17

While purely ceramic guns haven't been successfully produced in real life, someone might find a way if having them became a top priority to governments - when Maggie Kauffman first meets Sally Linsay, she notices that the latter has a "ceramic composite rifle". An even more plausible explanation is given when Roberta has her first surface trip on the ...


10

Rather amusingly, this 'rogue paragraph' appears to be a comment from the book's editor that has somehow crept into the ebook version. As you can see here, in the google books version the paragraph doesn't appear. The air in the farmhouse kitchen was a mass of cigarette smoke and steamy cooking smells. ‘I’m telling you you’re not going out again ...


9

There doesn't appear to be an in-book confirmation of the date of Step Day. There are some contextual clues (too many to reference) that it's sometime during the summer in Wisconsin but that's about as good as it gets. We also know from a quote that it wasn't on the 4th or 5th of July. Out of universe, Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter met at The 2nd ...


7

It's made clear in The Long Earth that the restriction on the translation of iron is absolute and is one of the most immediate limiting factors on initial human expansion from the datum Earth. The one restriction on this trope is the molecular iron contained within human blood cells in the form of haemoglobin. Mr Tallyman (the guide) is able to command an ...


7

You should at least be familiar with the major plot points of The Time Machine (especially the names and basic nature of the two future races), but beyond a reasonably detailed summary, I don't think a lot of details of Wells' novel come into play. Spoilers: If you like more intellectually interesting science fiction, and that's why you prefer more advanced ...


6

Looks like this could be "More Than Time Or Distance", indeed included in Vacuum Diagrams. Some of the key points: Female Pilot: My one-woman flitter dropped into the luminous wreckage of an old supernova. I peered into the folded-out depths of the dead star, hoarding details like coins for Timothy. Discovers Faster-Than-Light communication: I ...


4

I was considering asking this question about four hours ago, when I finished the book, but I actually think I have an answer. If you remember, the children of New Springfield were the ones who did the stepping to the Planetarium. It was purely by accident that they learned it, and the book mentions that they continued to be used as a way of getting the Navy ...


4

Clarke's estate has never commented on any of his incomplete works, only on his books which were completed but not published at the time of his death. So far as I know, this is a list of exactly one book, The Last Theorem, written with Frederick Pohl, which has since been published. I am unaware if Baxter has ever commented on the series, but since he and ...


3

We haven't found out his first name, but we do know (from the sequel; Ultima, Proxima #2) that Yuri Eden is in fact the son of Robert Braemann: ‘Because one of my donors was a man called Robert Braemann [said Earthshine]. I am him, but more than Braemann alone … I, he, was one of the most notorious of the Heroic Generation, the criminals who saved the ...


3

The Qax wanted to destroy the humans because they blamed them for the destruction of the Qax homeworld in the original timeline. The Qax homeworld was destroyed when they misfired on their own sun trying to destroy a human piloted Xeelee spacecraft. If I recall correctly they were testing some aspect of Xeelee technology and naturally didn't want to risk a ...


2

According to the "Fermi Paradox", at Sci-Fi Encyclopedia: The Drake equation is flawed or has been misinterpreted or fed with incorrect values. We are indeed unique and alone, as in Stephen Baxter's Time: Manifold 1 This point is actually more implied rather than outright stated in the novel, which is probably why people are having a hard time ...


2

Other solution: stepping north was possible only from underground cellar, which was no longer available due to planet deformation.


2

If you assume Cornelius could retroactively rescue himself from his fate, then he would also prevent himself from seeing the fruition of what had become his life's work. He would never get to explore deep time and see all the wonders beyond the blue portal. For Cornelius the rewards were clearly worth the possible loss of his life. Having experienced the ...


1

It is hardly surprising Baxter is light on detail. He is trying to convey concepts far beyond anything we can fully imagine or understand. This is, of course, the business of a science-fiction (SF) writer. This is being done poetically. That is to say, through imagery, allusions and hints while leaving it up to the imagination of the reader. A brief look at ...


1

The Time Ships is about five times the length of The Time Machine, the latter being more a novella than a novel, so it won't add much to your total reading time to just go ahead and read The Time Machine first. Regard it as a prologue to the main story.


1

I read The Time Ships, having not read The Time Machine in twenty years and not remembering much of it. I had zero problems understanding the context.


1

I can find no mention of a proposed sequel, also, I can't find evidence for the answer given above this does not mean it was once not there. Here we find a reviewer asking the same question (last updated 08.9.15) So why have I gone to the trouble of mentioning such idle speculation with you? Well since the first two books were clearly not a duology, am ...


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