A series by Creator/StephenBaxter about an [[TheGreatFlood apocalyptic global]] [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin flood]], based on the theory that there are deep subterranean reservoirs of water locked up in the Earth's mantle. What would happen if all this water started [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt coming up out of the planet's core]]?

The first novel, ''Flood'', came out in 2008 and follows the lives of four FireForgedFriends who've been through a shared traumatic ordeal. They are still struggling to pick up the pieces of their lives when [[{{Foreshadowing}} mysterious floods start happening all over the world]]. As the floods get even worse, they make a pact to always keep in contact with each other. This starts becoming exceedingly hard as the floods reach apocalyptic levels, threatening all of humanity.

A second novel, ''Ark'', came out in 2009. Roughly picking up near the end of ''Flood'', it follows the development of one of the secret "Ark" projects and it's mission to preserve the human race. In contrast to the relatively grounded ''Flood'', ''Ark'' is distinctly more sci-fi in nature, hewing closer to Baxter's usual content.

A trilogy of short stories followed the series, ''Earth two'' and ''Earth Three'' were published in Asimov's in 2009 and 2010, while ''Earth One'' was published alongside the other two in the collection ''Universes'' in 2013. Set 400, 1000 and 10,000 years after the novels they combine together to form a DistantFinale.

Not to be confused with the British DisasterMovie ''Film/{{Flood}}'', nor with the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' ExpandedUniverse novel ''Literature/HaloTheFlood''.
!! This series provides examples of:
* AbsentAliens: Though no direct evidence is ever found, there's tantalizing hints of [[{{Precursors}} ancient activity by aliens]]. When the Ark arrives around Earth II they detect certain unnaturally straight landscape features. No buildings, but possibly the ancient footprints of quarries. They also discover the planet lacks any kind of easily available, minable material in the crust, implying someone had already mined everything. The star system in Earth II also has an anomalous lack of certain asteroids, implying that possibly a space-faring civilization had already used them up for resources. It's speculated that many advanced civilizations have ''already'' risen (and subsequently fallen) in the few billions years before Earth life developed, meaning mankind is [[{{Understatement}} a bit late to the party]]. Later on [[spoiler:this is possibly subverted when Venus discovers an alien signal in deep space while en route to Earth III, though she doesn't mention it to anybody and it's not mentioned elsewhere in the book.]]
* AfterTheEnd: Shown more in ''Flood'', but some of Earth's global flood is also depicted at the beginning of ''Ark'' and [[spoiler:later, when Kelly and her crew return to the now-fully-flooded planet.]]
* AlcubierreDrive: In ''Ark''. ''Ark 1'' is actually composed of two hulls connected with a tether, [[CentrifugalGravity rotating around each other to generate gravity]]. Interestingly, due to how the ship's drive works, every jump is a BlindJump: the destination is calculated beforehand, but once the ship enters warp, there's no way to drop out of it or even see what's happening at the destination prior to arriving.
* AllPlanetsAreEarthLike: Despite specifically looking for Earth-like planets, due to the limits of planet-finding techniques, Earth II [[spoiler:and later Earth III]] subverts this. It's like Earth in nearly every way...except it rotates tipped on its side, like Uranus. Then [[spoiler:Earth III, when they finally get to it, is discovered to be tidally locked to its Red Dwarf sun, so the same side permanently faces the sun. Also, it's larger than Earth (so heavier gravity) and due to the sun's light peaking in infrared, all the plants are black]].
* AmericaSavesTheDay: ''Seemingly'' averted. The US is portrayed as one of the last countries to not only stay intact but also have something of a functioning government. Though it too crumbles once the flood reaches the Rockies. [[spoiler:[[SequelHook But then there's the Ark...]]]]
* ApocalypseHow: Starts as a Class 0, and gradually starts ramping up through the scale as the flood reaches higher and higher. [[spoiler:Eventually ends up as a Class 4, as the waters cover every available bit of landmass, turning the Earth into an Ocean Planet. It's implied that the few humans left over will either eventually go extinct or evolve into an aquatic form to survive.]]
* ApocalypseWow: Lots of vivid descriptions of various catastrophes, including the flooding of London after a surge of water overtops the Thames Barrier.
* ApocalypticLog: Between certain chapters are excerpts from a character's digital "scrapbook" that present blog-like entries on various world events over the course of the flood.
