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Ranking Author Stephen Baxter’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

“What are Stephen Baxter’s Best Books?” We looked at all of Baxter’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by Stephen Baxter and looked at their Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of Stephen Baxter



51 ) Silverhair

	Silverhair

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 48
  • Amazon: 47
  • LibraryThing: 49

From Stephen Baxter, one of today’s most acclaimed writers of science fiction and fantasy, comes this unforgettable saga of life and loss in the grand tradition of Watership Down.For fifty thousand springs, Silverhair and her kind, the last of the woolly mammoths, have lived in a remote tundra, rimmed by ice and sea and mountain. Soon to be a mother, Silverhair looks to the future with hope. But even as her life begins, the world she loves is ending. A new menace, more vicious than any enemy, is descending upon the snowlands — a two-legged creature that kills for joy. Desperate to save their kind, Silverhair and the matriarch, Owlheart, must travel across the glacial torrents, beyond the saw-toothed mountains.



50 ) Ultima

	Ultima

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 40
  • Amazon: 35
  • LibraryThing: 50



49 ) Longtusk

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 33
  • Amazon: 43
  • LibraryThing: 47

Even as a young calf, Longtusk understood the hardships the few remaining of his ancient kind had encountered when the glaciers retreated and grassy forests stole over the vast tundra the herds called home. Worst of all was when the Fireheads came — cruel, two-legged beasts who kill for pleasure. At a tender age, Longtusk became their prisoner — hobbled, abused, and stripped of his freedom. But through toil and terror, Longtusk never forgot his Clan — and he learned crucial, intimate knowledge of the Fireheads’ ways, though at a terrible price. Now the time is rapidly approaching when he will have to clash with those who seek to destroy every living trace of his proud breed. And Longtusk must not shun the twisted path in front of him or what he is destined to become: the greatest hero of them all.



48 ) Flood

	Flood

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 43
  • Amazon: 42
  • LibraryThing: 35



47 ) Anti-Ice

	Anti-Ice

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 46
  • Amazon: 35
  • LibraryThing: 38



45 ) Time’s Eye

	Time's Eye

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 29
  • Amazon: 48
  • LibraryThing: 40

Sir Arthur C. Clarke may be the greatest science fiction writer in the world; certainly, he’s the best-known, not least because he wrote the novel and coauthored the screenplay of 2001: A Space Odyssey. He’s also the only SF writer to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize or to be knighted by Her Majesty Elizabeth II. This god of SF has twice collaborated with one of the best SF writers to emerge in the 1990s, Stephen Baxter, winner of the British SF Award, the Locus Award, and the Philip K. Dick Award. Their first collaboration is the novel The Light of Other Days. Their second is the novel Time’s Eye: Book One of a Time Odyssey. As the subtitle indicates, Time’s Eye is the first book of a series intended to do for time what 2001 did for space. Does Time’s Eye succeed in this goal?



45 ) Emperor

	Emperor

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 49
  • Amazon: 22
  • LibraryThing: 46

Inscribed in Latin, The Prophecy has resided in the hands of a single family for generations, revealing secrets about the world that is to come, and guiding them to wealth and power… It begins when a Celtic noble betrays his people at the behest of his mother’s belief in The Prophecy and sides with the conquering Roman legions. For the next 400 years, Britannia thrives-as does the family that contributed to Rome’s reign over the island with the construction of Emperor Hadrian’s Wall and the protection of Emperor Constantine from a coup d’Žtat. And even when the sun begins to set on the Roman Empire, The Prophecy remains. For those capable of deciphering its signs and portents, the future of Earth is in their hands



44 ) Origin

	Origin

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 33
  • Amazon: 46
  • LibraryThing: 36

Award-winning author Stephen Baxter turns to the origin of species in this final novel of the Manifold trilogy. Reid Malenfant and Emma Stoney are flying over Africa when a new moon appears in the sky–and Emma disappears. She finds herself on the Red Moon with people resembling human evolutionary ancestors, with whom she must learn to live in order to survive. On Earth, Malenfant teams with Japanese scientist Nemoto on a desperate rescue mission that leads to greater questions about the origin of the alien moon, and ultimately of humankind. Because the Manifold novels take place in alternate universes, Origin works well as a stand-alone read. Baxter effectively explores how modern humans and their ancestors might be thoroughly alien to one another, but the book is more focused on thoughtful scientific speculation than in-depth characterization. However, readers who are swept away by novels of cosmic scope and compelling imagination will find Big Idea science fiction at its best. –Roz Genessee



