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Space [Paperback]

Stephen Baxter
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
RRP: 14.99
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Book Description

10 Dec 2010 Manifold 2

‘If they existed, they would be here’ ENRICO FERMI. In the second volume in Stephen Baxter’s epic Manifold Series Reid Malenfant inhabits the universe Malenfant kick-started in TIME (‘science fiction at its best’ FHM) – and ‘they’ are here.

When Nemoto, a Japanese researcher on the Moon, discovers evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence in the solar system, the Fermi Paradox provokes both Malenfant and Nemoto to question why now? Because, suddenly, there are signs of intelligent life in deep space in all directions. Deeper layers of Fermi’s paradox unravel as robot-like aliens, the Gaijin, seem to be e-mailing themselves from star to star, and wherever telescopes point, far away, other alien races are destroying worlds…

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Space + Origin (Manifold) + Time
Price For All Three: 32.74

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  • Origin (Manifold) 14.99
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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager (10 Dec 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 000651183X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006511830
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 17.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 191,903 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 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’

From the Back Cover

In the second volume of Stephen Baxter's epic 'Manifold' series Reid Malenfant inhabits a mirror universe to that of 'Time' ('Time is pacy, visionary, extravagantly imagined' THE TIMES). In 'Space' life is everywhere!

'If they existed, they would be here'- this is the Fermi paradox concerning the existence of extraterrestrials. Once it confirmed that humanity was alone in the universe. But when Nemoto, a Japanese researcher on the Moon, discovers evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence in the solar system, the same paradox provokes both Malenfant and Nemoto to question 'why now?' Because, suddenly, there are signs of intelligent life in deep space in all directions. Deeper layers of Fermi's paradox unravel as robot-like aliens, the Gaijin, seem to be e-mailing themselves from star to star, and wherever telescopes point, far away, other alien races are destroying worlds.

In the face of this onslaught from the stars, there is no comfort in Nemoto's deduction that this has all happened before, over and over. But, undaunted, Malenfant sets out alone in a salvaged antique spacecraft to make contact with the Gaijin.. . .

"Science fiction at its best"

"'Time' has one of the best time-jump sequences ever attempted, during which the protagonists witness the entire future of the universe . . . Highly intelligent, with original ideas in almost every sentence."

"'Time' places Baxter firmly in the tradition of Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov. How reassuring to know that someone at least is still looking at the stars."

"Britain's foremost hard SF writer"

