Manifold: Space Mass Market Paperback – Jan 2 2002
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Stephen Baxter follows up his Arthur C. Clarke Award nominee Manifold: Time with the second book in the Manifold series, Manifold: Space. In this novel, former shuttle pilot and astronaut Reid Malenfant meets his destiny once again in a tale that stretches the bounds of both space and time.
The year is 2020 and the Japanese have colonized the moon. The 60-year-old Malenfant is called there by a young scientist named Nemoto who has discovered something in the asteroid belt that can only mean humans are not alone in the universe. The aliens seem robotic in nature and appear to be building something in Earth's backyard. The Gaijin, as they are called by humans, don't respond to communication efforts so an unmanned ship is launched to investigate. In the meantime, Malenfant decides answers are only possible by mounting an expedition to Alpha Centauri, which may be where the Gaijin come from.
Baxter, who won the John W. Campbell Award and the Philip K. Dick Award for his novel The Time Ships, orchestrates a stunning array of scientific possibilities in Manifold: Space. Each chapter adds a new piece to his mosaic of humanity's future. The novel is admirable in its enormous scope, but it's hard to invest much emotion in the characters. Although they are well drawn, they vanish for long periods of time as Baxter leapfrogs through time and space. Manifold: Space, by its nature, lacks passion but excels in grand ideas. --Kathie Huddleston --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
Former NASA astronaut Reid Malenfant returns to lead the vanguard for humanity's future in space in this deeply thought-provoking sequel to Manifold: Time. In the year 2020, America's space program has disintegrated, and the Japanese have colonized the moon. A young Japanese lunar scientist invites Malenfant to the moon for a consultation over mysterious sources of infrared she's discovered in the asteroid belt. A couple of enterprising engineers send the first probe to the asteroids to find out just what's there, only to have their probe swallowed up by a huge, artificial ship. Years later Malenfant mounts his own expedition to the solar focus of Alpha Centauri, where he finds a teleport gateway leading to a race of self-duplicating robots that humans eventually call the Gaijin. Centuries pass before Malenfant begins to understand the realities that underlie the existence of all life in the universe. Philip K. Dick Award-winner Baxter packs his gigantic odyssey with innovative hypotheses, fascinating explanations of complex scientific phenomena and gorgeous descriptions of spaceships. That the novel covers far more territory, both in time and distance, than any one person could ever absorb is both a strength and a weakness; suspense is difficult to maintain over the course of centuries. While a large cast of characters helps generate this unwieldy scenario, only their scientific motivations are explored. Science itself is very clearly the star player on this stage. Nonetheless, this focus allows for an exceptionally intricate and original view of the future that both scientists and lay enthusiasts will enjoy. (Jan.)Forecast: Manifold: Time was nominated for the 2000 Arthur C. Clarke Award. This one could garner its own nominations--with a consequent boost in sales for both titles.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition. See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
All this, and the ideas are still there; each chapter bursts with an astonishing new Big Idea that forces one to pause and give a Keanu Reeves "whoah." The final onslaught of the Cracker fleet and Nemoto's soliloquy is the most deliciously bleak scene I have read in sci-fi since the end of Orwell's 1984. Here's hoping Baxter's Darwinian vision of space colonization is totally wrong. I, for one, am still waiting for enlightened beings to descend from the heavens and help us save us from ourselves.Read more ›
In this book Baxter speculates on the possibility of several processes of colonization like this one, happened through aeons and our system including our own planet has been affected previously.
All this is exciting, but the long periods of time included into the book make a little difficult to tie all the facts exposed. We can find some weakeness in some arguments like:
- If our evolution process was "restarted" in some time, securely our start point was very different and possibly our ancestors could had very different physical characteristics (Depending on the moment at which the Earth was affected). Into the book we find things like pre-historic animals, dinosaurs and Neardenthals returned to the life by the Gaijims to prevent the mankind extintion and start again. This sounds like a Gaijims eternal manipulationd that it is not sufficiently clarified.
- Nemoto is alive after centuries with medical manipulation, and is as if she had a secret for this known by nobody - not mentioned.
- The mankind lost all inventive, curiosity, technological advance, religions, with the incomming alliens (sound incredible to me).
..Read more ›
Incidentally, I have not read part 1 (Manifold: Time) and as far as I can see Manifold: Space is self-contained, however other readers who have read both may like to comment on this.
Most recent customer reviews
Having read all of the hullabaloo on the back cover, I was suprised by the amateurish writing within. Read morePublished on June 30 2004 by Alex Yeh
awful, awful, awful. One of the three unfinished books in my reading career, and I am actually proud of that fact.Published on Nov. 14 2003 by Marlon Jackson
I don't understand the glowing reviews of other readers. bad characterizations, stupid names, no discernable plot and depressing. oh, and once in a while a clever idea. Read morePublished on Sept. 1 2003 by zolo
Thank you, you other reviewers on this website. Without you, I would have understood far less of this book. Not being a sci-fi buff. Read morePublished on March 14 2003 by Kris
My impression of Stephen Baxter is as an author who is fun to read for thinking of "big" ideas, and with very interesting science stuff, though his prose is sometimes a... Read morePublished on Dec 8 2002 by Kenneth Gosier
Only hard nerds need to pick this one up. As for it being "hard" science fiction, the only thing I found hard about it was trying to read it. Read morePublished on Nov. 11 2002
Okay, so this book might have been about more than the dissolution and decay of mankind, but that?s mostly what it felt like. Read morePublished on March 24 2002 by P. Callaway
This book was supposed to be the sequel to Manifold: Time. When I finished that book and learned of a sequel, I was elated, becasue it was a very cool story. Read morePublished on March 19 2002
I've read a good 75% of the books that Stephen Baxter has read
and they're generally pretty good....I _LOVED_ Manifold: Time. Read more