Book Review | Time by Stephen Baxter

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Time is a 1999 science-fiction novel by Stephen Baxter. This is the first book in the Manifold trilogy though the series can be read in any order as the books are set in a multiverse.



More than a century of ecological damage, industrial and technological expansion, and unchecked population growth has left the Earth on the brink of devastation.

As the world’s governments turn inward, one man dares to envision a bolder, brighter future. That man, Reid Malenfant, has a very different solution to the problems plaguing the planet: the exploration and colonization of space.

Now Reid gambles the very existence of time on a single desperate throw of the dice. Battling national sabotage and international outcry, as apocalyptic riots sweep the globe, he builds a spacecraft and launches it into deep space. The odds are a trillion to one against him. Or are they?


I think I should start this review by mentioning the cover of this book. Which is so pretty I took one look at it and immediately decided I needed to read this book. It wasn’t even the cover of the first book I saw (this whole series has super pretty covers).

All I knew is it was science-fiction, it was written by Stephen Baxter and it had to be mine. Now I know many people will say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover. And I am very pleased to say that this book is as good as it’s cover.

I think the best way to describe this book is to compare it to Interstellar. Both start out on Earth and are about scientists who find a thing in space and so decide to send people out to take a closer look at the thing in space. But this is where it starts to get weird.

Because the closest thing to an antagonist in this book is a bunch of smart squid. Yes, smart squid. And it’s not even like the squid are really evil. They are just hanging out in space doing their thing. Which just so happens to prevent the scientists from doing their thing.


But there is a chapter that gets really weird which involves a squid being sent into the future. I don’t mean a few thousand years. I mean trillions and trillions of years into the future, basically to the end of the universe.

That chapter is pretty terrifying, because it shows a very bleak outlook for the human race. You basically get to see a race of people trying to survive by mining black holes for energy.

And it’s pointed out that even this won’t be enough. At some point there won’t be any more black holes and no matter how much this race of future beings tries to avoid it everything is going to turn to dust in the end.

I think the even scarier thing is that most of the science behind this is real. Seriously, if you want to terrify yourself go google the heat death of the universe. It might just ruin your day.

So basically Time is like Interstellar but better and with more science and smart jellyfish. Even though it gets a little weird at the end nothing can compare to the ending of Interstellar.

One Comment

  • Sean J

    I’d say 8 of 10 random books I read because of the cover and I would’ve definitely picked this on up even if I’d not known of the author. Thanks for sharing, it’s now on my To Read list!

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