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Time Paperback – 4 Oct 2010

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager; paperback / softback edition (4 Oct 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006511821
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006511823
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 3 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 50,765 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Stephen Baxter, Britain's foremost author of "hard" SF rooted in real physics, is renowned for thinking big. Time begins with a US entrepreneur's deceptively low-key plans to reclaim space and exploit the asteroids, bypassing NASA's bureaucracy and safety regulations. One bizarre cost-cutting measure: the "Big Dumb Booster" pilot is a genetically enhanced, intelligent squid. Then the mission is redirected following a weird mathematical prediction that humanity hasn't long to live, and a "Feynman radio" transmission from the future that highlights a particular asteroid. Here a space-time gateway opens on unimaginably distant futures, stepping far beyond the dying sun of Wells's The Time Machine to visions of a galaxy reshaped by humanity to hoard its energy ... beyond stars, beyond black holes, beyond even mass. And the emerging message, seen most clearly by a new generation of persecuted, ultra-gifted children, is that this seeming triumph--this total exploitation of our universe's possibilities--isn't good enough. A better path awaits, via a cataclysm that dwarfs mere supernova explosions... Baxter pays homage to the transformations of Clarke's Childhood's End (there's also a nod to 2001), but without the mysticism: it's all respectable, if speculative, physics. His final, devastating payoff makes sequels seem impossible. Two are planned. Rousing stuff, on a cosmic scale. --David Langford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


‘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’

‘In Time Baxter manages to take the most esoteric cosmological ideas and mesh them into a fast-paced novel… Probably the most thought-provoking writing you’ll read this year, it’s time for Baxter to take his place alongside Asimov and Heinlein’

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By L. Jones on 1 July 2009
Format: Paperback
Having seen that the reviews are very mixed on here I thought I would add my opinion to the mix. The negative reviews seem to be the same in that they basically say "not as good as his other stuff", which actually says more about the strength of this guy's writing than its weakness!

This was the first Stephen Baxter book I read, picked up in an airport, never heard of him so I had no expectations. IT.BLEW.ME.AWAY! One of the best books I have ever read, Sci-Fi or otherwise. The scale of the ideas and the sheer sense of wonder and awe are something else. I would actually recommend this as the best one to read to start with. I have since read the rest of the Manifold trilogy, the 2nd (Space) I think is even better but I was expecting it to be good so it didn't blow me away as much as this.

I have since bought several copies of this book to give to like minded friends to read.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By M. Appleton on 6 Jun 2009
Format: Paperback
I'm a proper nerd when it comes to sci-fi - I'll take obscure and esoteric theories over plodding character development every time. Time, therefore, was very appealing.

A strange artifact is discovered on an asteroid near Earth, and is found by a remote probe to be a portal that allows jumps of billions of years into the future. Soon after, a kind of super-intelligence begins to manifest itself in a handful of children, who proceed to make astonishing scientific breakthroughs in the field of energy production. The two apparently unrelated stories close in on each other at the climax (far too mild a word for it).

It does take a while to get going, with a lot of the first half being something of a cookie-cutter will they/won't they space launch saga, but there are sprinklings of some truly visionary science (particularly the breathtaking sequence where the probe is repeatedly pushed into the distant future - worth getting from the library on its own). The rapidly switching point of view character took me some getting used to, but it does offer a more rounded insight into the goings on. And the ENDING... ye gods, Baxter went all-out!

So good was this book that it induced me to read Flood; if I'd read Flood first, though...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Willy Eckerslike TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 13 Feb 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As an ardent sci-fi fan since my early reading days, I have a collection dating back from the birth of the genre in the 30's up to it's heyday in the 70's and early 80's. I lost touch a bit and wandered off in the realms of the fantasy genre but I still get an urge for some proper sci-fi and frequently revisit Azimov, Pohl, Harrison and other cosy old favourites.

Apart from Iain M. Banks' superb `Culture' series, I hadn't read any offerings from the new generation of authors so I though it was time I dipped a toe in the water. I had a post-Christmas Amazon research frenzy and decided to get `Time' along with a number of others from a variety of authors.

It certainly lives up to the `hard sci-fi' label with loads of mind-boggling cosmology and quantum mechanics but I personally found that the frequent, and detailed, meanderings into these areas detracted from the narrative flow of an otherwise excellently written book. The short, choppy chapters, each based around an individual character maintained the pace and, once you got used to it, didn't interfere with the story.

I must confess, though, that I got to the end and thought `Hmmm, did I enjoy that?' Well written and encompassing a truly vast subject area, I however felt that it was a treatise on the author's understanding of the more obscure theories of space/time and that he threw in some one-dimensional characters as a bit of an afterthought; it felt like a much bigger book by a very capable author had been ruthlessly edited by a mathematician.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Oct 2001
Format: Paperback
I have read most of Stephen Baxter's books and have been constantly amazed how he can write with such originality and at such a prolific rate (see the Xeelee sequence and Manifold novels).
The science is stunning, entertainingly educational (true), yet absolutely compelling.
So many areas of thought are covered in this novel (statistics,social collapse, arrows of time, sequential big bang theory, etc.) woven in with his trademark character interactions. Baxter's novels leave you out of breath (and your mind sometimes struggling), yet enlightened.
I'd be the first to say that I'm not a genius by any stretch of the imagination, however, persevere with it (as it's one of his most technical novels) and you will be rewarded with a great read and knowledge to boot.
If you want to try something that's easier to get into, read Ring or Vacuum Diagrams from the Xeelee sequence of epics.
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By A Customer on 14 Sep 2000
Format: Paperback
After taking time out to write some books about woolly mammoths, Baxter is back where he belongs, right on the cutting edge of hard SF.
The book begins with an irrefutable numbers game that uses probability to show we are all doomed to extinction within 200 years. The hero Reid Malenfant sets out to beat the odds and secure mankind's future.
Baxter has a very visual style of writing. With just a few phrases, he seems to conjure up images that unroll in your head like a film. The descriptions of Sheena 5, an enhanced spaceship piloting squid, and the massive time jumps where the characters witness the entire history of the universe, are exceptional.
The fast pacing of the story kept me hooked, I couldn't put this book down. Towards the end, the story gets a little complicated, but a quick re-read of some sections cleared it all up.
My only small gripe with the story is that for Baxter a lot of it is familiar ground. A renegade group of people blast into space, society on earth starts to collapse, mankind faces extinction, hero returns at the end. Yes, it is TITAN all over again. However, there are enough new ideas here and the story is different enough to make it a worthwhile read. And only avid readers of Baxter's other work (as I am) would notice similarities cropping up.
All in all I highly recommend this book. Buy it today.
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