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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars for those new to Baxter
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...
Published on 1 July 2009 by L. Jones

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3.0 out of 5 stars A potentially good story but too much space/time theoretical geekiness.
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...
Published on 13 Feb 2010 by Willy Eckerslike


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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars for those new to Baxter, 1 July 2009
By 
L. Jones (manchester, uk) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Time (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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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow to get going, but as "hard" a sci-fi as you could ever want, 6 Jun 2009
By 
M. Appleton - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Time (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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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars superb epic - educational too, 28 Oct 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Time (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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3.0 out of 5 stars A potentially good story but too much space/time theoretical geekiness., 13 Feb 2010
By 
Willy Eckerslike (France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Time (Paperback)
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Baxter is back!, 14 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Time (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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4.0 out of 5 stars Let this messy feast dribble down your chin!, 12 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Time (Voyager) (Hardcover)
Privatized space travel, intelligent squids, super-intelligent kids, starship troopers, trips into the hyperfuture, quark nuggets etc. etc. It's not surprising some readers are getting confused by Baxter's latest door-stop... there's just too much! It's a giant, messy, doom-filled feast. Every page is filled with great writing and excellent ideas (all of which are based in fact, brags Baxter in the afterword). I could write a whole review praising any one of the themes of this superb tome. But I think Baxter should calm down for a bit. Good as his writing is, (particularly, as usual, the ending) stylistic tics are beginning to take over. He might want to make things a bit shorter, less full-on epic. And the human interest in this novel is less well excecuted than 'Moonseed', so he should hone his skills in that area. And Baxter, how about letting your characters enjoy life a bit more- the poor things are always being killed or at least hospitalised! God I loved this book... it put a 'fierce grin' on my face!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A step backwards for an otherwise excellent writer, 27 Sep 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Time (Voyager) (Hardcover)
Let me first say that I'm a great fan of Stephen Baxter's books. He's one of the UK's foremost science fiction writers, and novels such as Titan and Moonseed attest to that fact.
You can probably guess that I'm now going to say that I didn't like Time. In my opinion, Time was a major step back for Baxter. I've always admired his skills in dealing with 'hard' SF, and the way he manages to weave it into an engrossing plot. Unfortunately, in Time, he isn't up to scratch.
For the first part of the book, everything goes swimmingly. It reads like the old Baxter books we have known and loved - NASA acting stupid, a lone man standing against disaster and succeeding against all odds. Add a bit of hard science that's realistic yet intriguing, and you have a recipe for a bestseller.
After the first part of the book, it all goes downhill. The tantalising prospect of asteroid mining was wiped away in paragraphs. The storyline hops from character to character, never staying on one person long enough for you to identify with them. Small pieces of information presented as mini-chapters fly by, and ultimately don't amount to much at all. An entire mini-storyline of the book, involving the USA's effort of retribution against the hero, Malenfant, ends so abruptly that I was left wondering whether I'd actually missed out a dozen pages.
The squid characters, who seemed to so promising at the start, not unlike David Brin's Uplift characters, quickly disappeared from view. They just seem like some kind of plot device that's just thrown in for good measure, and discarded when the author has something better to write about.
It gets worse. Traditionally, Baxter's description of quantum physics and big-bang science has never been at fault. Until now. I've got a rudimentary knowledge of physics - I read New Scientist and the pop science books like Elegant Universe. Yet I still didn't have a clue about what the hell the characters were going on about. I still didn't, even when they performed a bit of data-dumping.
The whole 'universe-jumping' section, which went on for far too long to serve its purpose, left me wondering how it was supposed to be possible. Ditto the existence of life in the unimaginable future - with consciousness suspending in some kind of finite quantum matrix.
The 'Blue' super-intelligent kids left me floundering. Were they emissaries from the future? Were they communicating with the future? Were they just simply super-intelligent? Perhaps I'm slow for not figuring it out. And there's my ever present question. If humanity was supposed to collapse the vacuum state of the universe, why the hell didn't the future humans do it themselves, huh? Why go to the trouble of going back in time to work it all out then, denying humanity the fun it richly deserves by zooming around the galaxy?
Baxter simply tried too hard with Time. He threw in far too many new scientific ideas, many of which were incomprehensible, and there wasn't enough of a storyline. At the end, I thought, so what? I never really got to know the characters. I couldn't really give a (your choice of expletive) if they died or not. In one case, a character died, and lived. Don't ask me how.
Some of his old tricks are wearing thin now, as well. He's written one too many books where NASA and the US military bears the brunt of the author's scorn. Maybe it's justified, maybe it's not. But couldn't NASA be the good guys, for once? Then there's the idea that mankind is around to create daughter universes by producing black holes. Since I've recently read Earth, by David Brin, and Vacuum Diagrams, I'm getting a little tired of this.
I have nothing against Baxter. I personally think Vacuum Diagrams is the best collection of short stories I've ever read. After Moonseed and Titan, two outstanding novels, I was expecting more of the same. The Times reviewer claimed that Time put Baxter firmly into the ranks of Asimov, Clarke and Heinlein. Trust me - this isn't true. He'll have to try a lot harder to reach those heights.
(Addendum: I read Baxter's short article on his book. It reflects what I said in this review - he concentrates far too much on the physics, are far too little on the storyline and characters.)
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2.0 out of 5 stars Good start, less impressive finish., 26 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Time (Paperback)
"Time" is a book with an awesome start. The main character, Reid Malenfant (?) is a great personality, anxious for humanity to get into space, and willing to fight every bureaucrat in the world to do it. Best of all, he has the money to make it happen.
The first half of the book deals with Malenfant, his ex-wife and the mysterious Cornelius trying to get to a Near Earth Asteroid to mine it, and to look for a message from the future. Once they get there however, the plot goes haywire. After this point, I lose interest in the novel. Events are way to complicated, not logically based, and the ending is nothing short of an anticlimax.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Cracking good read, 4 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Time (Paperback)
Gotta disagree with the other review here, I thoroughly enjoyed this one from start to finish. The book is brimming with original ideas from start to finish - for instance sending a squid to colonise space - pretty wacky, also the carter hypothesis - a mathematical / probability theory showing we're all doomed in 200 years or so. This book gets seriously Sci Fi - and looks into parallel universes, and our own existence in the universe. I actually thought the ending was pretty good too - I hate happy crappy endings - and this one was slightly alternative... If you're into SciFi - this is a pretty good read.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A rehash of his earlier stuff, 2 Nov 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Time (Voyager) (Hardcover)
I found Time to be an IMMENSE disappointment! Although it strarted off in true Baxter tradition with interesting characters, intriguing plotline and traditional NASA bashing, it all rather abruptly changed at the half way point. Suddenly, the book became a dead ringer for Ring and it all went down hill from there. Worse, I found at the very end, he was contradicting himself and one minute our characters were omnipotent, and the next, not. It was a very disappointing read! I hope Baxter lifts his game with his next book or he will be dropping from my 'Buy all hardback versions of this author list!
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Time by Stephen Baxter (Paperback - 4 Oct 2010)
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