43 ) Stone Spring

	Stone Spring

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 47
  • Amazon: 30
  • LibraryThing: 32



42 ) Reality Dust

	Reality Dust

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 40
  • Amazon: 19
  • LibraryThing: 48



41 ) Titan

	Titan

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 29
  • Amazon: 43
  • LibraryThing: 34

Humankind’s greatest–and last–adventure! Possible signs of organic life have been found on Titan, Saturn’s largest moon. A group of visionaries led by NASA’s Paula Benacerraf plan a daring one-way mission that will cost them everything. Taking nearly a decade, the billion-mile voyage includes a “slingshot” transit of Venus, a catastrophic solar storm, and a constant struggle to keep the ship and crew functioning.



40 ) Icebones

	Icebones

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 42
  • Amazon: 45
  • LibraryThing: 12

3000 A.D. Years ago, humans colonized Mars, bringing with them specimens of long-extinct Earth life for regeneration on this new frontier. But humankind has disappeared, and the animals have been left behind to fend for themselves. Icebones, daughter of Silverhair, had been the only adult mammoth taken to Mars. As such, she is now the only one of her kind who carries the accumulated knowledge of mammoth history, and it is up to her to teach her fellow mammoths how to survive — and thrive — without their human keepers. In the grand tradition of Watership Down, Stephen Baxter has created a complex society complete with elaborate myths and legends. With Icebones, he brilliantly and dramatically brings the acclaimed Mammoth trilogy to its resounding conclusion.



39 ) The Web

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 50
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 45

Welcome to the infinite worlds of The Web February 7, 2027 is World Peace Day. All over the world, celebrations are in full swing. There’s even free access to the Web today-a chance to sample the infinite worlds and endless possibilities of virtual reality. Finally, a chance for Sarah to spin into the Web. Too bad she has to bring her little brother, George, with her. But Sarah knows she’ll have a great time in GulliverZone, the best theme park in the Web, anyway. What Sarah doesn’t know is that February 7, 2027, will turn out to be a day of danger beyond imagination.



37 ) Coalescent

	Coalescent

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 24
  • Amazon: 30
  • LibraryThing: 41

Now, joined by his boyhood friend Peter McLachlan, who arrives in Rome with a dark secret of his own, George uncovers evidence suggesting that the women of the Order have embarked on a divergent evolutionary path. But they are not just a new kind of human. They are a better kind, genetically superior, equipped with all the tools necessary to render homo sapiens as extinct as the Neanderthals. And, chillingly, George and Peter soon have reason to fear that this colony is preparing to leave its overcrowded underground nest. . . . Stephen Baxter possesses one of the most brilliant minds in modern science fiction. His vivid storytelling skills have earned him comparison to the giants of the past: Clarke, Asimov, Stapledon. Like his great predecessors, Baxter thinks on a cosmic scale, spinning cutting-edge scientific speculation into pure, page-turning gold. Now Baxter is back with a breathtaking adventure that begins during the catastrophic collapse of Roman Britain and stretches forward into an unimaginably distant, war-torn future, where the fate of humanity lies waiting at the center of the galaxy. . .



37 ) Bronze Summer

	Bronze Summer

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 44
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 43



35 ) Time

	Time

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 25
  • Amazon: 38
  • LibraryThing: 27

Leave it to the consistently clever Stephen Baxter to pull the old bait and switch. A story that begins as a hoary asteroid-mining tale, set in 2010 against the by-now familiar spiel of fulfilling humanity’s pan-galactic Manifest Destiny, instead takes a bold, delightful ascent into a trajectory far more ambitious. To ensure its survival, humankind need not merely master the galaxy but also the flow of time itself. Manifold: Time’s would-be asteroid-miner-in-chief is bootstrap space entrepreneur Reid Malenfant, a media-savvy firebrand who’s showed those crotchety NASA folks what’s what with his ready-to-fly Big Dumb Booster, piloted by a genetically enhanced super-squid. But Malenfant’s near-term plans to exploit the asteroids get diverted when he crosses paths with creepy mathematician and eschatologist Cornelius Taine.



35 ) Traces

	Traces

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 27
  • Amazon: 19
  • LibraryThing: 44

Stories set in a variety of futures from the award-winning heir of Arthur C. Clarke: Traces gives a kaleidoscopic vision of the possibilities for humankind.



