2020. Fueled by an insatiable curiosity, Reid Malenfant ventures to the far edge of the solar system, where he discovers a strange artifact left behind by an alien civilization: A gateway that functions as a kind of quantum transporter, allowing virtually instantaneous travel over the vast distances of interstellar space.
What lies on the other side of the gateway? Reid decides to find out. Yet he will soon be faced with an impossible choice that will push him beyond terror, beyond sanity, beyond humanity itself.
Meanwhile on Earth the Japanese scientist Nemoto fears her worst nightmares are coming true. Startling discoveries reveal that the Moon, Venus, even Mars once thrived with life. Life that was snuffed out not just once but many times, in cycles of birth and destruction. And the next chilling cycle is set to begin again . . .
‘The most important living science-fiction writer in the country’
‘The best SF writer in Britain’
Praise for The Manifold Trilogy:
‘Pacy, visionary, extravagantly imagined, TIME places Baxter firmly in the tradition of Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov’
‘Highly intelligent, with original ideas in almost every sentence’
‘Baxter is taking basic SF ideas and rebuilding them based on current science, technology and politics … [He] apparently has the ambition and the energy to reinvigorate hard SF all by himself’
‘It’s time for Baxter to take his place alongside Asimov and Heinlein’
About the author
Stephen Baxter applied to become an astronaut in 1991. He didn’t make it, but achieved the next best thing by becoming a science fiction writer, and his novels and short stories have been published and have won awards around the world. His science background is in maths and engineering. He is married and lives in Northumberland.
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.