Stephen Baxter


A modern British SF writer. He is a Very Technical Boy, with as hard a Hard SF background as you could ask for, and writing to match.

"I was born in Liverpool, England, in 1957. I have degrees in mathematics, from Cambridge University, and engineering, from Southampton University. I worked as a teacher of maths and physics, and for several years in information technology. I applied to become a cosmonaut in 1991 aiming for the guest slot on Mir eventually taken by Helen Sharman but fell at an early hurdle. I have been a full-time author since 1995." -- Stephen Baxter (shamelessly lifted from the Baxterium)

Widely considered the heir to Arthur C Clarke, and generally acclaimed as the best Hard SF writer of his generation. Unless you frequent RASFW, in which case it seems you have to think he's a talentless hack.

Stephen Baxter writes in two main veins: futuristic, wide-ranging, mind-bending large-scale stuff set in a Future History in which humanity is firmly at the bottom of the cosmic pecking-order (the Xeelee Sequence - Raft, Timelike Infinity, Flux, Ring, Vacuum Diagrams) and gritty, overtly technical, near-future or near-alternate-past stuff in which humans face limitless space armed only with courage and technical gumption (the so-called Shits In Space? works - Voyage, Titan, Moonseed and, to a certain extent, the Manifold trilogy). He has also written some ripping alternate histories (Anti-Ice, The Time Ships) and a few other books.

A major (and acknowledged) influence on Baxter, primarily in his short fiction but also in novels such as Flux , is the James Blish short story 'Surface Tension'.

Books as rated on a Five Point Scale by Wikizens:

I notice his latest series of novels is running under the tag-line 'Destinys Children'.... Hitching himself to any passing wagon I see.... MF

It's either 'Destiny's Children' or 'Homo Superior', depending on where you go. This may be a UK/US thing. It makes it less plausible as a commentary on pop culture, though...unless, of course, he knows something we don't. -- NH

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