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Transcendent: Destiny's Children Book 3 (GOLLANCZ S.F.) Paperback – 27 Oct 2005

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (27 Oct. 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575074310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575074316
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3.8 x 23.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,018,990 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


An intruiging speculation on contemporary concerns of global warming and suicide bombers. It is in the characters's flawed and arrogant thoughts, in their secrets and relationships, that Baxter excels. Breathtaking and talented storytelling. (Brigid Cherry DREAMWATCH)

An author who is increasingly concerned with humanity, our moral frailties and our chances of surviving. He succees admirably in tying the narrative's big ideas to a much bigger central idea; the notion of what exactly it is to be human. (Jonathan Wright SFX)

A contrasting mix of Baxter's customary skill at presenting a very real near future, and his talent for high-level hard Sciecne Fiction. The characters are always engaing and the revelation of what the Trascendence's 'redemption' might involve is a stunning shock. (Anthony Brown STARBURST)

Creates a heady a mix of the mundane, the metaphysical, and the theological; a battleground of ideas that Baxter has made his own throughout the Destiny's Children series. Transcendent certainly doesn't disappoint. (EDGE MAGAZINE)

Book Description

The breathtaking conclusion to Baxter's landmark SF trilogy, DESTINY'S CHILDREN

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Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mondoro TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 29 Nov. 2007
Format: Paperback
The opening dedication to Arthur C Clarke - a previous co-author with Baxter - is the clue: this is a re-casting of Clarke's classic 'Childhood's End', though on an infinitely bigger scale and capturing the terrifying immensity of a future gestalt of humanity. Kerellen, guide to the final generation of mankind in 'End', becomes Reath, destined never to experience Transcendence himself.

The second plot line, taking the story of the Poole family forward in the mid twenty-first century, alternates with the first in a way familiar in the other volumes in the series: it is less satisfactory and leaves a lot unexplained - what is obviously a catastrophic drop in population (cause -we are told, a lower birth rate in N America and Europe - what was happening in the Third World)?

I agree with the other reviewers who see this book as a marked drop in standard from Vols 1 (the best - and a rivetting story) and 2.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Derek Bourgeois on 1 May 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is no use trying to read this book on its own. It is absolutely imperative that the previous two novels in the Destiny's Children sequence are read first for it to make its correct impact. As you progress through the books it may at first feel that they have no connection with each other, but subtly and very cleverly the logic of the plot is revealed. This is what Science Fiction should be. The writing is masterly and Baxter's command of language is impressive. But these novels are no mere shoot-em-up as some reviewers seem to want. The intricacies of the plot, and its sheer scale are breathtaking in their vision and imagination, and nowhere else have I read anything which can compare with this for such a graphic description of the galaxy and its place in the universe.
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Format: Paperback
Transcendent is a novel of massive ambition that only partly comes off. We have another narrative split between two times, this time spanning a "mere" 500,000 years, one a future human and her family in a generation ship, and a present day narrative with yet another Poole (Michael, nephew of George from Coalescent) initiating a massive geo-engineering project to combat global warming.

Future figure (Alia) gets called into a project/entity called the Transcendence, which is nothing less than an attempt to produce a coordinated super-mind that will take evolution beyond humanity all together, and in the middle of this she maintains an interest in Michael Poole that grows to be the heart of the novel's resolution. The Transcendence sounds a lot like the sort of awakening of a group mind listed in Olaf Stapleton's classic "Last and First Men" and Baxter has noted his admiration for Stapleton. There are also echoes of Frank Tipler's ideas explored in "The Physics of Immortality" of future humans trying to redeem those in the past.

Just as Arthur C Clarke's novels are heavily Buddhist influenced, Baxter's lean heavily on his childhood Roman Catholicism, hence his obsession with martyrs, saviours, resurrections, a pessimistic view of human nature and even bodily functions. This is his most explicitly Catholic novel yet; indeed redemption (with a capital R) and its means and significance is a major theme of it. Rosa from Coalescent makes a reappearance, this time as a (female!) Catholic priest, almost as a means for data-dumps on obscure (but relevant) Catholic doctrine and ritual.
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By Richard on 25 Mar. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read and enjoyed many of Stephen Baxters books but this one is just a struggle.

Shallow, self centred, badly written characters including depressive Michael Moore, his immature son Tom (you just want to punch this character and tell him to stop being such a child), the Trancendence who wallow in humanities past and a young girl, Alia who seems to be a teenager-going-on-65 and suddenly for no discernable reason acquires telepathic powers.

I'm now 75% through the book, I don't expect it to get any better and I would quite happily delete the book if I hadn't paid for it.

Please let this be the only bad egg in the basket.
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