* ArrangedMarriage: Of a sort. On the Ark, since there's so few people, the crew members are obligated to find someone to couple with and have a child. They don't have to love each other or even necessarily ''like'' each other, but [[TheNeedsOfTheMany they have to procreate]].
* BigScrewedUpFamily: Kelly's family. Her father is a callous, mono-maniacal man who pushed his daughter relentlessly to be better than the competition so she'd ultimately get on the Ark. He would constantly criticize her, and in fact his first words to her when she [[spoiler:and the rest of the crew from ''Seba'' return to Earth after 30 years]] is "I knew you'd screw up". Then Kelly's son, Dexter, hates her for the fact that she [[spoiler:abandoned him on the drowning Earth when he was two just so she'd be able to join the Ark. After she left, his father was killed in the various riots to wrecked the remaining society on Earth]].
* BlindJump: Of a sort. The kind of warp that allows the Ark to [[FTLTravel travel faster than light]] has to be calculated prior to the "jump". Once the warp is initiated, the people ''inside'' the warp bubble have to wait until the warp is finished. Meaning that once you've entered warp, there's no changing course or "dropping out", and due to the relativistic effects of [=FTL=] travel, you can't really see what's happening at your destination.
* CityInABottle: The children born aboard the Ark (and the ''Halivah'' sub-ship) start to develop a mentality like this, partially due to [[spoiler:Zane]]'s lunatic ravings but also due to the fact that they were born on the ship and have never known any kind of life outside it.
* ConspiracyTheorist: One of [[spoiler:Zane]]'s alternate personalities is this. He believes the whole Ark mission is a lie and that the whole thing's either an experiment or there is no outside world and the ship is the whole universe. He justifies this by taking random coincidences and claiming that they're evidence everything is just a fake story written by an uncreative/sloppy writer. His theories ultimately lead the ignorant/naïve shipborn crew to stage a disastrous coup attempt.
* CosyCatastrophe:
** The earliest stages of the flood were treated as this; for example, as New York City slowly starts flooding, native New Yorkers pretty much just slog through the water to continue their jobs.
** More secure locations like the relocated US capital of Denver are this for a time. With those participating in the Ark Project in particular brought to the still-functional city and given as much comfort as could still be spare. By the time the Ark launches however, things go downhill fast.
* CoversAlwaysLie: The cover of ''Ark'' shows a gleaming, smooth, silver rocket taking off from some kind of gantry on the ocean. The ''actual'' launch in the novel is on land, the "ship" is basically two grimy reused engine tanks tied together and are ''still inside the building they were constructed in''...and, oh yeah, the ship is launched with ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Orion_(nuclear_propulsion) nuclear weapons]]'', meaning anyone without a couple miles of the launch site would be obliterated by the launch.
* CrapsackWorld: Pretty much what happens to the Earth as the rising sea starts mixing with all the chemicals and pollution humans normally keep on land. Not to mention the horrible conditions refugees face once they get to the overcrowded higher grounds.
* DiscussedTrope: With CasualInterstellarTravel. Near the beginning of the book is a meeting of various rich/influential people about how the Ark Project will work. They bring up and discuss various methods for interstellar travel, slowing ruling them out one-by-one due to various unrealistic requirements.
** Amusingly, they eventually settle on the most outlandish method possible: a Warp Drive. However, this being Creator/StephenBaxter, it [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_Drive actually does have]] some RealLife basis.
* DecoyProtagonist: ''Ark'' starts off from Grace Gray’s point of view as she’s inducted into the Ark program. Then she meets Holle Groundwater and the novel jumps back in time to show Holle’s life story prior to that point. By the time the story catches back up with the present, the novel is now fully about Holle instead of Grace, and Grace then becomes a background character for the rest of the book.
* DisasterDemocracy: Politics on the Ark initially start off like this, with someone elected "Speaker" to direct and hold ship-wide meetings. Laws would be agreed on case-by-case bases and would become "ship law", and major decisions would have to be agreed to unanimously. This whole thing, of course, gets jettisoned when things become more dire later on...eventually culminating in [[spoiler:Holle]] taking over as de facto totalitarian leader.
