- Save 10% on selected children’s books, compliments of Amazon Family Promotion exclusive for Prime members .
Ark Paperback – 8 Jul 2010
|New from||Used from|
- Choose from over 13,000 locations across the UK
- Prime members get unlimited deliveries at no additional cost
- Find your preferred location and add it to your address book
- Dispatch to this address when you check out
Special offers and product promotions
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Never has Baxter presented a more thrilling and moving glimpse of a possible future: Ark could well be his masterpiece. (Eric Brown THE GUARDIAN)
A seam of realism runs through the novel, making it more compelling than most shiny, happy dreams of space travel. Even when the equations and technology work, there is no escaping the human factor that fouls up the best-laid plans. This is a grim but exciting tale of the ultimate in pioneering adventure, in the most unforgiving environment of all. (Lisa Tuttle THE TIMES)
An excellently executed novel that dealt in everything from the mundane daily tasks of the crew as they seek out another world brought together with almost impeccable execution. Add to the mix emotional conflict, political infighting and it¿s a novel that could well be his best work to date. (FALCATTA TIMES)
[He] writes brilliantly about what it might be like to experience space travel. This capacity for mixing awe-inspiring vistas with gnarly day-to-day details hasn't diminished. (Jonathan Wright SFX)
"... all too convincing as he imagines the terrible dangers and tensions of such a journey. He shows us that, while it may be easy to preserve Mother Earth as a benign home, it's a simple task compared to colonising new worlds." (Jonathan Wright BBC FOCUS)
Baxter is the natural heir to the hard sci-fi crown of Arthur C Clarke and he shares Clarke's generous imagination and ability to extrapolate a plausible future technology from the cutting-edge theories of today. Imaginative appeal is what counts with Baxter and in that he delivers reliably. (Peter Ingham THE DAILY TELEGRAPH)
Beyond the science and technicalities - which are wonderful, informative, and completely believable - Ark is a story about characters. I loved the writing, the blend of physics, hard science fiction, and compelling plot lines. I loved the emotional turmoil, the self-destructive nature of humanity, and the messiness of survival. Simply put: I loved this book. (THE BOOK SMUGGLERS)
A page turning disaster sequel that shows us a fascinating, terrifying and ultimately hopeful view of humanity's chances in the face of terrific adversity. (SCI FI NOW)
Science fiction told very realistically, through the characters and the science. Perhaps Ark lacks the sheer sense of wonder of some of Baxter¿s previous galaxy-spanning fiction, but this is recession fantasy, with no impoverishment of the imagination. (TOTAL SCIFI) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In FLOOD Baxter drowned the world, in ARK he shows that mankind's future is no less perilous.See all Product description
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Top customer reviews
In the near future, Earth is being slowly drowned by the release of subterranean reserves of water. As society crumbles, a cabal of world leaders and billionaire businessmen set about trying to ensure the future of humanity by launching an interstellar mission to colonise an earthlike exoplanet. Viewing the end of the world through the eyes of numerous protagonists, and ultimately covering decades of time, Ark sets out to be an epic. In my view, it succeeds.
Despite its premise, Ark's first half is confined to terra firma. Detailing the inception of the mission and its progress through the slow-motion apocalypse unfolding outside, readers of Flood may this portion of the novel repetitive. The Ark Project is a fascinating one to follow, however, mixing intriguing engineering and tales of individual brilliance and folly with a cold-eyed view of the compromises and sacrifices which would inevitably befall such a resource-hungry undertaking in an environment of desperate scarcity. One of Baxter's greatest achievements in Ark is to portray the tragic consequences of individual selfishness or hurried decisions, sometimes reverberating down the decades.
The second half of Ark is less measured, and more closely resembles the interstellar adventure readers may have been hoping for when they bought the novel. The Ark's confined spaces provide a more intimate environment for the protagonists to scheme and bicker; sometimes with terrible results for the mission as a whole. Baxter is unsentimental in his portrayal of human nature; never more so than the gut-punch of the book's downbeat ending. Whilst the plot is compelling, and maintains a focus on its characters' emotional arcs, there is little doubt that the science is the star of the show. The unfolding environmental catastrophe gives Baxter the opportunity to explore fascinating concepts in climatology and sociology rarely covered in SF. One the Ark launches, he throws some fascinating material on exoplanet astronomy into the melting pot.
Ark is a fine tale of noble endeavor and resourcefulness in the face of adversity, elevated to greatness by its wonderful depth, fascinating central concepts and an eye for the less admirable aspects of human nature. That said, some of the usual cautions for SF apply, including broad-brush characterisation and a slightly analytical, even misanthropic bent. Several plot threads are also left dangling at the book's conclusion, and the downer ending may not please everyone. Nevertheless, I found this one of the most rewarding works of hard SF I've read in a long time, and it comes highly recommended to all genre fans.
Ark takes a back step for the first 200 or so pages; we get to see the impending catastrophe from the perspective of another group of humans, struggling to build a spaceship that would take a genetic pool hopefully to a new planet. In Flood we saw, from a distance, the Ark take off. Now we get to read its story while the timeline catches up to about 2040 again. Once the timelines are back in sync, we get to see a little of what life is like for those left on Earth, but mainly the story follows those in Ark I as they travel through space. I have no idea whether the `science' offered in the story is in any way realistic, but there's a lot of it offered for the reader - perhaps a little too much, as it makes the story drift from the people themselves. Given the long timelines as the novel leaps ahead in periods of several years at a time (I found myself having to go back to see what year the last section was in), the story gets a bit choppy; and unfortunately the characters in the story suffer most. They become more distant to the reader; I found myself become more detached from their ultimate fate. That's unfortunate, as there's a lot of action in the last half of the book, as the Ark project takes a few unexpected twists.
Ultimately, this is a good story, which maybe could have been written better. The idea is great; but the delivery fell a bit flat. There is not, as you would expect in a book that purports to tell of humanity's future fate, a neat wrapping up at the end; but there is hope for humanity, and I guess that's the real story the author is trying to tell.