One moment a man sits on a suburban hill, gazing curiously at the stars. The next, he is whirling through the firmament, and perhaps the most remarkable of all science fiction journeys has begun. Even Stapledon’s other great work, LAST AND FIRST MEN, pales in ambition next to STAR MAKER, which presents nothing less than an entire imagined history of life in the universe, encompassing billions of years.
Star humans were engineered to exist within the mantle of a star, mere tools of their Earth-evolved makers in a war against the Xeelee, owners of the universe. Stephen Baxter’s third novel in his magnificent Xeelee Sequence is an exotic and endearing story of an abandoned people. Abandoned to their fate, their history lost along with contact with their makers, Star people survive in an environment that is possibly the strangest in science fiction. Microscopic inhabitants of superfluid air above a Quantum Sea and below the tangled Crust of the Star, swimming in an electric-blue grid, the Magfield, which is subject to violent storms, Star people struggle, like us, to make sense of their world… and the threat hanging over it. Though the truth is far more disturbing and ominous than they feared, they will confront, finally, their makers, and they will rebel against the purpose for which they were created.
From mighty Canopus, capital of the Federated Stars, to the outer fringes of our great galaxy, the Interstellar Patrol was on the watch. Rogue suns, marauding alien intelligences, man-made comets driven by their makers for the conquest of unsuspecting worlds, diabolical conspiracies hatched in the depths of unmapped nebulae – it was the business of the Patrol’s mighty spaceships to guard against such cosmic dangers. Crashing Suns is the epic account of this future space legion, where volunteers from a thousand worlds man the mighty starcraft of a hundred thousand years to come.