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Space (Manifold) Mass Market Paperback – Jan 2002


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey Books; Reprint edition (Jan. 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345430786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345430786
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 3.5 x 17.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,811,865 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:

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

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
A passenger in the Hope-3 tug, Reid Malenfant descended toward the Moon. Read the first page
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Richard Try on 6 Jun. 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I really enjoyed Time - I thought it was brilliant and couldn't wait to get into Space - I was wholeheartedly disappointed...starts well, brilliant ideas but descends into seemingly endless descriptions of "regolith dust." I got bored and put it down - something I hate doing and felt guilty until I picked up "the reality dysfunction" (Hamilton)!
What let it down, for me, was the over-descriptiveness..shame, really. Time was brilliant and the initial premise of this is also. A real let-down.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 18 Mar. 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is truly one of Baxters greatest novels. It has a brilliant time-jump sequence in it. The thing that stands out most about Baxters writings is the technological and scientific side. I'm not sure if everything that Baxter writes in his books is true but it is very well put across and sounds extremely realistic. Especially the Gaijin. I don't think that that would work in real life but it sure soundsa like it should.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 50 reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
One of Baxters' best to date. 30 Jan. 2001
By Jason N. Gultjaeff - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Absolutley loved this novel. The shear depth of Baxters' ideas and his firm grasp of the latest cutting edge physics, is a joy to read. I loved Mainifold: Time, but this one I couldn't put down. What I love most about this novel is that you realise your learning something while enjoying every page. Personally, I have no problems with Baxters' characterizations and writing style, I think he's one of the best in hard SF ( generally better than Egan or Bear, in my opinion). To summarize what this novel is about, while not giving too much away- imagine a thought experiment concerning the Fermi Paradox, e.g if aliens exist, why aren't they here? This paradox could have lots of solutions, e.g life is very,very rare, or perhaps life is common but it gets wiped out or wipes itself out in a relatively short time scale... This novel seems to take the latter angle, space is brimming with life, yet none of it every really gets the chance to advance beyond a certain point. What's behind all this is the crux of the story. Loved the ending as well.
Highly recommended.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
One of Baxter's weaker ones 6 Nov. 2001
By O-St - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Not that I'll be misunderstood: I'm one of Mr Baxters biggest fans and most loyal readers, but "Manifold:Space" lacks a very important quality of a book: a coherent story that keeps the reader interested. Characters and their achievements light up for a few chapters and then disappear again in the vast maw of time.
"The most awesome ideas in science fiction today" rates "The Times" on the cover of my UK edition. That is not untrue - but unlike in "Manifold:Time", here Mr Baxter fails to weave those ideas into a gripping story - I repeatedly had to force myself to continue reading. Of course it is way more difficult to tell a story that spans centuries and millenia than one that only stretches the protagonist's lifetime and maybe it is the problem of us "mayfly humans" (compared to those mechanical aliens described in the book that "live" for millenia) that we find it hard to follow such eternal-like periods of time - but hey: we're the only life-form yet that can read (his) books ! And in "Time" Mr Baxters'ideas about the future of the universe and mankind as a part of it were at least as awesome as in "Space" - and nonetheless it was a thrilling, page-turning story. I hope that the proposed third one in this sequence, "Manifold:Origin", will take up the quality of "Time" and - although hardly possible, since its his best - "The Time Ships".
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
a bleak Gulliver's Travels for the 3rd millennium 22 May 2002
By Fudo Myo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Baxter's Space is the Gulliver's Travels of modern science fiction. I mean this not only in terms of narrative convention (hapless traveler is propelled from one tableaux to the next to showcase the author's agenda, in this case, a grab-bag of the myriad forms life might take in various environments), but of repute, as well: with Time as his launching point, Baxter takes cyclopean strides, earning the hallmark "classic" and instantly vaulting into my Top Ten Greatest Sci-Fi Novels of All Time. Baxter has come a long way from what I label the "pajama sci-fi" of his Xeelee sequence: cheeseball crews running around in their jammy-jams like something from Star Trek: the Motion Picture or Invaders from Plan 9. Baxter's ideas were always there, but his Michael Crichton School of bland prose was a great detraction. No more - he's battened down the hatches on sloppy writing, his characters have distinct voices, and the greatest improvement of all, his dialogue has gone from Vaudevillian melodrama to the downright profound. Baxter refreshingly skips hashing out the trials of his characters and gets to the nitty gritty: one sentence, Malefant is reasoning out how he can get to a deep space "Saddle Point," the next sentence, he's there, and who cares how he swung it?
All this, and the ideas are still there; each chapter bursts with an astonishing new Big Idea that forces one to pause and give a Keanu Reeves "whoah." The final onslaught of the Cracker fleet and Nemoto's soliloquy is the most deliciously bleak scene I have read in sci-fi since the end of Orwell's 1984. Here's hoping Baxter's Darwinian vision of space colonization is totally wrong. I, for one, am still waiting for enlightened beings to descend from the heavens and help us save us from ourselves.
Space is not perfect - the micronized space-ship with no plausible explanation from a race that Baxter repeatedly stresses has comparatively primitive technology is particularly irksome, and Baxter can sometimes hit you over the head to make his point (there's no need to use "Darwinian" as an adjective twice on the same page - I get it already), but these are minor annoyances. It's the power to make you cower like an insignificant mote against the howling void, to go slack-jawed with wonder and awe as you gaze out over alien vistas, to make you still ask after witnessing 10,000 years of human evolution, "Is that all there is?" Baxter dishes it up in droves and he's unlikely to pull it off again, so if you're going to read only one, this is it.
