Resplendent is an English language science fiction collection by British writer Stephen Baxter, published in 2006. It is the final book in the Destiny's Children series; this book is a collection of short stories relating to the previous three books, comprising new works and published stories, including the novellas Reality Dust, Riding the Rock and Mayflower II, an 88-page novella taking place in the Xeelee Sequence that won the 2004 BSFA Award for the Best Short Fiction. The short stories have been arranged into an overall narrative with brief single page interludes by the character Luru Parz, from the first story in the book; when read in series they form a history as seen by her up until the final story of the book. “Cadre Siblings” Reality Dust. “Silver Ghost” “On the Orion Line” “In the Un-Black” “The Ghost Pit” “The Cold Sink” “Breeding Ground” “The Great Game” “The Chop Line” “The Dreaming Mould”, Interzone 179, May 2002) “Conurbation 2473” “All in a Blaze” Riding the Rock “Lakes of Light” “Between Worlds” Mayflower II “Ghost Wars” Reality Dust is the sixth work in the Xeelee Sequence.
The plot begins not long after the Third Expansion began. The protagonist, one "Hama", an investigator for Earth's Truth Commission, is investigating the surviving Qax-collaborators. Riding the Rock is the seventh work in the Xeelee Sequence; the plot is set in the Third Expansion era, in which humanity has thrown off the successive yokes of the Squeem and the Qax, has been so successful that it is second only to the Xeelee among baryonic races. However, humanity's jealousy has driven it to futilely and brutally dedicate their culture to warring for over 18,000 years upon the Xeelee; the characters engage in quasi-trench warfare against the Xeelee in the galactic core. Mayflower II is the eighth work in the Xeelee Sequence; the plot centers on five generation ships leaving a doomed planet. As thousands of years pass, the humans forget that they are on a spaceship and begin running its mechanisms only through religious ritual. After 25,000 years, the humans on the ship have split in their evolution with half becoming short-lived childlike tribal people and half becoming cannibalistic animals.
The ending speaks to the fact that although this situation seems gruesome and terrible that life and evolution find a way and that humans found a way to continue on living if it meant giving up what is traditionally thought of as human. The story begins on Pluto in the distant future, its inhabitants, former collaborators of the Qax, humanity's erstwhile conquerors, are under attack from the new-formed Coalition, seeking revenge for humanity's enslavement. As such, the inhabitants send five generation ships out of the solar system in the hopes that they will be able to form colonies of their own that can survive the Coalition. Rusel, the protagonist, is admitted onto one of the ships, at the last minute. Shortly after takeoff, it is revealed that the ship's intended destination is outside the galaxy, requiring a flight time of 50,000 subjective years with the effects of time dilation; the ship's captain selects a few individuals to receive medical treatment granting them immortality, allowing them to guide the ship through its millennia-long voyage.
Over time, these individuals die through malfunctions or boredom, leaving Rusel as the only immortal on board, but he becomes dependent on life-support and merges with the ship. Over time, the other inhabitants of the ship form several different societies becoming detached from their original humanity, they form an unrecognisable tribal civilisation. Having forgotten that they are on a spaceship at all, they only maintain it through religious tradition. After 25,000 years have passed, the Mayflower II is contacted by Pirius and Torec, former soldiers of the Coalition, revealed to have fallen, they offer to remove the inhabitants from the care for them elsewhere. Rusel, now merged with the ship's systems, allows them to do so. Pirius and Torec leave Rusel to continue into space without the burden of the crew, which he gladly accepts; the Siege of Earth is the final story contained within the book, it details an encounter between a young person from Mars and the novel's overall narrator, Luru Parz.
This final part of the book explains the origin of Old Earth which features in parts of Xeelee: Endurance
Science fiction is a genre of speculative fiction dealing with imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, extraterrestrials in fiction. Science fiction explores the potential consequences of scientific other various innovations, has been called a "literature of ideas." "Science fiction" is difficult to define as it includes a wide range of concepts and themes. James Blish wrote: "Wells used the term to cover what we would today call'hard' science fiction, in which a conscientious attempt to be faithful to known facts was the substrate on which the story was to be built, if the story was to contain a miracle, it ought at least not to contain a whole arsenal of them."Isaac Asimov said: "Science fiction can be defined as that branch of literature which deals with the reaction of human beings to changes in science and technology." According to Robert A. Heinlein, "A handy short definition of all science fiction might read: realistic speculation about possible future events, based solidly on adequate knowledge of the real world and present, on a thorough understanding of the nature and significance of the scientific method."Lester del Rey wrote, "Even the devoted aficionado or fan—has a hard time trying to explain what science fiction is," and that the reason for there not being a "full satisfactory definition" is that "there are no delineated limits to science fiction."
