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Moonseed Hardcover – 3 Aug 1998

3.4 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Voyager (3 Aug. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002254263
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002254267
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.2 x 5.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 522,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Amazon Review

Stephen Baxter established himself as a major British sci-fi author with tales of exotic, far-future technology. More recently, in Voyage, Titan and now Moonseed, he shows his love for the hardware of the real world's space programme. (Comparisons with Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff have been frequent.) Moonseed is a spectacular disaster novel whose threat to Earth comes from a long-forgotten Moon rock sample carrying strange silver dust that seems to be alien nanotechnology--molecule-sized machines. Accidentally spilt in Edinburgh, this "Moonseed" quietly devours stone and processes it into more Moonseed. Geology becomes high drama: when ancient mountains turn to dust, the lid is taken off seething magma below. Volcanoes return to Scotland, and Krakatoa-like eruptions spread Moonseed around the world... A desperate, improvised US/Russian space mission heads for the Moon to probe the secret of how our satellite has survived uneaten. Baxter convincingly shows how travel costs could be cut, with a hair-raising descent on a shoestring lunar lander that makes Apollo's look like a luxury craft. The climax brings literally world-shaking revelations and upheavals. Moonseed is a ripping interplanetary yarn. --David Langford

Review

‘The best SF author in Britain’
SFX

‘Good science by someone who knows what he is talking about’
Sunday Telegraph

‘Baxter recalls the most visionary moments of Wells and Clarke’
Locus

‘Tom Clancy meets Tom Wolfe’
Kirkus Reviews

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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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By A Customer on 12 Feb. 2003
Format: 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.
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Format: 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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Interesting concept, I am fast becoming a big fan of Stephen Baxter, I enjoy the idea that his books, while being sf, have their roots in known ideas/concepts - they are obviously meticulously researched. I would have to say that I slightly preferred 'Voyage' to 'Moonseed', although this book is still a great read (hopefully it never happens, as I am a Scot!)
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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