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Space and time hopping 6 Sep 2001
By A Customer
It is difficult to review a book that spans almost 9000 years of future history. Baxter has revived Malenfant, the old NASA astronaut, and has placed him next to a strange Japanese woman who cant seem to die.
Baxter's ideas are phenomenal though and the book is evenly paced with action to give an excellent read for a space buff but not for a romantic novel reader. His scientific knowledge is great and this book seriously makes you think about the future and what would happen if there were alien contact. He also tries to answer the question of why there has not been contact as yet.
Some parts of the book seem to have been added in order to make a story out of a string of pseudo-facts but it is a good attempt and quite readable. You do sometimes wonder after reading a few tens of pages - now what was that for?
I could not put the book down and enjoyed it right up to the final page which reveals and excellent twist to the whole tale.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
"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.
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4.0 out of 5 stars One of his best works to date 14 Sep 2000
'Space' is the second installment in Baxters loosely linked trilogy, and far surpasses the previous book 'Time' in readability, characterisation, and above all, credibility.
The book attempts to address Femi's Paradox regarding extraterrestrial life (if they existed, they would be here), when mankind discovers that the universe is not only inhabited, but in fact teeming with life, a stark contrast to its predecessor. This time Reid Malefant plays a more credible role as the story unfolds rather than being the overly worked protagonist who takes sometimes unfathomable actions given the sometimes equally baffling circumstances. Other characters in the book are better developed than 'Time', and share a greater role in the overall scheme of things, making the reader think that maybe such events could be possible after all. (Why after all would the near future of the species revolve soley around 1 man?) Even the miscellaneous aliens involved seem within the realms of reason, and there are no overly enthusiastic references to '2001 A Space Oddessy' to make you cringe, although in fairness, Baxter was probably working on his recent collaboration with Clarke at the time.
Baxters books, as always, have an interesting conclusion and point to make at the very end, which is both a credit to his storytelling skills, and realisation that his audience wants something more than "and they all lived happily ever after." Again we are not dissapointed, being made to feel both glad and dismayed at the climax, where the grand finale rationale is revealed (spoilers witheld).
Overall, if you enjoyed 'Time', you'll absolutely love 'Space', and be left hanging impatiently for the final installment of the trilogy. Go out and buy this now, and see why Baxter is by far one of the best science fiction writers publishing today.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Small and fragile in a big, bad universe 26 July 2004
By Russell
For my money, this is the best of Baxter's highly variable output. My main grouch is that the title is wrong. This is the book in the manifold series that should be called 'Time'! Baxter conveys a wonderful impression of the depth and strangeness of the future. By contrast, although there is plenty of star hoping, the book's main action centres on the solar system itself.
The chief challenge in any novel spanning centuries and millennia is to maintain a continuity of story. How do you sustaina point of view or the audience's connection with character? We could probably have a long debate on the different techniques used in science fiction: longevity, family trees, hibernation, even reincarnation (thanks to Kim Stanley Robinson), etc.
In Space, Baxter relies partly on longevity and a form of hibernation (characters go off-line while traveling between the stars) but he never really solves the problem. The story is episodic, like a collection of connected short stories.
Nonetheless, Baxter is endlessly inventive - an idea a page and many are highly original: a nuclear reactor manned by neanderthals, vacuum flowers, tunnels to the centre of the moon, trees in orbit, seas on triton, a galactic ecology ...
Space is also a thorough working through of the Fermi paradox. If life is abundant (which we would expect) where are they? The answer is a depressing and endless cycle of expansion, exploitation, collapse and sterilization. Sometimes this point is hammered home too hard and too frequently. But equally, and subtly, Baxter draws parallels between the earth-bound and intersteller histories. You're never lost in a stark, sterile 'future history' (a la Stapledon) but very much mired in the muck and blood of human life.
Space is eerie, evocative, thought provoking and, ultimately, depressing. Like so much of Baxter's work, it is a challenge to our sense of place in the universe. As such it can be a painful read, but it sticks with you.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Cleverly science based
Baxter is a pessimist at the end of the day (or book) and the works I have read so far tend to have an unexpected apocalyptic ending when you least expected it! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Salsatap
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard work
I really enjoyed Time, but this can get to be hard work in places..I find i'm having to re-read parts of chapters simply because I literally lose the plot, and that's never... Read more
Published 10 months ago by TDF
5.0 out of 5 stars It doesn't have to be like this.
Or does it?
There are many possibilities,
why did it work out like this and what if earth/human took a different turn at the crossroad.
Published 15 months ago by mr r ramon
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
Like the other books in this series, well written, well imagined and keeps you intreagued the whole way through.
Loved it
Published on 27 July 2011 by Mr. M. D. Higginbotham
1.0 out of 5 stars Rambling garbage
I managed to survive to the end of the book. It started out with interesting potential, but by a quarter of the way through you wonder what he is rambling on about. Read more
Published on 14 Oct 2010 by Peter Holgate
3.0 out of 5 stars Space is a little cold...
I read Flood first, and although I enjoyed the apocolyptic vision, I found the characters unlikeable and generally poor excuses for humanity. Read more
Published on 15 Sep 2010 by Mr. Marc Diamond
1.0 out of 5 stars Awful drivel, has some points that just cause frustration
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
5.0 out of 5 stars I'v been on a fantastic journey!
Wow! I have been on a journey through the cosmos! I loved it so much I didn't want to come back. It was a shame that this book ended and I had to drop back into the 21st... Read more
Published on 10 Aug 2010 by reidwest
2.0 out of 5 stars too many ideas, not enough story
I find myself in agreement with all the more negative reviews of Space. Baxter certainly has plenty of ideas, in fact probably too many, and he can't resist packing them all in,... Read more
Published on 18 Feb 2010 by K. Thompson
4.0 out of 5 stars A propable answer to the fermi paradox
This is the second book in Baxter's tetralogy "Manidold" the scope of which is to find answers to the Fermi paradox. Read more
Published on 28 Sep 2008 by Panagiotis Karatasios
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