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The H-Bomb Girl Hardcover – 6 Sep 2007


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber; First Edition edition (6 Sept. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571232795
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571232796
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 2.5 x 22.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,275,669 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

Product Description

Review

"'Strong imagination and a capacity for awe abound in the work of Stephen Baxter.' Times Literary Supplement"

Book Description

Liverpool 1962. A place and time of danger and passion.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Gavin Hill on 25 Nov. 2007
Format: Hardcover
Stephen Baxter is well known as an author of very technical, imaginative and theoretical science fiction. Huge works like the Xeelee Sequence, the Manifold series and the Destiny's Children series are millenia-spanning epics of the destiny of mankind making liberal use of the latest theories of astrophysics.

The H-Bomb Girl is different. It is a fictional account of a 14 year old girl's part in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 and how survivors of several possible outcomes of these events travel back in time to manipulate the past for their own ends. Far less heavy on the grey matter than Baxter's usual work this is a highly accessible novel and a very human story.

Don't be fooled by the teen girl's novel cover though. Chapter 21, an account of a nuclear attack on Liverpool and its aftermath told mainly through the girl's diary entries, is one of the most gripping, chilling passages of fiction I have ever read.

Cameos by the Beatles, Cilla Black and others are a fun touch, while the moment towards the end of the story when you realise a minor character in the book is a major character from the Destiny's Children series will raise a smile from Baxter diehards.

Baxter is a master of his genre. The H-Bomb Girl is further proof, alongside the Mammoth books and the current Time's Tapestry series, that he is a brilliant writer outside his genre too. If you haven't read any of Baxter's books this is an excellent place to get hooked.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Welsby on 7 Oct. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because it's a science fiction novel set in Liverpool - the only one I've heard of. It's great to see all the places I know, read Scouse words and smile at the occasional cameos by celebrities. However, this is Liverpool in the 1960s - a time when the city was still massively damaged by the bombs of WW2, when the Beatles were still an unknown band playing at the Cavern, and when the entire world was fearing nuclear war between the USA and the USSR.

In this story, two groups of people from different futures have come back in time to try and manipulate the Cuban Missile Crisis to go how they want it to - and to do that, they need Laura. The scene where Laura reads a diary which she wrote in one of those alternate futures - a future where something like 90% of the British population died as a result of nuclear war - is incredibly chilling and definitely the high point of the story.

I do have my criticisms. I wasn't massively keen on certain events towards the end of the book, and one or two of the (more minor) characters annoyed me. Overall, though, this was an excellent book which managed to competently address not only the Cold War, but also other issues prevalant in the 1960s, such as prejudice against black people, gays, and unmarried mothers. I think what made it work for me is that it wasn't a heavy read like many books with moral messages tend to be. In some ways it felt like your typical "teenager at high school" type novel, especially at the beginning before the real drama began. It's a gripping read, and recommended - especially if you've ever lived in Liverpool.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Pragmatist on 9 Sept. 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this work. It differs from Baxter's other stories in a refreshing manner.

It is set in the Cuba crisis which I lived through (survived in this one of Everett's many worlds). Basically it is an enjoyable read. British readers who were aware of events at the time will note that the government response to the crisis was not as Baxter portrays. Baxter explains in the appendix that this liberty was taken for dramatic effect and I think he made the correct decision.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Plausible Denial on 12 May 2010
Format: Paperback
I bought this book for my daughter as I am a fan of Baxter's adult work and I thought the heroine might appeal to her.

Baxter is not capable of writing a bad book, and this is a good, competently executed read, but ultimately, it was disappointing.

The good stuff first. The plot is an intriguing one involving time travel (a Baxter interest). The Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 is obviously a pivotal point in history, but Baxter weaves a fascinating web to explain why one 14-year old schoolgirl in Liverpool is herself pivotal to the Crisis and its possible outcomes.

The characters are quickly, if shallowly, sketched out and the action moves at a decent pace. Baxter doesn't allow simple goodie/baddie roles to apply to his protagonists(except for one American, who is a baddie). He puts in some well-observed period detail; inevitably, our heroes end up in The Cavern and see The Beatles, newly returned from Hamburg. A certain plump hatcheck girl also gets a mention, and we get a graphic demonstration of why you should never grab a Teddy Boy by the lapels. There are some neat relevant contemporary cultural references - one character bears a remarkable resemblence to Dr Strangelove and the climax takes place in an HQ straight out of Dr No (and where this HQ actually is is one of the cleverest things in the book). Dr Who and H G Wells get their obligatory mentions (wish Moffatt would commission Baxter to do an episode).

However, I found the book overall is formulaic and lacking Baxter's usual attention to detail.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A Mixed Bag 31 Dec. 2008
By OneZero - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I found the story rather predictable - I had the story arc pretty much figure out by 1/3 of the book. However, the backdrop and the characters are very well done and Baxter's prose kept my interest. And though the story is supposedly "YA", Baxter doesn't sugarcoat anything....

I'd recommend this to older teens as well as adults who haven't read quite so many alternate universe tales as I have.
A cautionary "if" tale for young people 1 Sept. 2014
By Jenny Hanniver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
For pre teen and teenage girls, a good morality tale and "wheels of if" sci-fi -- by Stephen Baxter, one of sci-fi's steller writers. Adults can read it, too, without boredom.
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