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Proxima

Proxima

Written by Stephen Baxter

Narrated by Kyle McCarley


Proxima

Written by Stephen Baxter

Narrated by Kyle McCarley

ratings:
4/5 (10 ratings)
Length:
17 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Nov 4, 2014
ISBN:
9781494576844
Format:
Audiobook

Description

The very far future: The galaxy is a drifting wreck of black holes, neutron stars, and chill white dwarfs. The age of star formation is long past. Yet there is life here, feeding off the energies of the stellar remnants, and there is mind, a tremendous galaxy-spanning intelligence each of whose thoughts lasts a hundred thousand years. And this mind cradles memories of a long-gone age when a more compact universe was full of light.


The twenty-seventh century: Proxima Centauri, an undistinguished red dwarf star, is the nearest star to our sun-and (in this fiction)-the nearest to host a world, Proxima IV, habitable by humans. But Proxima IV is unlike Earth in many ways. Huddling close to the warmth, orbiting in weeks, it keeps one face to its parent star at all times. The "substellar point," with the star forever overhead, is a blasted desert, and the "antistellar point" on the far side is under an ice cap in perpetual darkness. How would it be to live on such a world? Yuri Jones, with a thousand others, is about to find out.
Publisher:
Released:
Nov 4, 2014
ISBN:
9781494576844
Format:
Audiobook

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 won awards around the world. His science background is in maths and engineering. He is married and lives in Buckinghamshire.


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What people think about Proxima

3.9
10 ratings / 7 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (3/5)
    This novel has both an interesting premise as well as some decent world building in it but as an overall novel this one just did not work that well for me. It had at least three different story lines going on that did not seem to have any connection and while they converged some by the end of this story, I felt kind of let down by the ending which did not answer a multitude of questions raised. I am guessing you are going to have to read the followup novel to get thee answered but not sure if I am going to make the effort.

    3 stars for a decent premise that could have been a lot better.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent read. Three (or 4, depending on how you count them) related plot lines that begin converging near the end. This is a book that you 'almost' can't put down. Worth reading.
  • (3/5)
    Proxima is a story about interstellar colonization by an Earth that has been torn apart by climate change, and political turmoil. Initially the book gave me that funny feeling like I had stepped into part2 of a trilogy. Baxter mentions important events in the story casually like the reader should already be familiar with them. He open several plot lines and fails to give the reader much back story. After the first 100 pages the story got into a rhythm and pacing I could enjoy. Yet a lot of the themes such as artificial intelligences, political intrigue between various coalitions seem to have been already explored in other science fiction stories I have read.

    The story's uniqueness begins once the actual colonization of Proxima begins. Baxter has his colonists marooned on different parts of planet in genetically diverse groups with some tools and the orders to make babies until the next ship from Earth shows up. He seeds both Earth and Proxima with alien artifacts that enable instant travel between the 2 systems, and power the starships. He uses these 2 plot devices to explore what happens between the factions on Earth and groups of stranded people on Proxima.

    I won't give away the ending which acts as both a cliff hanger for the next book Ultima and a sort of reasonable conclusion for the Proxima storyline. I plan to read the next book once it becomes available at my library. The story is ok but not worth buying for your book collection.

  • (3/5)
    For me, Baxter is an equivalent for efficient page turning - not too hard on the science front, many plots going on at once, many plot turns that come more or less unexpected, believable characters (though, in this case, the colonised planet was one of the most remarkable "characters" in itself). Simply a good story and perfect when on holidays and one is forced to spend 7 of 10 days with the flu in a hotel bed.
  • (3/5)
    This author used to write deep universe-spanning trilogies like others wrote short stories. He has been writing for a good while and has accumulated an impressively strong collection of classic novels and short stories. His Zeelee sequence is a classic.Recently though, since 'Flood' and 'Ark', he has been coasting to keep the output up.Collaborations with Arthur C. Clarke and Terry Pratchett have helped but he needs to recapture the power of his early work.This work alas fails in this light. Conscripts like the focus character Yuri Eden get dumped on Proxima, where the constant sunlight and the local fauna bemuse them. Back at Mercury, an artefact is found, which gives "star-gate" like powers to certain people. This causes issues with the Chinese who have no access to these and things then slowly fall apart...There is nothing here we have not seen before. But there is hope. The 'world-building is well done and one wonders what surprises it could be used to build? The ending is not an ending but rather the arrival of something new and even more bizarre...
  • (4/5)
    Proxima, Stephen BaxterAlthough still holding an account against Baxter for calling "The Time Ships" a sequel to the "Time Machine" I must admit that Baxter can tell a good story. "Proxima" is a decent story …well written and full of intriguing plot twists. But it fairly quickly becomes obvious that this is book 1 of at least a two, if not 3, part series.I don't want to give too much away because I found the surprises to be so much more enjoyable for not anticipating them, so I won't give details. Let me just say that the story has several plots going on at the same time: minor plots and major plots. The plot that begins the book must be tolerated as it sets the scene. And then the secondary plot that develops from the first plot really caused my "juices" to flow….how would I react to being caught in any one of the secondary plot situations?And any SciFi fan worth his "salt" will quickly see where the greater story line will eventually lead—it's not like it's hidden or anything: "it's like the kernels were put here for us to find". Indeed.In summary, I found the book interesting and entertaining and yet, not the most captivating story. It's a good book, but not a gripping read. I recommend it, if you can get hold of it easily; but will not suggest that you MUST read it. Actually, now that I think of it, I would put it one notch above the "Heechee" Chronicles, and in the same vain.
  • (4/5)
    I have read an enormous amount of science fiction over the years. It has become increasingly rare to stumble upon originality in the genre, because let’s face it, there are only so many alien constructs that can be convincingly presented. Only so many “hard” science fiction methods of faster than light travel that can be posited. That is not to say that good science fiction cannot be written within somewhat hackneyed constructs, only that doing so must rely on something other than the science fiction. Character development becomes increasingly important.I found Proxima to be an enjoyable and thought provoking work. It had an abundance of hard science fiction, coupled with sometimes intriguing characters and enough originality to score points in that regard. Through the discovery of “kernels” on the planet Mercury, near light speed travel becomes possible. The solar system is divided between two superpowers, the Chinese Confederation and the United Nations. Discovery of the kernels and then a second artifact, tip the balance of power in favor of the UN, setting the stage for interstellar conflict. Colonization of the nearest habitable planet, Per Adua, ups the ante.This is the first of two books in a series, the second being Ultima. I was very pleased with Proxima, right up until the very last few pages, at which point I knew that I would have a major plausibility problem with the second book in the series; and I was right.