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by Stephen Baxter
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Exploration of the Fermi Paradox (that we are the only sentient species in the universe) - characters easy to dislike but the ideas carried the day. ( )
I agree with every other reviewer that says there is too much violence in this book. It also doesn't go anywhere for a very long time, and the early half of it was a real slog.
This caps Baxter's Manifold series, an extended exploration of possible explanations of the Fermi Paradox. The three books are independent novels. All three feature Reid Malenfant, scientific entrepreneur -- think Elon Musk -- and Emma Stoney, but not the same Malenfant and Stoney. Also appearing in all three novels are mysterious giant floating blue rings. Each is a gateway of different sorts that drives the exploration forward.
A giant red moon appears, replacing our old moon. Emma Stoney is transported there by a giant blue ring. Two thirds of the novel then alternates between Malenfant's quest to find her, Stoney's struggles to survive, and the story lines of other hominids that inhabit the red moon, deposited there millennia ago by those blue rings, as the red moon shifts from universe to universe.
This is a hard book to read. Not because it was unclear but because it's portrayal of the lives of half dozen distinct hominid characters was very crystal clear. The hominids, including modern humans, do terrible things to each other over and over. Baxter works hard to put the reader inside the minds of every character, including those without long-term consciousness or, in some cases, even an awareness of self.
Manifold: Origin fulfills the title's promise. It's about the origin of humanity, of those blue rings (at least in this novel's sheaf of universes), and a potential explanation for the Fermi Paradox.
If you can stomach it, I recommend it.
3rd volume of Manifold series. Still a good read, with a number of new surprises and speculations. Worth reading.
The best of the trilogy. Some of the ideas seem fairly close to the Time's Odyssey series he wrote with Arthur C. Clarke
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Wikipedia in English (2)
ONE OF THE BEST SF WRITERS IN THE BUSINESS . . . Manifold: Origin is] filled with marvelous scientific speculations, strange events, novel concepts, and an awe-inspiring sense of the wonders of the universe.-Science Fiction Chronicle In the year 2015, astronaut Reid Malenfant is flying over the African continent, intent on examining a mysterious glowing construct in Earth's orbit. But when the very fabric of the sky tears open, spilling living creatures to the ground and pulling others inside (including his wife, Emma), Malenfant's quest to uncover the unknown becomes personal. While desperately searching to discover what happened to the woman he loves, Malenfant embarks upon an adventure to the very fount of human development . . . on earth and beyond.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)823.914Literature English & Old English literatures English fiction Modern Period 1901-1999 1945-1999
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