34 ) Conqueror

	Conqueror

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 44
  • Amazon: 22
  • LibraryThing: 23

It begins with the death of the last Roman and ends with the crowning of a king, the birth of a new order. As the centuries between these two events pass, as Britain emerges from the ruins of Roman rule to become a vibrant, rich power in its own right, as invasions ebb and flow and Kings rule and die, a single thread is spun and stretched. A prophecy found in the shadow of Hadrians crumbling wall, a prophecy preserved by the monks at Lindisfarne. A prophecy remembered, a prophecy handed down. A prophecy that speaks of the cross, of dragons from the north. Of a new world and of a new empire. A prophecy fulfilled in one remarkable year: 1066. CONQUEROR is a fast moving historical thriller that casts a bright light onto a shadowy period of British history and brings it to vibrant life. Steeped in blood and violence this was also a time of artistic endeavour, a time of nation building and law-giving. And it is a time of chance, where history can be shaped by the Weaver …



32 ) Moonseed

	Moonseed

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 28
  • Amazon: 30
  • LibraryThing: 30

Stephen Baxter, the much-lauded author of Voyage and Titan, has been praised as a sci-fi writer who gets the science right. This rigor and research are clearly evident in Moonseed, a tale with high-energy physics and space-travel technology in starring roles. It’s Baxter’s boyish enthusiasm for science–especially space travel–that makes Moonseed so involving. A world-class disaster epic worthy of any Saturday matinee, Moonseed opens with the spectacular, explosive death of Venus, an event requiring energy a thousand billion times the world’s nuclear arsenal. As the radioactive blast from the late Venus reaches Earth, scientists scramble to attribute a cause, with massless black holes and elementary particles the size of bacteria pointing towards some sort of superstring as the smoking gun.



32 ) Iron Winter

	Iron Winter

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 38
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 38



31 ) Raft

	Raft

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 32
  • Amazon: 27
  • LibraryThing: 26



29 ) Weaver

	Weaver

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 36
  • Amazon: 38
  • LibraryThing: 7

During World War II, Germany launches a successful invasion of England. But in secret they are waging a war on an even larger scale. Trapped in the middle of it is Mary Wooler, an American historian caught in the Blitz and tangled up in strands of history; her son Gary, fighting a ruthless invader at civilization’s frontier; and Ben Kaman, a Jewish refugee whose very dreams place him at the heart of a conspiracy that threatens the very fabric of the tapestry of time.…



29 ) The H-Bomb Girl

	The H-Bomb Girl

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 38
  • Amazon: 6
  • LibraryThing: 37



28 ) Riding the Rock

	Riding the Rock

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 11
  • Amazon: 49
  • LibraryThing: 20



26 ) The Long Earth

	The Long Earth

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 26
  • Amazon: 30
  • LibraryThing: 23

The possibilities are endless.



26 ) Doctor Who

	Doctor Who

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 35
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 32



24 ) Transcendent

	Transcendent

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 17
  • Amazon: 38
  • LibraryThing: 22

Stephen Baxter’s gripping page-turners are feats of bold speculation and big ideas that, for all their time-and-space-spanning grandeur, remain firmly rooted in scientific fact and cutting-edge theory. Now Baxter is back with the final volume in his monumental Destiny’s Children trilogy, a tour de force in which parallel stories unfold–and then meet as humanity stands poised on the brink of divine providence . . . or extinction. DESTINY’S CHILDREN TRANSCENDENT It is the year 2047, and nuclear engineer Michael Poole is still in the throes of grief. His beloved wife, Morag, died seventeen years ago, along with their second child. Yet Michael is haunted by more than just the memory of Morag. On a beach in Miami, he sees his dead wife. But she vanishes as suddenly as she appears, leaving no clue as to her mysterious purpose. Alia was born on a starship, fifteen thousand light years from Earth, five hundred thousand years after the death of Michael Poole. Yet she knows him intimately.



24 ) Sunstorm

	Sunstorm

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 22
  • Amazon: 38
  • LibraryThing: 17

When Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the greatest science fiction writer ever, teams up with award-winning author Stephen Baxter, who shares Clarke’s bold vision of a future where technology and humanism advance hand in hand, the result is bound to be a book of stellar ambition and accomplishment. Such was the case with Time’s Eye. Now, in the highly anticipated sequel, Clarke and Baxter draw their epic to a triumphant conclusion that is as mind-blowing as anything in Clarke’s famous Space Odyssey series.



