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Manifold: Space Mass Market Paperback – Jan 2 2002

3.1 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; Reprint edition (Jan. 2 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345430786
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345430786
  • Product Dimensions: 10.7 x 3.5 x 17.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 181 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #407,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

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.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I gave 4 stars to this book because the theme is very interesting; Baxter worked on an Earth threatened by an exponencial colonization wave coming from the deep space (directed by an allien especies called "crackers"). The concept is very original and is based in the fact that if the live flourish in almost every star system, in the most incredibles ways, is possible that the rate of growth of the population forces to colonize several stellar systems to survive, and in this process some worlds,inhabited or no, can be destroyed or exploited.
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).
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Format: Hardcover
Baxter's Space is the Gulliver's Travels of modern science fiction. I mean this not only in terms of narrative convention (hapless traveler is propelled from one tableaux to the next to showcase the author's agenda, in this case, a grab-bag of the myriad forms life might take in various environments), but of repute, as well: with Time as his launching point, Baxter takes cyclopean strides, earning the hallmark "classic" and instantly vaulting into my Top Ten Greatest Sci-Fi Novels of All Time. Baxter has come a long way from what I label the "pajama sci-fi" of his Xeelee sequence: cheeseball crews running around in their jammy-jams like something from Star Trek: the Motion Picture or Invaders from Plan 9. Baxter's ideas were always there, but his Michael Crichton School of bland prose was a great detraction. No more - he's battened down the hatches on sloppy writing, his characters have distinct voices, and the greatest improvement of all, his dialogue has gone from Vaudevillian melodrama to the downright profound. Baxter refreshingly skips hashing out the trials of his characters and gets to the nitty gritty: one sentence, Malefant is reasoning out how he can get to a deep space "Saddle Point," the next sentence, he's there, and who cares how he swung it?
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.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the first book I read of Baxter and it got me interested in all his other books. I am sci-fi and astronomy passionate and find some of these ideas very original. I know many people here complained about the characters in the book, but if you forget about them for a moment , since their only purpose is to take you from one era to another, you will find a book rich of interesting and original ideas. At some points the books is scary and seems very negative, no matter how hard you try to make a difference some natural or unnatural forces will always be stronger than you, but I believe the overall message is that we should look inside ourselves and find the strenght to help others even beyong time. This is the problem with humanity, we only focus on "us" and "now" and Baxter makes of this problem the topic of his book. Great reading if you like sci-fi, but you might appreciate it even if you're not that big in sci-fi stories.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Fascinating, unputdownable space opera yarn. Certainly has its weaknesses, characterisation is maybe not so strong, and the much vaunted "hard science" still relies on "deus ex machina" plot devices such as stargates (!) and miracle anti-ageing treatments not seen since the old testament. However, the "idea density" is so high that you would expect some duffers. Also, since I stayed up til 340am to finish it, I have to give it 5 stars! Author's misanthropic, Malthusian outlook does become a bit tedious at times but overall great speculative fiction.
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.
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