Finally, my glib answer to the Fermi Paradox: we exist, but we're not there...
Fudo Myo
Geneva, Switzerland
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The mankind: A loop evolution? 18 April 2002
By Hector Matute - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I gave 4 stars to this book because the theme is very interesting; Baxter worked on an Earth threatened by an exponencial colonization wave coming from the deep space (directed by an allien especies called "crackers"). The concept is very original and is based in the fact that if the live flourish in almost every star system, in the most incredibles ways, is possible that the rate of growth of the population forces to colonize several stellar systems to survive, and in this process some worlds,inhabited or no, can be destroyed or exploited.
In this book Baxter speculates on the possibility of several processes of colonization like this one, happened through aeons and our system including our own planet has been affected previously.
All this is exciting, but the long periods of time included into the book make a little difficult to tie all the facts exposed. We can find some weakeness in some arguments like:
- If our evolution process was "restarted" in some time, securely our start point was very different and possibly our ancestors could had very different physical characteristics (Depending on the moment at which the Earth was affected). Into the book we find things like pre-historic animals, dinosaurs and Neardenthals returned to the life by the Gaijims to prevent the mankind extintion and start again. This sounds like a Gaijims eternal manipulationd that it is not sufficiently clarified.
- Nemoto is alive after centuries with medical manipulation, and is as if she had a secret for this known by nobody - not mentioned.
- The mankind lost all inventive, curiosity, technological advance, religions, with the incomming alliens (sound incredible to me).
..
Despite the previous details, i did enjoy the book, and found positive technical aspects like the accretion disc in a binary star system with a black hole, speculations about how would be the vision of the stars from a distant star system; so, I believe that something good can be found in the new book: Manifold- Origin.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Manifold arghhhhhh! 10 Oct. 2005
By Michael Battaglia - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I think I would really enjoy a physics class taught by Mr Baxter, since the man clearly knows his science, knows which sources to go to and is able to synthesize them in ways that he can explain them without your head exploding. Also, he's able to extrapolate those ideas into some interesting scenarios that suggest some fun possibilities and open the mind up for more speculation. Alas, he's not able to translate that yet into novels with real emotional heft and the bigger his ideas get, the more the story tends to leave you behind. This book is the follow-up to Manifold: Time and as the title implies, while this book still requires great leaps in time, this time out we're more about moving outward than jumping forward. Jumping off the conclusions set by the last novel, Baxter essentially hits the reboot button and drops us in a totally different universe, although some of the characters are still the same. The most notable is our hero Reid Malenfant, who is older than the first book but just as obsessed with mankind securing their destiny beyond the stars. Instead of wondering how we're going to survive, however, he's more interested in why they aren't any other intelligent races in the galaxy, or at least why it seems that way. Meanwhile, an intelligent race does apparently decide to move into the solar system from far away and that's where the fun starts. Always willing to boldly go (split infinitive and everything), Reid disappears into a portal that was left by some prior alien race and the voyage of discovery begins. As I mentioned before, Baxter is fiend when it comes to idea and everything is well thought out. From the weird robot-like Gajin that show up, to all the other aliens that pop in every so often, to the effects of time and history when extrapolated thousands upon thousands of years into the future, it's like he's taking you through an exhibit hall in his mind, showcasing all the fun science-based ideas he has and dressing them up as science-fiction. However, it doesn't take long before the reader quickly starts to lose the plot and everything begins to drown in a sea of glorious information. There are gates that allow people to travel but since it's lights-speed, time dilation still applies and when they come back to Earth, it's hundreds of years in the future each time, leading to effects that aren't much different from what the soldier suffered in Joe Haldemann's famous The Forever War, namely culture shock and the sense of dissociation and alienation. Things progress and Baxter shows us people on the moon, people on different planets, different aliens in other star systems, the galaxy, the picture keeps blowing up bigger and bigger until you almost can't contain it. But we don't really ever find out what it all means. The cover copy on the back of the book suggests that the main thrust of the plot has something to do with the reasons why intelligent life flares up and then dies out, leaving artifacts scattered all around the galaxy that other races pick up on, and Baxter sprinkles plenty of hints that the solar system was previously used by other races for various purposes, but it's buried under such a sea of static that it's hard to sort through it all. Especially since Baxter seems to be acting like an excited child, throwing each new idea in our face almost as he comes up with it, "You like this? Well how about this? Or this? Or even this?" until you're almost numb from it. By the time he gets around to answering the central question, almost five hundred pages later, you're been dazzled by as many marvels as science can handle but feeling strangely empty at the same time. It almost feels like "Who cares?" and regardless of anything else, I doubt that's the reaction he intended. Still, he gets an A for effort and the individual moments are extraordinary, showing that he's a mind possessed of a far vision and the fact that he's able to take all this knowledge and assemble it into something resembling a story is amazing in itself. But when you add it all up, it's not quite everything it's supposed to be. Hard science junkies will probably eat it up like the candy it is, everyone else looking for slightly more emotional content may find it rough going at times but for anyone who wants to see if all those complicated ideas that involve words with too many letters actually might mean something, well this is as good a place to start as any.
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