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Origin (Manifold)
 
 

Origin (Manifold) [Kindle Edition]

Stephen Baxter
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Stephen Baxter continues to think big and create SF on a grand cosmic scale in Origin, the third novel of his Manifold trilogy.

The Manifold is an infinite sheaf of alternative universes which Baxter explores in terms of Fermi's Paradox. There's no reason why humanity should be unique; logically there should be alien races, some long enough established to have made their mark on the galaxy; where are they?

Book one, Time, offered a vision of lonely humanity extending to the far end of eternity and finally rebooting a "better" universe. Space showed the consequences of teeming interstellar life, a cruel struggle for resources, punctuated by galactic-sized extinction events. Now Origin confronts the whole Manifold and its and humanity's manipulation by enigmatic "Old Ones".

Astronaut Reid Malenfant (versions of whom starred in Time and Space) again encounters advanced technology as a huge, glowing blue circle--a portal to and from the Red Moon that wanders between universes and has just replaced our own moon. It's habitable and populated by an extraordinary medley from all stages of human evolution, scooped up from different Earths. There's much conflict with primitives leading nasty, brutish and short lives... plus super-evolved humans who debate whether we are truly sentient.

At its core the Red Moon contains the failing World Engine which flips between universes. Also down there is the secret history of this multi-verse, right back to the cataclysmic branch-point from which the Manifold flowered. Who are the Old Ones? "They made the manifold"--but were maybe not so different from us and rash, quixotic Malenfant after all. Highly superior SF, guaranteed to jolt one's sense of wonder. --David Langford

Review

‘Baxter is taking basic sf ideas and rebuilding them based on current science, technology and politics – a tried and true method sor sf writers but no less effective for that. Baxter apparently has the ambition and the energy to reinvigorate hard sf all by himself’
Locus on SPACE

‘Like all good sf, SPACE provokes questions. What kind of species are we?… the other reason SPACE works well is that Baxter is a good writer… his format and style are assured and keep you happily suspended and engrossed. Right up to the satisfyingly vertiginous climax… Malenfant is one of sf’s more memorable characters’
SFX on SPACE

‘Pacy, visionary, extravagantly imagined, Time places Baxter firmly in the tradition of Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov. How reassuring to know that while so many authors are lying in the gutter of the information superhighway, someone at least is still looking at the stars’
The Times

‘Time is a big ambitious book… science fiction at its best’
FHM


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 788 KB
  • Print Length: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (28 Jun 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008CBD768
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #7,252 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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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:

Coalescent
Exultant
Transcendent
Resplendent

Time's Tapestry novels in series order:

Emperor
Conqueror
Navigator Weaver

Flood novels:

Flood
Ark

Time Odyssey series (with Arthur C Clarke):

Time's Eye
Sunstorm
Firstborn

Manifold series:

Time
Space
Origin
Phase Space

Mammoth series:

Mammoth (aka Silverhair)
Long Tusk
Ice Bones
Behemoth

NASA trilogy:

Voyage
Titan
Moonseed

Xeelee sequence:

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

The Web series for Young Adults:

Gulliverzone
Webcrash

Coming in 2010:

