The chief challenge in any novel spanning centuries and millennia is to maintain a continuity of story. How do you sustaina point of view or the audience's connection with character? We could probably have a long debate on the different techniques used in science fiction: longevity, family trees, hibernation, even reincarnation (thanks to Kim Stanley Robinson), etc.

In Space, Baxter relies partly on longevity and a form of hibernation (characters go off-line while traveling between the stars) but he never really solves the problem. The story is episodic, like a collection of connected short stories.

Nonetheless, Baxter is endlessly inventive - an idea a page and many are highly original: a nuclear reactor manned by neanderthals, vacuum flowers, tunnels to the centre of the moon, trees in orbit, seas on triton, a galactic ecology ...

Manifold: Space - Wikipedia

Manifold: Space (Manifold, 2) by Stephen Baxter

Posted by 2018 article