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  • Writer's picturepeter clings

World Engines series by Stephen Baxter

I have just finished reading the first book of the series by Stephen Baxter. Here are my impressions about it.

I sense that the author is a fan of Isaac Asimov's novels just as I am. I guess that by the use of the signature word 'to frown' and a few similar.

This investigation of the hypothesis that we are living in a multi-universe is made through the experiences of a pilot turned NASA late in his career by the name Reid Malenfant who gets awaken in the 25th century after being frozen a hero in 2019 for crashing his spaceship out of control into the ocean thus saving the Cape Canaveral from certain destruction.

In the new world, Malenfant discovers a humanity which underwent a number of upheavals which led to a general state of apathy and a withdrawal from space research and technological advancement. He is awaken in a blend of anarcho - socialism where humans are not required to work for a living and are handed out a stipend of food and minimum of all necessities to support themselves.

In that future world, Malenfant first comes across a humanoid robot medic called Bartholomew and a young girl Greggson Deirdra who volunteers her time to re-introducing the old character in the novel world. They become his companions in the narratives of two books, the Destroyer and the Creator.

In the first narrative the Destroyer, the 'team' gets tangled with others from parallel streams of reality, such as a British expedition whom help the main character in his attempt to save Deirdra 'world' from certain destruction. That destruction was to come from the misalignment of the planets in the solar system in which a rogue gigantic plant cast out by unknown forces is bound to ravage that 'world'. The characters call that planet as Shiva for its future action.

The first narrative ends with a failed attempt to rescue the Solar system from Shiva after the chance discovery of an alien planetary mechanism installed on a twin planet which they call Persephone. The failure to ignite engine to move Pesephone on the path of Shiva, brings in the subject of ancient Engineers. The search of those ancient Engineers is the subject of the remaining stories.

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