Stone Spring - book one of the Northland series

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Possible SPOLIER alert 19 Mar 2003
Format:Paperback
Great book. I thought the first two in the series were fantastic, but this book didn't quite have the same 'ring' about it. Hoho. Still, great story which luckily held my attention. Although it may not for other lovers of hard Sci-Fi.
I am left feeling gutted. It almost feels like Baxter got a little bored near the end, or annoyed.
It's not fair. If there weren’t an infinite number of universes I'd be even more upset.
Part of me wishes I'd stopped at the second book... Although I doubt I, nor anyone who enjoyed the first two, would have been able to do that.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb finale to the manifold series! 15 Sep 2001
Format:Hardcover
In the three books in the manifold series Stephen baxter attempts to explain the 'Fermi paradox'. For those not in the know, the Fermi pardox states that the universe has been around for so long now that intelligent life has had plenty of time to develope but if it had it would be here by now!. In the first book 'Time' the story starts in a universe where life only exists on Earth. The second and perhaps weekest book in the series 'Space' has all the same characters as the first and even starts at the same time the first book started but this time the story is set in an alternate universe where life is everywhere. Now in 'Origon' the final book in the 'Manifold' series Stephen Baxter has set a compromise where life is everywhere and only on Earth, to explain how this is possible would give away too much plot. Origon starts with the moon dissapearing and being replaced by a new red moon thriving with life. Once again our hero 'Reid Malenfant' has to convince NASA to build a 'big dumb booster' rocket to get him into space and explore this new moon. What Malenfant doesn't tell them is that he has an alternate motive to get to the moon - his wife Emma is up there, teleported by a blue ring that magically appeared over South Africa. This is a gripping finale to the manifold series never slowing down to let you catch your breath. Time was a great read, Space tailed off a little but Origon has more than made uo for that it is a superb book - If you haven'tread it yet go out and get it now! And then read everything else that Stephen Baxter has written!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback
This is hard science fiction (ie, Baxter knows what he's talking about). It throws modern protagonists into an environment where they are confronted with Neanderthals, australopithecines and other human ancestors, including previously unknown species invented by Baxter. What's particularly impressive is Baxter's vision of the psychology of the almost-humans - speculative, but highly convincing. Themes of alternative history and a (silly but enjoyable) theory of human origins are also dealt with. The writing is good, and the characterisation is fair.
This is part of the Manifold sequence of books - I recommend you read 'Space' before you read this (and perhaps 'Time', although it's not so good) but it's not essential. They feature the same characters in alternate timelines. This works well, and is not a way to pad out a novel to saga length!
There aren't many authors writing 'proper' SF at the moment. That said, you don't need to be an expert in science to enjoy this. If you are interested in human evolution, you will find it an extremely enjoyable piece of speculation!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars GENIUS!! 1 Oct 2002
Format:Paperback
In the three books in the manifold series Stephen baxter attempts to explain the 'Fermi paradox'.
For those not in the know, the Fermi pardox states that the universe has been around for so long now that intelligent life has had plenty of time to develop but if it had it would be here by now!.
In the first book 'Time' the story starts in a universe where life exists only on Earth. The second and perhaps weekest book in the series 'Space' has all the same characters as the first and even starts at the same time the first book started but this time the story is set in an alternate universe where life is everywhere. Now in 'Origin' the final book in the 'Manifold' series Stephen Baxter has set a compromise where life is everywhere and only on Earth, to explain how this is possible would give away too much plot.
Origin starts with the moon disapearing and being replaced by a new red moon thriving with life. Once again our hero 'Reid Malenfant' has to convince NASA to build a 'big dumb booster' rocket to get him into space and explore this new moon. What Malenfant doesn't tell them is that he has an alternate motive to get to the moon - his wife Emma is up there, teleported by a blue ring that magically appeared over South Africa.
This is a gripping finale to the manifold series never slowing down to let you catch your breath. Time was a great read, Space tailed off a little but Origin has more than made uo for that. It is a superb book - If you haven't read it yet go out and get it now! And then read everything else that Stephen Baxter has written!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some good ideas, but a disappointing sequel. 3 Sep 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I found first two books in the trilogy, Time and Space, excellent, and I had been looking forward to the release of Origin in paperback so that I could afford it! Both these books contained incredible concepts which nevertheless seemed to be well backed up with scientific theory (such as the very detailed description of the evolution of the galaxy in Time) but just as importantly they showed a deep understanding of human history that made the human side of the plot very believable, and hence very enjoyable.
However, I found Origin infuriatingly lacking in both of these. There were some 'big ideas', but even these were not as wide in scope as those found in the previous two books. In fact, I found that the 'climax' was little more than a rehashing of ideas fully developed in the other books, with some passages quoted almost verbatim. The beginning of the book was excellent, what I had come to expect from Baxter, but the main body of the book was a discussion of the 'society' of various hominids which, while interesting at first, became less so after a while. I was particularly annoyed at the way in which Baxter ended Shadow's story: a fairly major story thread which I had expected to join up with the others at the climax was instead unceremoniously terminated for no good reason. Likewise, the final destinies of Malenfant and Nemoto seemed unsatisfactory.
The first 100 pages of Origin would get 5 stars, easily, but the rest of the book was decidedly disappointing. Baxter can do better than this.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing and interesting in equal measure
There is an element of the book which seems to revel in the base behaviours of primate-like beings. Rape, infanticide, and excessive violence are described in almost glorified,... Read more
Published 8 months ago by J. Alexander
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
All the books in this series have been fantastic.
Produces some tremendous theories and ideas.
Baxter really has a gift for imagery - I honestly read this in 1 sitting...
Published on 27 July 2011 by Mr. M. D. Higginbotham
3.0 out of 5 stars Good conclusion to a great series
Having thoroughly enjoyed both, Time and Space in the manifold series Origin was the natural next step, and I started reading this immediately after I finished "Space". Read more
Published on 6 April 2011 by James Fenn
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful Stuff...
This is no Sci Fi. I've been appreciating sci fi books since the early offerings of Asimov and Clark to the excellent works of Hamilton but this rubbish from Baxter is truly awful. Read more
Published on 13 Sep 2010 by Geek
3.0 out of 5 stars Full of grand themes, but a disappointing end to the series
"Origin" is the third and final book in Stephen Baxter's Manifold sequence, exploring the conundrum known as the Fermi Paradox: if alien intelligences do exist, why don't we see... Read more
Published on 13 Aug 2009 by The Wanderer
4.0 out of 5 stars Of the origins
Manifold is a series of three books. They're not a sequence, actually, as they describe parallel universes. Read more
Published on 20 April 2008 by Mikko Saari
1.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, its all gone a bit wrong...
I was eagerly awaiting this book, and upon reading it I was very disappointed.
It starts like his previous two books in the trilogy were written - a high concept and original... Read more
Published on 22 Aug 2004 by Mr. K. J. Santi
1.0 out of 5 stars Origin - of boredom?!
Well, I picked this book up expecting a detailed and exciting story. What did I get? Lots of little sentences strung together in little paragraphs that jumped around the place more... Read more
Published on 6 Nov 2003 by "chrisbertrand"
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This whole manifold trilogy is well worth a read. Time was brilliant, space lost me a bit, but Origin brings everything together, and still manages to give you a puch in the... Read more
Published on 16 Jan 2003 by Simon Carrington
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting SF treatment of our "alien" ancestors
This is hard science fiction (ie, Baxter knows what he's talking about). It throws modern protagonists into an environment where they are confronted with Neanderthals,... Read more
Published on 7 Nov 2002 by Ben Henley
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