Author and editor Damon Knight summed up the difficulty, saying "science fiction is what we point to when we say it." Mark C. Glassy described the definition of science fiction as U. S. Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart did with the definition of pornography: "I know it when I see it." Science fiction had its beginnings in a time when the line between myth and fact was arguably more blurred than the present day. Written in the 2nd century CE by the satirist Lucian, A True Story contains many themes and tropes that are characteristic of contemporary science fiction, including travel to other worlds, extraterrestrial lifeforms, interplanetary warfare, artificial life; some consider it the first science-fiction novel. Some of the stories from The Arabian Nights, along with the 10th-century The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter and Ibn al-Nafis's 13th-century Theologus Autodidactus contain elements of science fiction. Products of the Age of Reason and the development of modern science itself, Johannes Kepler's Somnium, Francis Bacon's New Atlantis, Cyrano de Bergerac's Comical History of the States and Empires of the Moon and The States and Empires of the Sun, Margaret Cavendish's "The Blazing World", Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, Ludvig Holberg's Nicolai Klimii Iter Subterraneum and Voltaire's Micromégas are regarded as some of the first true science-fantasy works.
Indeed, Isaac Asimov and Carl Sagan considered Somnium the first science-fiction story. Following the 18th-century development of the novel as a literary form, Mary Shelley's books Frankenstein and The Last Man helped define the form of the science-fiction novel. Brian Aldiss has argued. Edgar Allan Poe wrote several stories considered science fiction, including "The Unparalleled Adventure of One Hans Pfaall" which featured a trip to the Moon. Jules Verne was noted for his attention to detail and scientific accuracy Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea which predicted the contemporary nuclear submarine. In 1887, the novel El anacronópete by Spanish author Enrique Gaspar y Rimbau introduced the first time machine. Many critics consider H. G. Wells one of science fiction's most important authors, or "the Shakespeare of science fiction." His notable science-fiction works include The Time Machine, The Island of Doctor Moreau, The Invisible Man, The War of the Worlds. His science fiction imagined alien invasion, biological engineering and time travel.
In his non-fiction futurologist works he predicted the advent of airplanes, military tanks, nuclear weapons, satellite television, space travel, something resembling the World Wide Web. In 1912, Edgar Rice Burroughs published A Princess of Mars, the first of his three-decade-long planetary romance series of Barsoom novels, set on Mars and featuring John Carter as the hero. In 1926, Hugo Gernsback published the first American science-fiction magazine, Amazing Stories, in which he wrote: By'scientifiction' I mean the Jules Verne, H. G. Wells and Edgar Allan Poe type of story—a charming romance intermingled with scientific fact and prophetic vision... Not only do these amazing tales make tremendously interesting reading—they are always instructive, they supply knowledge... in a palatable form... New adventures pictured for us in the scientifiction of today are not at all impossible of realization tomorrow... Many great science stories destined to be of historical interest are still to be written...
Posterity will point to them as having blazed a new trail, not only in literature and fiction, but progress as well. In 1928, E. E. "Doc" Smith's first published work, The Skylark of Space, written in collaboration with Lee Hawkins Garby, appeared in Amazing Stories. It is called the first great space opera; the same year, Philip Francis Nowlan's original Buck Rogers story, Armageddon 2419 appeared in Amazing Stories. This was followed by the first serious science-fiction comic. In 1937, John W. Campbell became editor of Astounding Science Fiction, an event, sometimes conside
The Long Mars
The Long Mars is a science fiction novel by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. It is the third in a five-book series of the parallel-Earth sequence The Long Earth. Entitled The Long Childhood, it was changed to The Long Mars, published on 19 June 2014; the paperback edition was published by Harper on 7 August 2014. In the novel, Sally Linsay, her father, a burned-out astronaut friend travel to Mars and find that it too has co-existing alternate worlds accessible to their technology. While many are lifeless and possess atmospheres as thin as those of Mars within our universe, others possess oceans, life forms and intelligent life. Rainbow Mars, another novel involving alternate versions of Mars, which began as a proposed collaboration between Larry Niven and Terry Pratchett. Manifold: Origin, a novel by Stephen Baxter centered on alternate versions of the Moon
Conqueror (Baxter novel)
Conqueror is a science fiction novel by British writer Stephen Baxter, the second in his alternate history series Time's Tapestry. The novel ends in AD 1066 after the Battle of Hastings. Emperor Navigator Weaver
Transcendent is the third novel in the Destiny's Children series by Stephen Baxter, a 2006 Campbell Award nominee. The story alternates between two timelines: the world of Michael Poole in the year 2047, that of Alia, a posthuman girl who lives half a million years in the future. Engineer Michael Poole is recovering from the death of his pregnant wife. Poole works as a consultant designing space propulsion systems, dreams of being able to one day explore the stars. However, there are more pressing matters. Due to climate change, the oceans have become dead zones, with rising sea levels and severe weather displacing millions. While working in Siberia, Michael's son Tom is injured by an explosion of methane gas from frozen hydrates released from the now-melting tundra. Michael begins to research whether this is an isolated incident or the beginning of something more serious. With the help of an artificial sentience named Gea, he discovers that a potential release of all such frozen greenhouse gasses could destabilise the environment enough to make the Earth untenable for human habitation, in a repeat of the Permian extinction.