23 ) Proxima

	Proxima

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 23
  • Amazon: 22
  • LibraryThing: 30

The very far future: The Galaxy is a drifting wreck of black holes, neutron stars, 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



22 ) Deep Future

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 10
  • Amazon: 49
  • LibraryThing: 12



21 ) Flux

	Flux

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 36
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 19

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.



20 ) Exultant

	Exultant

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 18
  • Amazon: 27
  • LibraryThing: 20

When it comes to cutting-edge science fiction, Stephen Baxter is in a league of his own. His mastery of hard science, his fearlessly speculative imagination, and his ability to combine grand philosophical questions with tales of rousing adventure make him essential reading for anyone concerned with the future of humankind. Now, in Exultant, Baxter takes us to a distant future of dazzling promise and deadly threat, in which a far-flung humanity battles for survival against an implacable alien foe. Destiny’s Children EXULTANT For more than twenty thousand years, humans have been at war with the alien race of Xeelee. It is a war fought with armaments so advanced as to be godlike, a war in which time itself has become an ever-shifting battleground. At the cost of billions of lives, and with ruthless and relentless efficiency, the ruling Coalition has pushed the Xeelee back to the galactic core, where the supermassive black hole known as Chandra serves the Xeelee as both fortress and power source.



19 ) Xeelee

	Xeelee

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 7
  • LibraryThing: 51

Return to the eon-spanning and universe-crossing conflict between humanity and the unknowable alien Xeelee in this selection of uncollected and unpublished stories, newly edited and placed in chronological reading order. From tales charting the earliest days of man’s adventure to the stars to stories of Old Earth, four billion years in the future, the range and startling imagination of Baxter is always on display.



18 ) Ages In Chaos

	Ages In Chaos

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 14
  • Amazon: 17
  • LibraryThing: 29

This book, then, is the story of how a farmer’s son from Scotland learned to peer into the deepest abysses of time. It is a drama of personality, landscape and ideas, of an intellectual revolution that shaped our world–and of a man whose vision, rooted in antiquity yet tinged with modern philosophies, was not only ahead of his own time but speaks to our new century.–From the Foreword In the eighteenth century, the received wisdom, following Bishop Ussher’s careful biblical calculations, was that the Earth was just six thousand years old. James Hutton, a gentleman farmer with a passion for rocks, knew that could not be the case. Looking at the formation of irregular strata in the layers of the Earth he boldly deduced that a much longer span of time would be required for the landscape he saw to have evolved. In the lusty and turbulent world of Enlightenment Scotland, he set out to prove it. He could not have achieved this without the help of his friends.



17 ) Voyage

	Voyage

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 19
  • Amazon: 30
  • LibraryThing: 9

Kennedy survived. Like many alternate history stories, that’s the premise of Stephen Baxter’s Voyage. But in Baxter’s version of the past, that one altered fact is the propellant that drives humanity into space, beyond the primitive lunar landings of the 1960s. Spurred by a JFK who champions space flight and a Nixon administration that backs NASA, humans reach Mars in 1986. But this is a tragic tale as well as a triumphant one, for Baxter’s relentless realism chronicles the perils of extended space flight as well as its glamorous achievements, making for a gritty, true-to-life story.



16 ) Starfall

	Starfall

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 14
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 42



15 ) Mayflower II

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 51
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 2



14 ) Phase Space

	Phase Space

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 13
  • Amazon: 11
  • LibraryThing: 28



13 ) The Earls Of Mercia

	The Earls Of Mercia

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 49
  • LibraryThing: 1

This book constitutes a major reappraisal of the late Anglo-Saxon state on the eve of its demise. Its principal focus is the family of Ealdorman Leofwine, which obtained power in Mercia and retained it throughout an extraordinary period of political upheaval between 994 and 1071. In doing so it explores a paradox: that earls were extraordinarily wealthy and powerful yet distinctly insecure. The book contains the first extended treatment of earls’ powers in late Anglo-Saxon England and shows that although they wielded considerable military, administrative and political powers, they remained vulnerable to exile and other forms of political punishment including loss of territory. The book also offers a path-breaking analysis of land tenure and the mechanics of royal patronage, and argues that the majority of earls’ estates were held from the king on a revocable basis for the duration of their period in office.



