BooksOfTheMoon

Starfall

By Stephen Baxter

Rating: 4 stars

I really rather enjoyed this novella, set in a future where Humanity has colonised nearby star systems and formed an empire under which the colonies are now chaffing. The novella tells the story of the first interstellar war, not just over imperial might, but something that the Empress has that could threaten the whole of Humanity.

Although I don’t always get on that well with Baxter’s work, he can definitely tell a good story, and this slower-than-light interstellar war is a great example. There’s a lot of hard science in amongst the wormholes and quasi-sentient viruses and it’s a lot of fun to read.

I get the impression that this is set in a wider universe (certainly the Xeelee were mentioned in passing) and would possibly like to read more of it.

Book details

ISBN: 9781906301590
Publisher: PS Publishing
Year of publication: 2009

Time Ships

By Stephen Baxter

Rating: 4 stars

This is an authorised sequel to H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, and follows the Time Traveller’s journeys after he vanishes from his home in 1891 as witnessed by his friend. In this book, the Traveller is determined to return to the far future to try and rescue his companion Weena, who he left there after the attack by the Morlocks. But he never gets there. The very act of visiting the future and returning to the past to relate the fact has changed history!

I really like this book. Baxter has captured Wells’ voice remarkably well, particularly in the early segments of the book. Later, as the Time Traveller is buffeted between a Multiplicity of realities, we can follow what’s going on as events are filtered through the understanding of a (very bright) Victorian gentleman scientist.

Baxter has another hundred years of science to draw upon when crafting his story and the finale is truly breathtaking in scale and imagination, and his final message is somewhat more hopeful than Wells’. An excellent book, full of Baxter’s trademark huge ideas and vast canvases, definitely worth reading and re-reading.

Book details

ISBN: 9780006480129
Publisher: Voyager
Year of publication: 1995

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