Michael consults members of the Poole family. Tom and the elderly George reunite, a maverick geoengineering company funds the project. Michael designs a subsurface refrigeration system. Meanwhile, Michael continues to be haunted by visions of his dead wife, apparitions he has been seeing his entire life before he first met her, he becomes obsessed with discovering the origin of this phenomenon, his quest for answers drives a wedge between him and his family. Aunt Rosa Poole, a Catholic priest and ex-member of the Order, helps Michael research the problem, drawing on her vast knowledge, stemming in small part from her relationship with the Coalescent hive and its historical archives; the rest of the Poole family joins the investigation when Morag appears during a trial test of the engineering project. This time, everyone sees Morag observing drones recording the event. After the project is bombed by a terrorist group, Morag goes from being an apparition to reincarnating in physical reality; this frightens everyone Michael.
500,000 years in the future, the Nord, a generation ship, sails through the galaxy carrying Alia, a young girl, her family. As part of a government program called the "Redemption", Alia is obligated to witness the life of Michael Poole, from start to finish. Pressured by her family to leave the ship, Alia becomes a candidate for the Transcendence, a collective group of immortal posthumans who are attempting to evolve into a form of godhood, in effect leaving their humanity behind. After travelling the galaxy and observing several posthuman life forms, Alia travels to Earth to meet the Transcendence. Alia learns the Transcendence is attempting to redeem the past suffering of all humans, first by witnessing every single one as Alia witnessed by living as every single human and experiencing everything that they experienced. However, since observing is not seen as sufficient for redemption, the Transcendence desires to erase all suffering in the past, thereby ensuring that every human that could have existed does so.
Lastly, if, seen as too great a task, the Transcendence is prepared to reach back in time and stop humans from existing, thereby "erasing" the suffering that they intend to redeem. Upset about the goals of the Transcendence, Alia makes her way back to the Nord, only to find that it has been attacked in an attempt to get her to go back and face the Transcendence by a group who believes the Redemption is a mistake. Upon returning to the Transcendence, Alia agrees to find a human who can join the Transcendence long enough to debate the Redemption and help them find the best course of action. To do so, Alia projects herself to the time of Michael Poole, she appears to him as his dead wife, but changes into her true form, that of a different small, hairy primate, a form evolved for low gravity environments. Alia convinces Michael to face the Transcendence. After an initial period of adjustment Michael makes contact with the Transcendence. Able to see both sides of the argument, Michael forgives the Transcendence for their meddling, but asks that they stop their efforts.
Michael is returned to his own time, where he completes the refrigeration project. The Kuiper anomaly, first introduced in Coalescent, is revealed to be related to Alia's connection with Michael, having first appeared in the solar system at the time of Michael's birth. In the far future, the Transcendence collapses and the Witnessing program is shut down. Transcendent. London: Gollancz/Orion, 2005. ISBN 0-575-07430-2, 489pp, Hardcover Transcendent. London: Gollancz/Orion, Oct 2005, ISBN 0-575-07431-0, 489pp, Trade paperback Transcendent. New York: Del Rey/Ballantine, Nov 2005. ISBN 0-345-45791-9, 488 pp, Hardcover Transcendent. New York: Del Rey/Ballantine, Dec 2005, ISBN 0-345-45793-5, ebook Transcendent. New York: Del Rey/Ballantine, Jan 2006, ISBN 0-345-45792-7, 505pp, Paperback Transcendent. New York: Del Rey/Ballantine, Jan 2006, SFBC #1194781, 488pp, Hardcover Transcendent. London: Gollancz/Orion, Sep 2006, ISBN 0-575-07814-6, 522pp, Paperback Transzendenz. München, Germany: Heyne Verlag, Sep 2006, ISBN 978-3-453-52189-6, 704 pp, Paperback Transcendent title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Data
Time (Baxter novel)
Manifold: Time is a 1999 science fiction novel by Stephen Baxter. It is the first of Baxter's Manifold Trilogy, although the books can be read in any order because the series takes place in a multiverse; the book was nominated for the 2000 Arthur C. Clarke Award. Time is set on Earth, the inner part of the Solar System and various other universes onwards from the 21st century; the novel covers a wide range of topics, including the Doomsday argument, Fermi paradox, genetic engineering, humanity's extinction. The book begins at the end of space and time, when the last descendants of humanity face an infinite but pointless existence. Due to proton decay the physical universe has collapsed, but some form of intelligence has survived by embedding itself into a lossless computing substrate where it can theoretically survive indefinitely. However, because there will never be new input all possible thoughts will be exhausted; some portion of this intelligence decides that this should not have been the ultimate fate of the universe, takes action to change the past, centering on the early 21st century.
