Proxima Paperback – 19 Sep 2013
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Proxima is grown up SF, a masterpiece from a star who shines as bright as any "mainstream" author. (John Wyatt THE SUN)
Classic Baxter (SFX)
There's a real beauty and excitement to Baxter's writing (STARBURST)
Baxter acolytes will lap up Proxima (SCI FI NOW)
A fascinating and all too believable examination of how small isolated communities of strangers might survive, or not, in a new alien landscape and of what that new ecosystem might be like. (BOOK GEEK)
Proxima brilliantly juxtaposes the wonder of an uncaring universe with the depiction of humanity's valiant struggle to survive against all the odds. (THE GUARDIAN)
The sense of wonder Baxter effects again and again in the course of exploring the unknown is emblematic of science fiction at its finest. Make no mistake: Proxima is immensely entertaining and eminently accessible science fiction which builds towards a catastrophic, cold war of the worlds conclusion that is both breathtaking and bone-chilling. (Niall Alexander TOR.COM)
Once again, Baxter proves himself a master of the epic canvas with alternating narratives, both terrifically imagined and addictively compelling. (DAILY MAIL)
An awe-inspiring Planetary Romance from the author of FLOOD and the epic Xeelee sequence.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
This is the goal and the dream but how different and harrowing is the reality.
Proxima Centauri, or Per Ardua as it is named by its reluctant, marooned first colonists, is a planet fixed on its axis, half always dark and the other half always light. It is also a volcanic world, susceptible to extreme weather patterns that can last for years. It is inhabited by a full spectrum of flying, swimming, walking creatures, all stem-like. They manage the environment as our colonists must also learn to do. The first half of the novel focuses in wonderful, leisurely detail on the trials of settling this planet by small groups of men and women, cast out from Earth, abandoned and forced together. In particular, we follow Yuri Eden, Mardina and their robot help ColU. I could have read many more hundreds of pages on this group and their interaction with the local animals and this fascinating planet.Read more ›
I loved the Xeelee sequence and the Time/Space books and tried to read all of Baxters stories. Sadley, he lost my interest with the Floods and mammoths but now with Proxima, it seems the he is back to his roots and writing the kind of classic hard sci-fi that got my interest in the first place.
I hope this isn't a one off and that we can now expect more like this.
I would strongly recommend this book to anyone like me that enjoyed his older works. I can't rate it highly enough.
If I had to choose a negative just to balance things out, then I would say that maybe in the appendix we could have had a translation of the latin paragraph that appears toward the end of the book. I had to type it in to Google Translate to get an approximate meaning and it made a HUGE difference to how I perceived the end of the story. I'm sure not everyone will do the same and will miss out! I would urge everyone that doesn't speak Latin, to do what I did. It's a little annoying typing a paragraph of Latin but it does make a difference to the story.
I thought the main weakness was the characters who were all a bit bland (even the main antagonist Yuri Eden) except for the automated colonisation unit ColU who was interested in everything and constantly waffled on a bit like Star Trek's Data. I want one!! I also didn't like the stuff in our future solar system, China vs the rest, seemed plausible but I just didn't enjoy the politics. I felt that he could have left the Earth and its troubles behind once the colonists had landed.
Overall though I really enjoyed the novel and found it to be a bit of a page turner. He's left it open for a sequel so we shall see what's next.
And boy, what a mistake that was. This title is pure classic Science Fiction bringing together a lot of the themes that have gone before and combining it in such as a way that we have to look at our own nature before we can think about condemning what else is out there. It's a book of questions, a book of exploration and above all a book that really takes the reader on a journey whilst opening up the universe to something else to follow on a bigger scale.
Add to the mix some great twists, some wonderful turns of phrase and its definitely a book that has moved Stephen back into my read with confidence list.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As an exercise in hypothetical exobiology this was an exceptional book. The cosmology was equally imaginative and informative with the model of a red star world with a stationmary... Read morePublished 26 days ago by John Nichols
Baxter delivers it all once again in a carefully crafted vision of our possible future. As always the characters are well written, the descriptions vivid and the plot paced... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Elysium
Read this through to the end but didn't find Per Ardua all that convincing. Perhaps the most believable part was the inability of nation states to find common ground and this... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Flipflop
Post, pre, or slap-in-the-middle-of apocalypse novels suggest there might be some excitement – not in this book. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Owen