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Flood Hardcover – 5 May 2009

90 customer reviews

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Hardcover, 5 May 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 490 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; First Roc Hardcover Printing edition (5 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451462718
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451462718
  • Product Dimensions: 16.7 x 4 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,689,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephen Baxter is the pre-eminent SF writer of his generation. Published around the world he has also won major awards in the UK, US, Germany, and Japan. Born in 1957 he has degrees from Cambridge and Southampton. He lives in Northumberland with his wife.

Here are the Destiny's Children novels in series order:


Time's Tapestry novels in series order:

Navigator Weaver

Flood novels:


Time Odyssey series (with Arthur C Clarke):

Time's Eye

Manifold series:

Phase Space

Mammoth series:

Mammoth (aka Silverhair)
Long Tusk
Ice Bones

NASA trilogy:


Xeelee sequence:

Timelike Infinity
Vacuum Diagrams (linked short stories)
The Xeelee Omnibus (Raft, Timelike Infinity, Flux, Ring)

The Web series for Young Adults:


Coming in 2010:

Stone Spring - book one of the Northland series

Product Description


Baxter's vision of a drowning earth is compelling. (Lisa Tuttle THE TIMES)

A central narrative that's as relentless as a Panzer sweeping across lowland France in 1940. Amid huge events, the author still finds time for the intimate, the human-sized. (Jonathan Wright SFX)

He retains that uniquely easy way of dramatizing scientific possibilities into an engaging survivial narrative, while throwing in some satirical barbs. (STARBURST)

'FLOOD has an increasing sense of gravitas, and even, by the end, a genuine weight of mourning. It's actually a novel that gains in power as it goes along, and as it becomes increasingly apparent that no miracle technofixes are in sight. A largely old fashioned disaster tale presented with spectacle and efficient pacing' (LOCUS)

"Covering events from the UK to the US, from Australia to Tibet, this is a comprehensive disaster novel that has a very global feel. Perhaps mostly this book is an homage to human survivability - we endure should be our motto. [It] deserves to sit high on the blockbuster shelves." (SFFWORLD)

"For once a modern SF book where the central science doesn't need the reader to have memorised advanced quantum theory beforehand. Flood is a superbly enjoyable SF novel, although those living close to the sea may feel a bit nervous after reading it. And before anyone asks, yes, it's better than Waterworld. (THE WERTZONE)

Bold, compassionate, exhilarating, wrenching stuff. (Niall Harrison INTERNET REVIEW OF SF)

"A gripping near-future allegory of global warming. At times, Baxter's narrative is as relentless as the inexorable waters, but that, you suspect, is his idea Deeply scary." (Jonathan Wright BBC FOCUS)

"There is a degree of optimism throughout that belies any biblical doom; the world may be changed irrevocably, but there can still be a place for humanity." (Paul cocburn INTERZONE)

The ever readable Baxter has a page-flipper in Flood. It will make you fidget in your beach chair this summer. It is not just a literary come-uppance for climate change deniers; it will give everyone pause to think. (John C. Snider SCI FI DIMENSIONS)

Baxter never loses sight in the bigger picture of the effect of the flood on the lives of individuals, societies and nations. The cast might be extensive, but the lives of the major players are skilfully interwoven with the plight of the planet. The sequel, Ark, will continue this enthralling story. (Eric Brown GUARDIAN) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The ultimate disaster - the world is drowning and there is nowhere left on earth to go. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Blackcatlover on 26 Oct. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book begins in 2016 with the story of five hostages held in Barcelona, where it's raining heavily and won't stop. They're rescued by a team sent by Nathan Lomockson - a technocrat and very rich man - but not before one of them is brutally killed. The remaining four pledge to look out for each other from then on. Lomockson himself takes a lifelong interest in each of them, and their fates thereafter are tied in with his. The ensuing events in the novel take place over a span of around sixty years.

The narrative moves forward by chronological increments as the world's water level increases, and continues to rise. The episodic structure suits the book perfectly - it's a neat narrative trick. Baxter provides us with a series of snapshots of important events and details the human reaction to each stage of the increase.

