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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Science Fiction
I really liked this book. Not only because I am from Edinburgh and so know many of the places described in the book, but also because it is a science fiction book on the scale of Greg Bear with a runaway plot much like Tom Clancy.
The gradual disintegration of the Earth by the Moonseed makes a great plotline that Baxter follows through to the exciting finale. A...
Published on 21 Sep 1999 by G. Williams

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ticket to the Moon
Moonseed is a strange novel, reading like a collision between Baxter's usual hard-SF style and the sort of set-pieces (and clichés) one would expect from a typical 1970's disaster movie. The earliest half of the novel is probably the most entertaining, as Baxter tries to stretch himself by trying to write for non-scientific leads, but by the second half Baxter is...
Published on 25 Mar 2006 by Jane Aland


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When Planets Die, 12 Feb 2003
This review is from: Moonseed (Paperback)
When I first began reading 'Moonseed' I had very little idea that by the end of the novel so much would have happened. Baxter has crammed into this novel a huge amount of material, creating a disaster of such a scale that it becomes difficult by the end to fully visualise the magnitude of the damage and destruction. 'Moonseed' is a brilliant creation: with apparent ease it creates a plausible scientific framework in which a completely unforseen chain of events leads to planetary-wide disaster, and on top of this it tells of how individuals survive or die in the their individual cirmustances. On one level it is a scientific masterpiece; a complex exploration of not only a huge 'primary' disaster but also of secondary catyclisms, and of tertiary effects. On another level, it is a story of raw human bravery and raw human fear. One of the most touching scenes is a description of how a small boy saves his grandfather's life with a lot of bandages and the plastic envelope of a 'New Scientist' subscription: by allowing us to believe, through excellent writing, extraordinary circumstances, we are also able to believe in extraordinary human feats.
And there is more again: the disaster is not all. Another aspect of 'Moonseed' is space. Space: the exploration of it, and the journeying into it. Space is of huge importance to 'Moonseed', because from space comes the disaster, and to space travels a scientist in an attempt to provide a solution. Baxter draws up (via careful real-life research) an audacious, rough-and-ready, and highly dangerous mission to the Moon, twenty or more years after the Moon missions have ended. A combination of Space Shuttle missions, Soyuz missions, and International Space Station stop-offs provide the framework - and a little bit of gaffer tape, and very short-notice planning, does the rest. Reading 'Moonseed' now, after the loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia, is an odd experience, because on the one hand it confirms the dangers involved in all space travel, and on the other hand it confirms that there is a good and wise reason to be trying, no matter what the problems and potential perils. But like Baxter's novel 'Voyage', 'Moonseed' evokes a hair-prickling sense-of-wonder through its descriptions of space travel, and that will appeal to many sf readers.
Then, when you think one novel can contain no more, Baxter ends 'Moonseed' with a mind-bogglingly described scenario in which the cause of the disasters on Earth offers, in a truly unexpected way, a solution to the damage and destruction caused. The destroyer becomes the rescuer.
But even that doesn't fully communicate the amount of action and drama and narrative contained within 'Moonseed': it is a huge novel, overflowing with ideas. Baxter clearly has a passion for what he writes about. Let us be thankful that he carried on writing, when he was unable to become an astronaut.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amazing science, 21 May 2001
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This review is from: Moonseed (Paperback)
I love this book. It's brilliantly written with the best use of science of in any Sci-fi book I have ever read. The characters are excellent and described to perfection.
The idea of the book, Earth being destroyed by the introduction of an exterestrial bacteria, is truly scary. The way Baxter handles the destruction and fear in the population is beautiful.
So, your wondering why only the four stars. The answer is simple. The end is a let down which leaves a sour taste in your mouth just when you should feel great. It's not that what happens is bad, just that it's not given its full justice. It's rushed, nothing more. More description and explanation would have been welcome.
But don't let this put you off too much. this is still a great book using great science and is well worth reading.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Science Fiction, 21 Sep 1999
By 
G. Williams "tychobear" (Darmstadt, Germany) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Moonseed (Hardcover)
I really liked this book. Not only because I am from Edinburgh and so know many of the places described in the book, but also because it is a science fiction book on the scale of Greg Bear with a runaway plot much like Tom Clancy.
The gradual disintegration of the Earth by the Moonseed makes a great plotline that Baxter follows through to the exciting finale. A great yarn. The sort of big book you take on holiday expecting to get halfway through in two weeks but then find yourself finished after two days of through the night reading. Few other books have done this for me - Clancy's Red Storm Rising and Sum of All Fears, Greg Bear's Eon, Asimov's Foundation series are among the few others.
A word of warning though. Baxter doesn't seem to have a wholly consistent style across his books. I have just finished his novel Time and was frankly disappointed. He seemed to have a good idea that ran out of steam halfway through and resorted to hard sci-fi as a means to get through to the end with that one. But Moonseed is excellent and a thoroughly recommended read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent story, 28 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Moonseed (Kindle Edition)
Moonseed was recommended to me by a friend a few years ago and I am now on my third copy, I literally wore the first two copies out through reading and re-reading this brilliant book.
The story flows really nicely and would appeal to non sci-fi readers. This is one of my favourite books of all time and I hope to have many more years reading it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ticket to the Moon, 25 Mar 2006
By 
Jane Aland (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Moonseed (Paperback)
Moonseed is a strange novel, reading like a collision between Baxter's usual hard-SF style and the sort of set-pieces (and clichés) one would expect from a typical 1970's disaster movie. The earliest half of the novel is probably the most entertaining, as Baxter tries to stretch himself by trying to write for non-scientific leads, but by the second half Baxter is back on familiar ground as the destruction on Earth takes a back seat to a manned mission to the Moon. Ultimately Moonseed displays both the classic strengths and weaknesses of hard-SF: this is a novel rich in big scientific concepts and technology, but Baxter's prose is rather functional and bland, while his characters tend towards the stock and clichéd (and don't get me started on the glaring plot-hole of NASA throwing a last ditch attempt to send a man to the Moon with a nuclear weapon without ever once asking him what he intends to do with it!)
Probably the books biggest failing is the fact that this is the third novel in a row (following on from 'Voyage' and 'Titan') where Baxter has built a story around the fictional concept of how our own practically-stalled Space Age could be restarted and manned space flight restarted: while each novel has a different set-up (and indeed a different destination in Mars, Titan and now the Moon) certain elements such as NASA politics and the mechanics of space flight are beginning to seem rather too familiar, and while Baxter is obviously trying to instil his passion for the possibilities of space flight in the reader by ploughing such a narrow furrow as alternative-NASA histories in three novels he is guilty of going over too much old ground.
Moonseed has a strong enough central concept to be a worthwhile read for the confirmed science fiction fan, but it's hardly the authors most readable or entertaining offering, and this reader found it a bit of a chore to finish.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it, 1 May 2003
By 
G. Williams "tychobear" (Darmstadt, Germany) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Moonseed (Paperback)
This book is simply great. It blends Greg Bear Eon-esque scale with good ol' fashioned sci-fi hero romps to give a book that you find really hard to put down, despite it's Clancy-like length.
Starting off with a relatively slow beginning establishing the characters, the tale moves into the early stages of the mystery and builds gradually from a small, local affair into a global, then interplanetary plot of broad scale and implications. The events in Edinburgh are especially enjoyable (I'm a native of Scotland's capital city and so could feel a connection with many of the scenes).
His other works in the Manifold series were my next buy but I was distinctly disappointed by their concentration on hard sf that, in my opinion, detracted from the story-writing - there's only so much deep-time universal heat-death depression that you can take! "Moonseed" suffers from none of this. Similarly his alternative history of the Apollo era ("Titan") reads enjoyably, although this feels much like an unintended companion/sequel to James Michener's "Space".
If you enjoy Greg Bear, Arthur C. Clarke or their ilk, then you'll love this book. Put simply, buy it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Should have been two books, 28 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Moonseed (Kindle Edition)
The end seemed rushed; we suddenly started skipping five, ten years at a time. Would have been better to have written a second book instead of summaring the end: there were a lot of stories that were missed. However, a good read and a page-turner up to that point. The description fo the science was well-written: accessible without being condescending. Worth reading.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting science, but much too long and detailed plot development., 14 Sep 2013
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J. Farrar - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Moonseed (Kindle Edition)
I enjoyed it but it seemed to take so long to get where it was going. The characterisation didn't really work subtly enough to make them matter as individuals.
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3.0 out of 5 stars A great concept, but unusually rushed for Baxter, 3 Sep 2013
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This review is from: Moonseed (Kindle Edition)
Stephen Baxter is without a doubt one of my favourite authors and I always enjoy most of his novels, particularly those focused on space science and space travel. Moonseed was a book which I actually stumbled upon by accident but immediately purchased.