* DownerEnding: In ''Flood'', [[spoiler:Humanity pretty much drowns. The main character grows old on a refugee raft, watching ignorance reign over the dwindling human population as new generations of children are born in a CrapsackWorld [[SingleBiomePlanet Ocean Planet]], unaware of everything their ancestors lost.]]
** Also in ''Ark'', though YMMV: [[spoiler:By the time the ''Halivah'' has finally made it to Earth III, after traveling 100 light years and spending nearly 40 years getting there, after going through all the heartache and strife they experienced during the journey, after having made so many sacrifices and hard choices...they find that not only is Earth III nothing like Earth (it's tidally locked to its sun and is colder than Earth even on the side permanently facing the sun), they only have a single one-time shuttle left on the ship to use to get people down to the surface, and it can only take a limited number down. The rest of the crew has to stay on the ship (meaning they can never leave). So, in order to maintain genetic diversity and give the people on the surface the best chance of creating a viable colony, they send all the ''children'' of the ship, along with three adults to supervise and teach. The worst part is that no family members are allowed (for maximum genetic diversity), meaning all the children will never see their parents or siblings again. The book ends as the shuttle lands on the surface and the kids see the ''Halivah'' wink out of existence as it engages it's warp for locations unknown.]]
** ''Earth Two'' [[spoiler:A female military dictator has seized power on the titular planet and annihilates the last records of Earth out of a belief they should not be "chained to the past". While Earth Two's lack of metals prevents star travel, it is revealed in ''Earth one'' that when the first visitors from the third human colony ''Earthen'' visited the world the new culture, now known as the Xians, captured the ships. They then set out to destroy all human knowledge of the past, and devastated the settled galaxy before they were finally stopped.]]
** ''Earth One'' [[spoiler:reveals that this was the ultimate fate of Ark 2. Over countless generations, the descendants of those who went in Ark 2 evolved into aquatic lifeforms that have inherited Earth but are unaware of what's they've lost, as they're ''incapable'' of being aware due to their lack of sentience.]]
* DistantFinale: The three follow up short stories, ''Earth Two'', ''Earth Three'' and ''Earth One'', form this, with ''Earth One'' revealing that [[spoiler:the ''Halivah'' eventually established another colony in a brown dwarf star system. Ten thousand years later humanity had created an interstellar civilisation, including the three worlds and dozens of colonies. An expedition goes in search of the origins of Humanity and eventually locates the drowned Earth. Human descendants are discovered who have evolved into non-intelligent aquatic forms, and evidence in the form of the Apollo Mission plaque confirms that Earth is the lost homeworld.]]
* EarthThatWas: Since Earth was completely flooded in ''Flood'', it becomes this for the characters in ''Ark''. Subverted when [[spoiler:,after finding Earth II isn't really that hospitable, some of the crew decide to ''return'' to Earth despite knowing that it's flooded]].
* EndlessDaytime: Near the end of ''Ark'', when [[spoiler:Grace Gray and Wilson land the shuttle with the children]] on Earth III, someone points out that it looks like morning. [[spoiler:Wilson]] points out that it'll be a ''permanent'' morning, since Earth III is tidally locked and doesn't rotate with respect to its star.
* ExplosiveDecompression: What happens to the ship ''Halivah'' when [[spoiler:the young generation of shipborn crew stage a mutiny. They believe that the idea they're in a spaceship is a lie and that they're actually in some kind of social experiment. To "disprove" this, the leader of the rebellion,]] a woman named Steel, decides to [[TooDumbToLive unscrew one of the hull plates and take it off]] in public spectacle, [[spoiler:to show everyone that they're not really on a spaceship]]. This, of course, goes horribly wrong and nearly kills everyone on the ship, along with spurring Holle Groundwater to [[spoiler:seize power and institute a survivalist totalitarian rule]] in order to prevent the same thing from happening ever again.
* FasterThanLightTravel: Of the "Warp Drive" variety, using the real life idea of an "[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alcubierre_Drive Alcubierre Drive]]" as the basis for how it works. Basically, the ship itself never goes FTL, at least relative to the space around it. Instead, it stretches the space behind it and compresses the space in front of it, similar to how the universe itself expanded faster-than-light during the "inflationary" age.
* FireForgedFriends: The main characters of ''Flood'' have a ThickerThanWater connection to each other after spending four years together as terrorist hostages prior to the flood.
* GiantWallOfWateryDoom: Averted. The flood slowly inches up, taking decades.
