I remember a book that described various lifeforms evolving in the galaxy (and i think may be the overriding theme was extinction).

One of them was 2-D species evolved on rapidly changing environment (probably rings of some planet?)

For some reason I'm thinking it may have been "Manifold" series but I honestly don't remember anything about that series, so it's just a vague feeling.

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    That's really vague, even with the extinction theme. Any idea when you read it? Any memory of other lifeforms? Did any character leave an impression? Is it Diaspora?
    – user56
    Mar 20, 2013 at 0:56
  • @Gilles - The timeframe was likely 6-10 years ago, but given my typical reading patterns, the books could very well have been from way back in the past. I definitely have NOT read Disaspora based on Wiki description, so that wasn't it. Frankly, I don't remember almost any other details aside from extinction themes. I keep thinking Baxter but not sure. Mar 20, 2013 at 1:08
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    Really is vague. You state that you think it might have been 'Manifold' series'. Have you done any research to see whether or not that is in fact the case ?
    – Stan
    Mar 20, 2013 at 1:10
  • @Stan - sadly, due to the meaning of "manifold", any Googling involving "2-dimensional" is severely swamped with math related links which I wasn't quite able to effectively filter out. Wiki pages for "Manifold" don't seem to ring a close bell for the only defininte detail I recall (2-D lifeforms) Mar 20, 2013 at 1:12
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    @DVK - see you just added comment on you've done research. Would be helpful to know so folks don't replicate unnecessarily and go down ratholes
    – Stan
    Mar 20, 2013 at 1:20

2 Answers 2


You might be looking for the book Manifold Space by Stephen Baxter. In it, he describes a two-dimensional life form (similar to a lichen) which exists and evolves on the surface of a neutron star (starting on page 115). It grows, evolves and dies in a repeating fourteen second cycle.

The book itself is about the Fermi Paradox which asks the question why in the universe if there is someone else out there, they haven't visited us yet. It postulates a series of regular galaxy-wide extinction events to explain it.


It's been a long time since I read it, but your description reminded me of Dragon's Egg by Robert L. Forward. It is about human explorers making contact with tiny flat creatures living on the surface of a neutron star. The main point of the novel is the communication difficulties with sentient creatures whose lifespans are just a few minutes.

  • No, this was just one of the species in a large book. Apr 17, 2013 at 11:18

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