Nathan sets himself up as a would-be saviour of the world. He appears at pivotal points throughout the story as the sea levels rise higher and higher, and we see the impact of important events on his and/or one or more of the former hostages. Although a hard-boiled, nuts and bolts SF writer, Stephen Baxter realises that his book would be nothing if the reader weren't allowed to engage emotionally with the characters.

And even though the characterisation isn't as strong as your average mainstream writer's, it's still good enough to carry the story of the watery death of an entire planet.

If you remember back to your schooldays (a harder and harder job for some of us!) the hydrologic cycle taught us that there is not one extra drop of water now than there was at the time of creation. So where is the extra water coming from? Melting icecaps? That would only be responsible for a limited increase.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. P. Mankin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 7 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
This is a plot-driven novel that makes a good holiday read. It is a shame that Baxter struggles with characterisation (indeed this aspect is virtually non-existent). So don't expect any deep psychgological insights - characters are little more than ciphers for plot developments. It is this failing that limits the book's ambitions and prevents it from being ranked alongside apocalyptic classics by John Christopher, Margarer Atwood, Cormac McCarthy and so on. I felt the ending was rather a non-event (clearly a sequel was in mind and this somewhat ruined the potential for any thought-provoking conclusion).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By carrosvoss on 7 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a good read but...
There were moments when reading the book, that I felt something was missing. Just couple of paragraphs here and there, more defined picture, just a few more details. With the action spanning some fifty years it is not easy to choose what to write about and what to concentrate on but I felt that sometimes the action was tat too narrow.
The main problem of the book is the lack of definition of characters. We start off with five of them, all held hostage for years in Spain, only to have a number reduced to four just when the main action starts to unfold and they are liberated. There are two women: Lily and Helen, and two men: Gary and Piers. We know very little about them: Lily is a helicopter pilot, Helen a mother of a three-year-old daughter Grace, a product of a rape. Piers has some kind of a mental breakdown and Gary is a scientist. And that's as much as we will learn, safe for one or two more details. There just simply isn't enough, forgive me the pun, meet on these bodies to get attached to them, to be able to absorb the unfolding events through their eyes.
As to the action, it is either too fast or too slow, not enough details to absorb the enormity of the catastrophe that happens on the pages of the book. I think that problem is that it tried to tell the story on a global scale. Therefore we have information about almost simultaneous events in USA, South America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Each treated with similar attention. But instead of concentrating on one, maybe two places, showing changes over a longer time, author hops from continent to continent, from place to place like a mad grasshopper.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Stuart Mcmillan on 20 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
Stephen Baxter seems to be brilliant at picking up on some bonkers bit of science and blowing us all up with it. Moonseed managed to change the face of the planet in one way and 'flood' picks up on the current science of climate change and sea-level rise and runs with it, creating a never-ending deluge (where does it all come from?) that takes real-science predictions and just keeps on going.

The protagonists are invented from a sealed-off group of hostages who've been kept out of the news and the public eye for 5 years and have no idea just how fast and how deep (pun intended) the waters round the world have got.

It's pretty quickly clear that the scientific establishment hasn't yet got their head around the impending catastrophe and poor planning and it takes continued sea-level rise for a few smart men to start making shrewd investments around planning for the future. (Shades of 'When Worlds Collide' here).

The hostages are used as a thread through the tapestry that is the unfolding of the unceasing and unrelenting rise of the waters around the world. The sea itself and the shrinking land are the major players here, the people merely playing out a destiny in the destruction of the earth.

The ensemble cast plays out the role of narrator and protagonist and creates a sequence of possibilities for the salvation or damnation of mankind, neatly setting the scene for the subsequent novel, 'Ark'.

I enjoyed the book, but the sheer scale of Baxter's canvass makes for characters that struggle to be heard against the vision. Any one thread would have been enough to follow, but the constant intermingling dilutes the intensity of feeling for the people's narrative that would've made something more meaningful.
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