Another Brilliant Hard-SF Novel,
By A Customer
This review is from: Moonseed (Paperback)
Stephen Baxter is now a well-known name amongst SF enthusiasts in the UK and elsewhere. He writes of extremely theorectical scientific matters in an absorbing and exciting way.
His latest, 'Moonseed', is no exception to this rule. Baxter wears his research very-much on his sleeve: geological references, in this case, are sprinkled throughout the text.
At the beginning of this novel Venus explodes, thus establishing the political and psychological climate of the entire book. The plot then developes around a sample of long-forgotten moon-rock which has never been researched since it was brought back in the 1970's. Thirty years later, after the destruction Venus, the sample is flown to Edinburgh for investigation. Some of the moon-dust from the sample comes into contact with the earth and then all sorts of terrible events begin to happen.
Baxter is very much in the habit of creating big, brash novels full of scientific wonder. There is always a lot of detail and sometimes this gets in the way of plot development and action. Baxter is also guilty of creating cliched character stereo-types: the aging astronaut ready to prove himself one last time, the gung-ho youngster trying to make a name for himself/herself, the fiesty female scientist/astronaut who is ready to take on the establishment, the misunderstood scientist, etc. This is not to say that Baxter's novels suffer for it: they are still enjoyable, thought-provoking, insightful novels which demand to be read. If there is ever one real fault in any of his recent epics ('Titan', 'Voyage' and now 'Moonseed') it is that they are a little too long: judicious editing would have probably made them classics.