The opening few chapters are typical of Baxter, and the action/mystery starts very quickly with a big capturing event in the first few pages. I found myself instantly engrossed in a story which rapidly spirals to encompass the whole planet, and show how different people deal with different events. The scale of some of the events range from small families up to entire countries and even planets. I did however find that by the middle of the book it felt as though we were running out of steam. Random characters were introduced, to disappear or be killed a few pages later. Action sequences (no doubt designed to instill the sense of catastrophe) would often be short to a few paragraphs and I got the sense that we were rushing through the action.

Whilst some of the characters are explored in depth and you get a real sense of who they are, and what they care about, others are seemingly introduced as fillers. To complete a narrative task which hints at a large back story, but sadly we never get to explore or fully understand.

All in all I enjoyed this book and as per usual, it was a fun and easy read. The science is explained well and concepts are grand. It was let down by feeling rushed, particularly towards the end of the book to its epic conclusion. And after the climatic ending (I won't say what happens for spoilers) it felt as though it was approaching, came, and went in no time at all. A good book, but not without some surprising faults.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Very good but...., 4 April 2000
This review is from: Moonseed (Paperback)
This is the first Stephen Baxter book I have read, and I must say for most of this book I was very impressed. The handling of the science and the characters was wonderful, introducing people for only a few scenes but giving us enough info and background to miss them when they were gone.
The major drawback with this book was the handling of the ending which felt rushed and did not really fit with the rest. It left me feeling disapointed as for most of it the story details, everything was smooth and engrossing and all this is missing from the handling of the end. 5 stars for the majority of the book but it does lose some.
I will certainly read more Baxter books, but with hope they are more complete.
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Moonseed
Moonseed by Stephen Baxter (Paperback - 2 Aug 1999)
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