Stephen Baxter’s highly acclaimed first novel and the beginning of his stunning Xeelee Sequence finally enters the SF Masterwork series! A spaceship from Earth accidentally crossed through a hole in space-time to a universe where the force of gravity is one billion times as strong as the gravity we know. Somehow the crew survived, aided by the fact that they emerged into a cloud of gas surrounding a black hole, which provided a breathable atmosphere. Five hundred years later, their descendants still struggle for existence, divided into two main groups. The Miners live on the Belt, a ramshackle ring of dwellings orbiting the core of a dead star, which they excavate for raw materials. These can be traded for food from the Raft, a structure built from the wreckage of the ship, on which a small group of scientists preserve the ancient knowledge which makes survival possible. Rees is a Miner whose curiosity about his world makes him stow away on a flying tree – just one of the many strange local lifeforms – carrying trade between the Belt and the Raft. And what he finds will change his world…
Somewhere there was a radioactive fire that could perform miracles of super-science. Somewhere there was a place where cat-people prowled, where time was altered, and incredible mysteries held their secrets of power and fortune for the daring discoverer. Deep in an unexplored jungle, Brian Raft sought the secret of the legendary Valley of the Flame . . .
Return to the eon-spanning and universe-crossing conflict between humanity and the unknowable alien Xeelee in this collection of stories, available in ebook for the first time! Baxter’s future history, known as the Xeelee sequence, is an exemplar of the form: it comprises his first four novels – Raft, Timelike Infinity, Flux and Ring – and these marvellous linked stories, as well as those in the new collection XEELEE: ENDURANCE. Contains 21 short stories, all set in the XEELEE universe.
Stephen Baxter’s epic sequence of Xeelee novels was introduced to a new generation of readers with his highly successful quartet, Destiny’s Children, published by Gollancz between 2003 and 2006. But the sequence of novels began with RAFT in 1991. From there it built into perhaps the most ambitious fictitious universe ever created. Beginning with the rise and fall of sub-quantum civilisations in the first nano-seconds after the Big Bang and ending with the heat death of the universe billions of years from now the series charts the story of mankinds epic war against the ancient and unknowable alien race the Xeelee. Along the way it examines questions of physics, the nature of reality, the evolution of mankind and its possible future. It looks not just at the morality of war but at the morality of survival and our place in the universe. This is a landmark in SF.
A Story of the People of the Sea The adventure begins when Johnny, who has run away from home and hidden aboard an intercontinental hovership, is shipwrecked in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean. Stranded on a raft, and in an apparently hopeless situation, he is propelled by a pack of dolphins towards an island in the Great Barrier Reef, a famous centre for Dolphin Research. Professor Kazan, the director of research, shares Johnny’s bewilderment as to the reason for the dolphin rescue operation and arranges for Johnny to stay on the island to assist in unravelling the mystery. In the chapters that follow, Johnny learns how to communicate with dolphins, explores the coral reef, goes skin-diving at night, survives a fearful hurricane, unearths a horrifying underwater conspiracy, and, in an intensely exciting final episode, makes a dangerous 100 mile tip on surfboard towed, turn and turn about, by his two closest dolphin friends.