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Stone Spring (Gollancz) Hardcover – 3 Jun 2010

3.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Gollancz (3 Jun. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0575089180
  • ISBN-13: 978-0575089181
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 783,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for Stephen Baxter and "Stone Spring"

"There are few speculators in fiction with a greater reputation for boldness and breadth than Stephen Baxter."--"Strange Horizons
"
"A learned, imaginative, bold, sweeping, wonderful evocation of life and the world 10,000 years ago."--"The Daily Mail "(UK)

"Baxter proves to be not only a gifted storyteller but also a master of speculative fiction....An epic tale not unlike Ken Follett's "The Pillars of the Earth"."--"Library Journal"

Praise for Stephen Baxter and "Stone Spring"
"There are few speculators in fiction with a greater reputation for boldness and breadth than Stephen Baxter."--"Strange Horizons
"
"A learned, imaginative, bold, sweeping, wonderful evocation of life and the world 10,000 years ago."--"The Daily Mail "(UK)
"Baxter proves to be not only a gifted storyteller but also a master of speculative fiction....An epic tale not unlike Ken Follett's "The Pillars of the Earth.""--"Library Journal"

Praise for Stephen Baxter and "Stone Spring"
There are few speculators in fiction with a greater reputation for boldness and breadth than Stephen Baxter. "Strange Horizons
"
A learned, imaginative, bold, sweeping, wonderful evocation of life and the world 10,000 years ago. "The Daily Mail "(UK)
Baxter proves to be not only a gifted storyteller but also a master of speculative fiction. An epic tale not unlike Ken Follett s "The Pillars of the Earth." "Library Journal"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

The epic story of one prehistoric girl's bid to change her future and the future of our world. This is alternate history at its most mindblowing.

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Brilliant, captivating and thoroughly interesting novel. One of those books I didn't want to put down. Although fiction, it is based on pretty sound historic fact for the most part. For those who like family saga's and history it's a must read. I bit gruesome and bloodthirsty at times with plenty male testosterone flying around but an utterly superb read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A very good book, well written. The premises are intriguing, and although the book started slowly and not entirely in the style I was expecting, it quickly developed into a great story, interleaving several characters and stories in a fascinating yarn. I have since read Book 2 of this series, and am currently going through Book 3.
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Format: Paperback
I'm late to the party with Baxter. I came on board with Flood, wholly because I'm only interested in fantasy/sci-fi set in the world I know. This tells the story of Doggerland (renamed Northland here) before the sea rises of 6000BC submerged it and cut Britain off from mainland Europe. It's a "what if" - the question being what if Doggerland was never submerged, and this - the first book in a trilogy - tells the story of how that might have happened. It's full of solid characters, measured pathos, and often exciting action. And you learn stuff! 4 stars.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Loved the story but wasn't entirely impressed by Stephen's writing style. Some parts could have benefitted from being fleshed out more, and other parts were too drawn out. Overall a fantastic storyline which I read in two sittings. :)
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Format: Hardcover
I am afraid that I made a mistake buying this book. I have most of this author's work to date so bought this one without any hesitation. I was expecting science fiction, but instead got a rather 'cardboard' attempt at recreating the deep past. Lots of research had obviously been done, but after a few hundred pages of info-dumped details about plants and animals, and a stereotyped set of characters (the nice guy, his macho father, the independent-minded woman he loves etc,) I had had enough. Apparently there is an 'alternative history' thread driving this (and two later novels) about confronting climate change and remaking our future as a result.There could well be some interesting science fiction written about the really giant leaps made in prehistory (intelligence, speech, tools, fire, farming etc) but this novel seems to want to go for trilogy length by attenuating out a very thin 'master plot' way beyond its natural length. A short story would have sufficed
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Format: Paperback
Baxter has long since established himself as having a great talent of speculation, and he demonstrates here that he's just as good at doing it in the stone age as he is in the distant future.

The central idea behind this story is the building of a wall to hold back the rising seas, which overhwhelmed low-lying land between England and Europe in the real world. What we have is a compelling story about how this affects the main characters, and the conflicts that result. The characters of this novel are one of its strengths, and demonstrate Baxter's continuing trend of writing more complex and believable characters in recent books. Few of the main characters here are completely likeable, and the audience is lead to empathise with different characters at different stages of the story.

There are two reasons why this doesn't get a 5. The first is the considerable number of implausibilities in the story. I seriously doubt that the hunter-gatherers described at the start of the novel would have got anywhere building the wall as it's described, and the likelihood of mother and baby surviving an amateur Cesarean section is also pretty low. Finally, the pseduo-human tree-dwelling "leafy boys" are also pretty ridiculous. They seem to be an attempt at describing stone age aliens. And like stone age aliens, they don't really work.

The other problem in my view is the wall, or rather the lack thereof. I was quite surprised at how little of it we actually saw. Once the idea of the wall is hatched, it serves as more of a backdrop and a motivator for the rest of the story. The novel might be better termed "a story about the conflict that took place while the wall was being built", rather than a story about the wall.

What story Baxter does tell, however, he tells well. I look forward to seeing where he takes the concept next time.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I expected to hate this book. It's set in the Mesolithic, in an age when the North Sea was still mostly land, and tells an alternate history of how a tribe of primitives kept the sea back by building dykes. This is, of course, absurd. They lacked the productive surplus to support the workforce this would have needed. Baxter tries to address this by having them trade with other tribes for labour, but still fails to address the question of how to feed the work force. No matter where or when your story is, you can't ignore basic logistics and still have a world sufficiently realistic that a reader can immerse himself in the story.

And that's not the only utterly absurd piece of Baxter's world. The tribe of tree-top dwellers are also ridiculous.

But never mind that. Baxter salvages from his irreparably flawed world a decent story of inter-personal conflicts, intrigue and jealousy. Why only three stars? It's daft, and I don't think he can sustain it over the two sequels that are supposedly on the way.
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