Origin (The Manifold Trilogy)

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9780008134495: Origin (The Manifold Trilogy)

Concluding the epic Manifold series that began with TIME and continued with SPACE: the adventures of the maverick astronaut Reid Malenfant bring him at last to the beginning of everything. NASA astronaut Reid Malenfant is flying a military jet over Africa when a vast electric-blue circle appears in the air - and the Red Moon dramatically replaces our ancient, cherished moon. Malenfant's plane is destroyed as he chases the alien circle of light. Though Malenfant survives, his wife Emma is swept up and hurled towards the Red Moon. Through the months of floods and earthquakes that follow Malenfant singlemindedly lobbies for a moonshot to rescue her. He's heading for the Red Moon where time and space converge, the origin of the manifold.

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Review:

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

From the Inside Flap:

Stephen Baxter?s Manifold novels have struck the world of science fiction like a meteor. Heralded by Arthur Clark as ?a major new talent,? Baxter stands time and space on their collective heads, envisions the future reflected in the past, and the past in the galaxy?s most distant reaches and unformed speculations. Claiming the legacy of Heinlein and Asimov, Baxter now returns with his third Manifold novel?in which he uses an astounding adventure story to posit a breathtaking vision of the origin of species . . . on earth and beyond.

In the year 2015 a red moon appears in the Earth?s orbit: brooding, multitextured, beautiful, and alive. Catastrophe follows. While coastlands flood by the new gravitational forces, millions of people die. Scientists scramble desperately to understand what is on the big red moon and how it got there. And NASA astronaut Reid Malenfant, and his wife Emma, are hurtling through the African sky in a training jet, when everything changes forever.

For Malenfant and Emma, a reckless flight in a T-38 above the sun-baked continent sends them colliding with a great wheel in the sky. Now Emma has awakened in a strange, Earthlike world, among physically powerful, primitive creatures who share humankind?s features and desires but lack the human mind. And Reid Malenfant is back in Texas, reliving the plane crash, looking up at the red moon, and knowing in his heart that Emma is there.

Emma is there, beginning a journey of survival that is both horrific and fascinating, utterly familiar and totally beyond comprehension. Malenfant, teamed with a Japanese scientist named Nemoto, will get his chance to rescue his wife. But neither can foresee the extraordinary adventures that await them. Neither can imagine the small and immense evolutionary secrets cloaked in the atmosphere of the red moon, or guess at how a vast, living, tightly woven cosmos has shaped our planet as we know it?and how it will shape it again.

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