The changes come in several forms, including a message to Reid Malenfant, the appearance of super-intelligent children around the world, the discovery of a mysterious gateway on asteroid 3753 Cruithne. Baxter's short story "Sheena 5" explores an alternate ending to the story of Sheena, the intelligent squid. Reid Malenfant – protagonist Emma Stoney – Malenfant's ex-wife and employee Cornelius Taine – brilliant eschatologist mathematician Sheena – a genetically engineered squid Maura Della – concerned politician Michael – a "Blue" child savant and guide to Reid Dan Ystebo – marine scientist Anna – oldest of the "Blue" savant children Time is split into four parts and into smaller sections that each focus on a different character. 1999, UK, Voyager ISBN 0-00-225768-8, Pub date 2 August 1999, hardback 2000, UK, Voyager ISBN 0-00-651182-1, Pub date 7 August 2000, paperback 2000, USA, Del Rey Books ISBN 0-345-43075-1, Pub date? January 2000, hardback 2000, USA, Del Rey Books ISBN 0-345-43076-X, Pub date?
November 2000, paperback Manifold Time at Worlds Without End
Space (Baxter novel)
Manifold: Space is a science fiction book by British author Stephen Baxter, first published in the United Kingdom in 2000 released in the United States in 2001. It is the second book of the Manifold series and examines another possible solution to the Fermi paradox. Although it is in no sense a sequel to the first book it contains a number of the same characters, notably protagonist Reid Malenfant, similar artefacts; the Manifold series contains four books, Manifold: Time, Manifold: Space, Manifold: Origin, Phase Space. Alien activity is discovered in a Kirkwood gap, their activity is an immense threat, as Malenfant notes in an earlier speech: "A target system, we assume, is uninhabited. We can therefore program for massive and destructive exploitation of the system's resources, without restraint, by the probe; such resources are useless for any other purpose, are therefore economically free to us. And so we colonize, build." The self-replicating spacecraft are named Gaijin, after their discovery by a Japanese observer on the Moon.
Malenfant travels in a prototype fusion engine to the Kirkwood Gap and discovers an interstellar teleportation device. He travels around the galaxy to uncover information about the Fermi paradox. At the same time, the story follows the efforts of Humans on Earth and the eventual draining of the Earth's resources, making a move off-world necessary. At the same time small group of humans use anti-aging techniques and an alien form of interstellar teleportation to "parachute" in on the changing solar system over many centuries, it is revealed that in this version of the Fermi paradox, sentient life is endemic throughout the universe. The story ends with Malenfant helping the Gaijin build a shield to prevent a pulsar from sterilising a large part of the galaxy. Although this project will not be completed before another predicted pulsar event wipes out all extant species, it is hoped to give the sentient aliens who develop from the aftermath of the coming extinction a better chance at long-term survival.
Reid Malenfant – The protagonist in all four Manifold Books. Madeleine Meacher – Other main character, former pilot of a futuristic space plane and arms smuggler. Nemoto – Lunar Japanese woman who mysteriously lives for many centuries, guiding humanity against the'alien threat' Dorothy Chaum – Catholic priest assigned by the pope to talk with the Gaijin at their first human contact on Earth. Cassiopeia – Malenfant's Gaijin companion in his explorations Publishers Weekly was positive in their review saying that "the novel covers far more territory, both in time and distance, than any one person could absorb is both a strength and a weakness. While a large cast of characters helps generate this unwieldy scenario, only their scientific motivations are explored. Science itself is 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." Jackie Cassada in her review for the Library Journal said that Baxter "balances the individual stories of his human protagonists against the panoramic scale of his setting in a landmark work of cosmic speculation".
Manifold: Space was named by Library Journal as one of the best Science Fiction and Fantasy books of 2001. 2000, UK, Voyager ISBN 0-00-225771-8, Pub date 6 October 2000, hardback 2001, USA, Del Rey Books ISBN 0-345-43077-8, Pub date? February 2001, hardback 2002, USA, Del Rey Books ISBN 0-345-43078-6, Pub date? January 2002, paperback Space title listing at the Internet Speculative Fiction Database