12 ) Ark

	Ark

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 19
  • Amazon: 22
  • LibraryThing: 9

With the discovery of another life-sustaining planet light years away, there is hope for a chosen few to leave the soon-to-be submerged Earth. Holle Groundwater is one of the candidates, having been trained for this purpose since childhood, when the ships Ark One and Ark Three were being built. But as Holle prepares to endure life aboard the Ark, she comes to realize that her attempt at escape may be more dangerous than trying to stay afloat on a drowning planet…



11 ) Resplendent

	Resplendent

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 19
  • LibraryThing: 25



10 ) Ring

	Ring

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 35
  • LibraryThing: 7

Michael Poole’s wormholes constructed in the orbit of Jupiter had opened the galaxy to humankind. Then Poole tried looping a wormhole back on itself, tying a knot in space and ripping a hole in time. It worked. Too well. Poole was never seen again. Then from far in the future, from a time so distant that the stars themselves were dying embers, came an urgent SOS–and a promise.



9 ) Behemoth

	Behemoth

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 19
  • Amazon: 22
  • LibraryThing: 4



8 ) The Light Of Other Days

	The Light Of Other Days

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 27
  • LibraryThing: 12

The crowning achievement of any professional writer is to get paid twice for the same material: write a piece for one publisher and then tweak it just enough that you can turn around and sell it to someone else. While it’s specious to accuse Stephen Baxter and Arthur C. Clarke of this, fans of both authors will definitely notice some striking similarities between Light of Other Days and other recent works by the two, specifically Baxter’s Manifold: Time and Clarke’s The Trigger.



7 ) Time Ships, The

	Time Ships, The

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 17
  • LibraryThing: 15

What if the time machine from H.G. Wells’ classic novel of the same name had fallen into government hands? That’s the question that led Stephen Baxter to create this modern-day sequel, which combines a basic Wellsian premise with a Baxteresque universe-spanning epic. The Time Traveller, driven by his failure to save Weena from the Morlocks, sets off again for the future. But this time the future has changed, altered by the very tale of the Traveller’s previous journey.



6 ) Revolutions In the Earth

	Revolutions In the Earth

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 29
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 3

In 1650, the theologian and scholar Bishop James Ussher announced that the world was created on 23rd October 4004 BC. This date had been carefully calculated by adding together all the ages and reigns of the monarchs recorded in the Bible. In the late eighteenth century, James Hutton set out to prove him wrong. A gentleman farmer with legal and medical training, Hutton was fascinated by the natural landscape and in particular by rock formations. He was also surrounded by some of the most brilliant men of his day – Erasmus Darwin, Adam Smith, James Watt and David Hume. Looking at the irregular strata in the layers of the earth, Hutton deduced that the world must be much, much older than Ussher’s prediction.



5 ) Timelike Infinity

	Timelike Infinity

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 14
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 16

Timelike Infinity: the strange region at the end of time where the Xeelee, owners of the universe, are waiting! The second novel in Stephen Baxter’s Xeelee sequence. First there were good times: humankind reached glorious heights, even immortality. Then there were bad times: Earth was occupied by the faceless, brutal Qax. Immortality drugs were confiscated, the human spirit crushed. Earth became a vast factory for alient foodstuffs. Into this new dark age appears the end of a tunnel through time. Made from exotic matter, it is humanity’s greatest engineering project in the pre-Qax era, where the other end of the tunnel remains anchored near Jupiter.



4 ) Space

	Space

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 11
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 17

Stephen Baxter follows up his Arthur C. Clarke Award nominee Manifold: Time with the second book in the Manifold series, Manifold: Space. In this novel, former shuttle pilot and astronaut Reid Malenfant meets his destiny once again in a tale that stretches the bounds of both space and time. The year is 2020 and the Japanese have colonized the moon. The 60-year-old Malenfant is called there by a young scientist named Nemoto who has discovered something in the asteroid belt that can only mean humans are not alone in the universe.



