SHIPS by STEPHEN BAXTER
EOS books paperback, USA 2000, 524 pages
(First HarperPrism paperback printing: January 1996)
Cover art by Bob Eggleton
Four illustrations and Time Machine vignettes by Les Edwards
Text on the backside of the book
IS A SECRET PASSAGE THROUGH TIME
...and it leads all the way to the end of Eternity. But the journey has a terrible cost. It alters not only the future but the "present" in which we live.
A century after the publication of H. G. Wells' immortal The Time Machine, Stephen Baxter, today's most acclaimed new "hard SF" author, and the acknowledged heir to the visionary legacy of Wells, Heinlein and Clarke, returns to the distant conflict between the Eloi and the Morlocks in a story that is at once an exciting expanion, and a radical departure based on the astonishing new unerstandings of quantum physics.
C. CLARKE, ISAAC ASIMOV and ROBERT HEINLEIN succeeded ... and now STEPHEN BAXTER
joins their exclusive ranks, writing science fiction in which the science is
right. A sheer pleasure to read!"
"A stunning talent!" -Locus
Time Traveller - inventor (one of his secret names
will be revealed on page 137)
Mrs. Watchet - the Time Traveller's housekeeper
The Writer - unnamed teacher, friend of the Time Traveller
Nebogipfel - a sort of Morlock
Mrs. Penforth - Mrs. Watchets's predecessor
Captain Hilary Bond - Captain in the 9:th Battalion of the Royal Juggernaut Regiment
Mr. Filby - friend of the Time Traveller
Dr. Barnes Wallis - on assignment to the DChronW (Directorate of Chronic-Displacement Warfare), of the Air Ministry
Professor Kurt Gödel - an Austrian matematician
Wing Commander Guy Gibson - a British soldier
Stubbins - a British trooper
Two sepoys (soldiers of the Empire) and more (both humans and unhumans) ...
It starts exactly where the H. G. Wells's novel ends, but when the Time Traveller tries to return to the year 802701 to rescue Weena, he discovers that the future is altered! He must stop in year 657208 when the Earth is cloaked by an eternal night, because the Morlocks has built a giant Sphere around the Sun! And then he returns in time to July 1873 and confronts with - himself at the age of twenty six!
And then the novel becomes more and more intriguing. There is the Juggernaut Lord Raglan - a huge Time Machine tank. Yes, there is a war with the Germans - with Time Machines! I read this part with a knot in my stomach of suspense. After this they got stranded in the Palaeocene era, and when I came to the "White Earth" I got tears in my eyes, because it was so undescribably touching and suggestive. And yet then I haven't reached the awesome end of the novel in the Eternity where the Time Ships are ...
The physics about time travel is explained in the strange and very suggestive Billiards Room and also the Time Traveller and his friends's adventure is so realisticaly described - down to their primal body functions. And the end of the novel is so elegant - enclosing the H. G. Wells's novel and itself in a perfect circle - an infinite universe. Ant there is also - especially in the Epilogue - a lot of references to H. G. Wells's other novels.
I love this book! I
devoured in a few days though it was thick as a brick! It is written in the
original Wellsian style and it is perfectly logical as a sequel! Read it if
you like films as 2001
- A Space odyssey (1968), Contact
to the Future (1985), Back
to the Future Part II (1989), Forbidden
Planet (1956) and Enemy
Mine (1986) ...
As a sequel to the original H.G. Wells novel:
As a hard science fiction novel:
Sandra Petojevic, Master of Arts in Art History and Visual studies, August 28, 2005
Buy the book (1996-2000
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