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When the colonists get to Proxima c, an exoplanet, they are stranded with apparently no hope of return to Earth or any means of contacting the other small groups spread around the globe. Yuri and his group of a dozen or so spend much of their first few months ignoring each other, sleeping with each other or killing each other.
Much of the first hundred pages or so show this unpleasant and harsh tale, with characters — misfits, rapists, murderers — who are also unlikable. This is not the stuff of old SF. But bear with it. Proxima c itself is an interesting enough idea, being just so big. Much of the middle part of the book is spent examining the sheer alien-ness of this new planet. Different climatic zones are created on a world where one zone is bigger than most planets, and where seasons become quite different.
What we also get into here is an alien ecology, as the plants on Proxima are similar and yet different to those of Earth. This does change in the later part of the novel when the situation alters, both on Proxima c and on Earth.
A major discovery means that events do become much more interesting, balancing these strange ecologies with both life on Earth and the human expansion across Proxima. At this point the years jump forward quite quickly and it becomes apparent to the reader that we are in for a long haul here.
When we reach the final stages of the book and the consequences of human actions are revealed, the book became un-putdownable. Proxima is a book of surprises. 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 27th century: Proxima Centauri, an undistinguished red dwarf star, is the nearest star to our sun. How would it be to live on such a world? Loading interface About the author. Stephen Baxter books 2, followers. Stephen Baxter is a trained engineer with degrees from Cambridge mathematics and Southampton Universities doctorate in aeroengineering research.
Clarke Award, most recently for Manifold: Time. Campbell Award and the Philip K. Dick Award for his novel The Time Ships.
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