3 ) Evolution

	Evolution

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 9

Following up his cosmic Manifold series, Stephen Baxter peers back on a more prosaic history in the worthy yet uneven Evolution. The book is nothing less than a novelization of human evolution, a mega-Michener treatment of 65 million years starring a host of smart, furry primates representing Homo sapiens’s ancestry. Each stage of our ancestry is represented by a character of progressively increasing intelligence, empathy, and brain size, who must survive predation and other perils long enough to keep the natural-selection ball rolling. While Baxter carefully follows some widely accepted theories of evolution–punctuated equilibrium, for instance–he also strays from the known in postulating air whales and sentient, tool-wielding dinosaurs. And why not? There’s nothing in the fossil record to contradict his musings about those things, or about the first instances of mammalian altruism and deception, which he also lets us observe. From little Purga, a shrewlike mammal scurrying under the feet of ankylosaurs, all the way through Ultimate, the last human descendant, Baxter adds drama and a strong story arc to our past and future. But he spends too much time on details of the various prehumans’ lives, which can become repetitive: fight, mate, die, ad infinitum.



2 ) Vacuum Diagrams

	Vacuum Diagrams

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 12
  • LibraryThing: 6

Ironically, you’ll probably appreciate Vacuum Diagrams most after you’ve put it down. The prolific and acclaimed Stephen Baxter has always been praised for his imaginative and conscientious use of science, and Vacuum Diagrams is no exception. This collection of short stories will leave you ruminating for days over the sprawl of ideas, worlds, and life forms Baxter has woven together. Filling in the gaps on Baxter’s ambitious, almost audacious, 10-million-year timeline called the “Xeelee Sequence,” Vacuum Diagrams is a collection of revised, previously published short stories that bridges together his popular novels set in this same “future history”–Raft, Timelike Infinity, Flux, and Ring. Baxter’s universe is rotten with life, from strange tree-stump-like creatures with superfluid ice skeletons to dark matter “birds” to sentient beings composed of pure mathematics. And Baxter’s reverence for life’s beauty, for its voracious robustness, is hard to resist–especially when it comes to humanity and its tentative, eager rise.



1 ) The Science Of Avatar

	The Science Of Avatar

Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 4

Audiences around the world have been enchanted by James Cameron’s visionary Avatar, with its glimpse of the Na’vi on the marvelous world of Pandora. But the movie is not entirely a fantasy; there is a scientific rationale for much of what we saw on the screen, from the possibility of travel to other worlds, to the life forms seen on screen and the ecological and cybernetic concepts that underpin the ‘neural networks’ in which the Na’vi and their sacred trees are joined, as well as to the mind-linking to the avatars themselves. From popular science journalist and acclaimed science fiction author Stephen Baxter, THE SCIENCE OF AVATAR is a guide to the rigorous fact behind the fiction.



Stephen Baxter’s Best Books



Stephen Baxter Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOveral Rank
The Science Of Avatar 2 1 4 1
Vacuum Diagrams 2 12 6 2
Evolution 8 12 9 3
Space 11 1 17 4
Timelike Infinity 14 8 16 5
Revolutions In the Earth 29 8 3 6
Time Ships, The 9 17 15 7
The Light Of Other Days 5 27 12 8
Behemoth 19 22 4 9
Ring 5 35 7 10
Resplendent 5 19 25 11
Ark 19 22 9 12
The Earls Of Mercia 1 49 1 13
Phase Space 13 11 28 14
Mayflower II 51 1 2 15
Starfall 14 1 42 16
Voyage 19 30 9 17
Ages In Chaos 14 17 29 18
Xeelee 4 7 51 19
Exultant 18 27 20 20
Flux 36 12 19 21
Deep Future 10 49 12 22
Proxima 23 22 30 23
Transcendent 17 38 22 24
Sunstorm 22 38 17 24
The Long Earth 26 30 23 26
Doctor Who 35 12 32 26
Riding the Rock 11 49 20 28
Weaver 36 38 7 29
The H-Bomb Girl 38 6 37 29
Raft 32 27 26 31
Moonseed 28 30 30 32
Iron Winter 38 12 38 32
Conqueror 44 22 23 34
Time 25 38 27 35
Traces 27 19 44 35
Coalescent 24 30 41 37
Bronze Summer 44 8 43 37
The Web 50 1 45 39
Icebones 42 45 12 40
Titan 29 43 34 41
Reality Dust 40 19 48 42
Stone Spring 47 30 32 43
Origin 33 46 36 44
Time’s Eye 29 48 40 45
Emperor 49 22 46 45
Anti-Ice 46 35 38 47
Flood 43 42 35 48
Longtusk 33 43 47 49
Ultima 40 35 50 50
Silverhair 48 47 49 51

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