** Played straight in few isolated incidents, but [[JustifiedTrope justified]]: the weight of all that water compresses the land beneath, which sets off a calvacade of earthquakes and tsunamis. [[spoiler: This is eventually what causes the British goverment to collapse, when a mega-tsunami takes out most the island.]]
* GenerationShips: The Ark and its sub-ships weren't exactly intended for this, but various aspects of this trope begin to come into play as various children are born on the Ark in-flight... and eventually, enough time passes for their children to start having their ''own'' children.
* GlobalWarming: [[OhCrap Accelerated]], due to the flood.
** Subverted with regards to the ''cause'' of the flood. As one of the scientist characters rightly points out, there's not enough water on the surface of the planet, including the poles, to cause a flood of the proportions in the novel. [[spoiler:It's actually due to underground reservoirs of water being released from deep within the Earth's core.]]
* TheGreatFlood: A very permanent example caused by the release of massive reservoirs of water from within the Earth's core flooding the planet.
* HappyPlace: In ''Ark'', one of the crew members of the Ark gets addicted to the "[[{{Cyberspace}} HeadSpace]]" simulator, using it to escape her crappy existence on the ark to live in the simulations of her memories of happier times.
* IveComeTooFar: Kelly's reason for [[spoiler:abandoning her husband and two year old child on the drowning Earth]] in order to have a chance to make it on the Ark, since she'd been training all her life for it.
* KarmaHoudini: Several characters throughout ''Ark'' do terrible things and never quite seem to face any consequences or come-uppance for it.
** [[spoiler:Kelly]] abandons her husband and two year old child on the drowning Earth for a chance to make it onto the Ark. While leader of the Ark, she enacts a brutal punishment via mutilation, which causes her to lose her leadership position. However, she never faces any backlash for this, and even maintains a modicum of her power. After she convinces part of the crew to split the ship and return to Earth, they arrive only to find [[spoiler:the planet completely flooding and its capacity to support life failing, as the oxygen in the air is getting almost too low to breathe. But instead of having to live a bleak existence floating on refugee rafts for the rest of their lives, Kelly and the crew are taken in by the members of Ark 2, a deep-sea settlement where Kelly's son Dexter, the son she abandoned, is. Sure, Dexter hates her, but in the end she still gets to live on Ark 2 in relatively comfort/security]].
** [[spoiler:Wilson]], after he stages a coup and takes power from the above character, ends up being a corrupt leader. He forces the crew to kowtow to him and do lewd favors for him, and it's implied that he's even somewhat of a pedophile. When a major mutiny threatens his rule and he might be killed, he escapes on a shuttle unharmed with an underage concubine. ''Then'' when the shuttle turns out to have been sabotaged, he manages to escape its destruction by jettisoning in a spacesuit. He gets recaptured by the ship...and then faces utterly no consequences for his actions or his role in causing the mutiny (and the deaths it caused) because his skills are too valuable to the ship's mission. To top it all off, when [[spoiler:the ship finally reaches Earth III, he's one of the few adults chosen to go down on the one remaining shuttle, despite the fact that ''he's the reason there's only one shuttle left in the first place''. The reason? He's the only pilot who can fly the shuttle anyway, and he's one of the few remaining adults who has memories of Earth and what being on a planet is like (experience none of the shipborn children have).]]
* LetsSplitUpGang: In ''Ark'', after the ship reaches Earth II and [[spoiler:finds that it spins like Uranus, on its side, meaning life would be very hard there]], they have to decide whether or not to stay on Earth II, continue on to another planet they discovered dubbed Earth III, or return home to the original Earth. Since the crew is split almost evenly on the issue, they decide to just literally split up and go their separate ways.
* LostCommonKnowledge: The new generation born on the drowned Earth have no knowledge of what "dry ground" is like; everything they've ever experienced has just been life on rafts. Also, the "shipborn" children of the Ark have only ever known zero-g and the Ark. To them, "gravity" and a world outside the Ark are abstract, foreign ideas.
* TheNeedsOfTheMany: In ''Ark'', the reason for many of the horrible decisions the various leaders of the Ark mission have to make; in the end, they have to do whatever it takes to ensure everyone's survival (on the ship, and most likely, for all of mankind as well).
