‘Time has one of the best time-jump sequences ever attempted, during which the protagonists witness the entire future of the universe… Highly intelligent, with original ideas in almost every sentence’
‘Pacy, visionary, extravagantly imagined, Time places Baxter firmly in the tradition of Arthur C. Clarke and Isaac Asimov. How reassuring to know that while so many authors are lying in the gutter of the information superhighway, someone at least is still looking at the stars’
‘Time is a big ambitious book… science fiction at its best’
‘If they existed, they would be here’ ENRICO FERMI. In the second volume in Stephen Baxter’s epic Manifold Series Reid Malenfant inhabits the universe Malenfant kick-started in TIME (‘science fiction at its best’ FHM) – and ‘they’ are here.
’If they existed, they would be here’ – this is the Fermi paradox concerning the existence of extrarrestrials. Once it confirmed Malenfant’s opinion that humanity was alone in the universe. But when Nemoto, a Japanese researcher on the Moon, discovers evidence of extraterrestrial intelligence in the solar system, the same paradox provokes both Malenfant and Nemoto to question why now? Because, suddenly, there are signs of intelligent life in deep space in all directions. Deeper layers of Fermi’s paradox unravel as robot-like aliens, the Gaijin, seem to be e-mailing themselves from star to star, and wherever telescopes point, far away, other alien races are destroying worlds…
In the face of this onslaught from the stars, Malenfant sets out alone in a salvaged antique spacecraft to make contact with the Gaijin. In response the Gaijin come to Earth – but not to save mankind. Curious but aloof, incomprehensible, the Gaijin seem unhappy with what they find here and set about recreating from existing DNA some of the marvels of prehistory, including those hominids driven to extinction by man.
As other aliens approach in a blaze of destruction there is no comfort in recalling Nemoto’s certainty that this has all happened before, over and over. But in the soul of Malenfant, in the dreams of the new Neandertals, and in Nemoto’s obsessive loathing of all aliens there are glimmers of hope that the cycle can be broken…
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