaved nicely into the plot lines, as well as other science fiction favourites of space travel, terraforming, anti-matter drives.

The story flips between the years after the Sunstorm of book two and the alternate reality of Mir in book one. This does tend to muddy the plot lines a fair bit which is confusing, but the authors make fair effort to bind it together into a cohesive story line.

The authors give themselves a classic hook into a possible fourth book, but this did weaken the ending considerably I think.

A good read but not outstanding.
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By zargb5 on 18 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
Book 3 of this fine trilogy manages to up the ante over the other 2 novels in the sequence. This time we are treated to a quantum bomb from the first ones.

Again the hard science fiction is very engrossing to read, though the return to Mir in sections felt like they got in the way of the plot somewhat. Mir is finally explained, but its history overly described for the needs of the novel.

There is more exposition of the first ones plans and the quantum bomb and its effects described well. The ending after a great build up feels a little anti climactic and there was an open ending which begs more questions if Mr baxter wishes to return to this universe in the future. Its been a while so maybe we have seen the last of it sadly?

This is a good novel but doesn't quite manage the tension and gripping narrative conclusion of the 2nd novel 'sunstorm'
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By I. Baxter on 26 Sept. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some authors do well in collaboration with others, (like Larry Niven), some don't. The late Sir Arthur never produced anything I really liked when in cahoots with someone else.The Time Odyssey series is almost in that category.If it had had anyone else's by-line on it, it would have been a prize-winner.As it is, it's not up to the great man's best, but still probably a "keeper".If I'm spared, I'll read them again in a year or so's time,to see if the charity shop gets them or not.There's enough typical Clarke in it that you can't judge it on the basis of being just a Stephen Baxter book, (and he's usually pretty good) it's the combination that trips you up.You'll have to buy 'em and try 'em your self,they're a good enough read anyway.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book tries to conclude the trilogy but it does not reach the level of the previous two books. There is nothing original like the fragmented world of Mir or the space opera and of building the shield. Actually the action is very fragmented with the character jumping from one place to another without much of an explanation or in depth story. The character themselves are not well developed and do not have the same depth of those in the previous book. Probably the book was rushed to completion before Clarke departure and was not completely reviewed before publication.
All in all a book worth reading only if you are very interested in how the story could move forward after Sunstorm.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By E. Hodson on 26 Jan. 2008
Format: Hardcover
"The Conclusion of A Time Odyssey" is how it is subtitled. The previous two books were superb, with the first being my favourite. This is no doubt a good book, but as I neared the final quarter I feared that no real 'conclusion' would be made. Sadly this is exactly what happened. A weak ending. I am gutted that such a great trilogy came to an end in a rather "Scooby Doo" manner. I never thought I'd say that about a book by these two great authors. I sincerely hope that they pick it back up again and finish it off properly with a fourth book.
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