* PocketDimension: In ''Ark'', due to the complicated physics of how the warp bubble around the ship works, the Ark is essentially in a pocket dimensions when it's traveling FTL. From the inside, everything looks normal, but from the outside nobody would be able to see the ship because the Warp Bubble is actually sub-atomic in size.
* OceanPunk: In ''Flood'', what the setting gradually turns into, as the flood reaches higher and higher and more refugees start taking to rafts and boats. [[spoiler:Becomes full-blown "MadMax on water" towards the end of the novel.]]
* RapeLeadsToInsanity: In ''Ark'', [[spoiler:Zane]]'s abuse as a teenager leads to his SplitPersonality disorder (below) and [[spoiler:his eventual suicide]].
* RealisticDictionIsUnrealistic: Several of the characters in ''Ark'' will spontaneously launch into long speeches filled with poetic and nuanced explanations... and no one bats an eye at this -- it's PurpleProse applied to the dialogue. Somewhat justified in that most the crew are very intelligent people who've been trained from childhood for the mission, but still... who the hell unironically drops the word "quiescent" into a ''scientific debriefing'' of a planet they're in orbit around?
* RuinsOfTheModernAge: In ''Flood'', refugee camps survive by diving down to plunder cities that have been drowned by the floods. [[spoiler:Quickly becomes untenable as the floods become so deep that a deep-sea diving vessel is required just to ''get'' to the flooded-out cities.]]
* SequelHook: The last line in the ''Flood'': "[[spoiler:''What is Ark 2?!'']]"
** Then, in ''Ark'': Towards the end of the book, in a very short (five or six paragraph) chapter, it's briefly mentioned that [[spoiler:Venus, the ship's navigator/astronomer, discovers an unmistakeably extraterrestrial signal in deep space. This comes out of left field for the reader, since all indications in the book thus far are that any aliens in the universe were of the AbsentAliens variety and have all died out or are so distant as to be practically nonexistent. Venus decides not to mention her discovery to anybody else... and then it's never brought up in the book again]].
* SettlingTheFrontier: The whole Ark mission was designed around this, with the original "Candidates" for the crew trained in the various skills they'd need to create a colony on a new world.
* SingleBiomePlanet: [[spoiler:What the Earth eventually becomes.]]
* SmallSecludedWorld: The bulk of the various "ship" sections of the plot. The ships are relatively small, cut-off from the outside universe due to the warp effect, and have to, by necessity, be self contained.
* SplitPersonality: In ''Ark'', this happens to [[spoiler:Zane]], who develops multiple personalities as a coping mechanism against the stress caused by his emotionally abusive father and, later, sexual abuse by a senior member of the Ark Project team (and subsequent denial/admonishment by his father when [[spoiler:Zane]] tries to reveal it to him).
* TeenageWasteland: Invoked several times throughout ''Ark''. When the Ark first launches, its crew is barely into adulthood; most of them are 18 - 20 years old. Later [[spoiler:the novel ends with the settlers of Earth III ending up being all the children about the ship (with a few adults to supervise/teach), since only a certain number could land and the crew wanted the colony to have the best chance of surviving]].
* TrumanShowPlot: In ''Ark'', the shipborn generation of crewmembers on the ''Halivah'' are led to believe by [[spoiler:Zane]] that they're not really on a ship in space, but are part of some kind of twisted experiment... or that [[CityInABottle there possibly isn't even any kind of outside world at all]]. This culminates in a coup attempt where they try to remove one of the hull plates of the ship in order to prove that there's not actually any kind of deadly vacuum outside. This ends badly (see ExplosiveDecompression above).
* VirtualTrainingSimulation: The "[=HeadSpace=]" simulations in ''Ark'' are a kind of virtual reality. They can even simulate sensations if the user climbs into a special body-suit. Used during the Ark's voyage for the crew's entertainment, and later for planetary training (since the shipborn children have never been on a planet or even experienced ''gravity'').
* HyperspaceIsAScaryPlace: The Ark travels faster-than-light by creating a "Warp Bubble" around itself which transports it to its destination. The Warp Bubble can be arbitrarily large (to contain the ship) but woe betide anyone stupid enough to try and leave the bubble... the edges of the bubble, being warped spacetime, will shred anything to a molecular level. But hey, it creates a nice lensing effect on the stars outside making astronomy easy while inside the bubble!