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Creator / Stephen Baxter

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"Sometimes people say that we're living in the future, and time's up for science fiction, but I think that never will be, because science fiction really isn't about the future. It's about change and present-day concerns."

Stephen Baxter (born 13 November 1957) is a British author known for his hard sci-fi novels. He's most known for his far-future space opera series The Xeelee Sequence, but he also writes a fair amount of Alternate History and more near-future fiction. He has a website here. His works include:


  • The Xeelee Sequence series. Arguably his most well-known books. Set in the far future, where humans struggle for supremacy in the universe against the god-like Xeelee.
  • The NASA Trilogy, a loose trilogy of three thematically similar Alternate History novels that center on spaceflight and space exploration, particularly that of NASA origin. Features several modern-day and near future what-ifs.
    • Voyage - Alternate spaceflight developments between the 1960s and 1980s, culminating in a (not easily earned) manned mission to Mars in the mid 1980s.
    • Titan - A 20 Minutes into the Future (when it was written, that is) book about an expedition to Titan.
    • Moonseed - A prolonged lunar exploration programme in the 70s accidentally brings a mysterious, nanoplague-like substance to Earth during a return mission. Stuff happens...
  • The Manifold series. Three what-if novels concerning the Fermi Paradox, with each presenting a different resolution to the paradox. Notable in that all three novels feature the same cast but are set in Alternate Continuities.
    • Manifold: Time posits that humanity is the only intelligent species in the universe.
    • Manifold: Space is the opposite, with the universe actually brimming with intelligent life, but the reason we've never seen it before is because it is periodically "sterilized" by natural cosmological events.
    • Manifold: Origin is set in a multiverse that is full of intelligent life, but each universe only contains one intelligent species.
    • Phase Space is a collection of short stories related to the series.
  • The Time Odyssey series, in collaboration with Arthur C. Clarke. Intended as an "orthoquel"note  to Clarke's famous 2001: A Space Odyssey series.
  • The Mammoth trilogy. It's about mammoths.
  • The Northland trilogy, set in prehistoric Doggerland (called "Northland" in the novel) and focuses on the attempts of Northland's inhabitants to adapt to the rising sea levels slowly eroding its coastline.
  • Times Tapestry, an Alternate History series. The first book is called "Emperor".
  • The Long Earth, a series co-written with Terry Pratchett about the sudden discovery of parallel Earths.
  • The Flood series, about an apocalyptic global flood. Currently has two novels, Flood and Ark, as well as several short stories.
  • The Proxima series, which covers the human colonization of Proxima.
  • The World Engines duology, consisting of Destroyer (2019) and Creator (2020). These return to the multiverse of the Manifold trilogy with a different version of Reid Malenfort being revived from cold sleep on 25th century Earth to investigate a mysterious transmission apparently from his wife Emma Stoney who went missing while investigating the Mars moon Phobos nearly five hundred years earlier. Unlike Manifold the second book is a direct continuation of the first.

Standalone Works

  • Traces, a collection of 21 short stories. It is not related to any particular series by Baxter.
  • Anti-Ice, set in an alternate world where a semi-stable form of antimatter is discovered in the mid-1800s, spurring an early industrial revolution and resulting in an Alternate History Steampunk world where Britain becomes a superpower with antimatter bombs at their disposal.
  • Evolution, a standalone novel about the evolution of humans and their ultimate fate.
  • The Time Ships, an authorized sequel to H. G. Wells' The Time Machine that incorporates more modern science fiction concepts, such as Dyson Spheres and time travel creating branching timelines. In an interesting twist, Baxter himself presents it as though it was taken from a lost manuscript by the Time Traveller himself.
  • The H-Bomb Girl, a foray into Young Adult fiction; in 1962, a young girl in Liverpool finds herself at a crossroads between various alternate histories against the backdrop of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
  • The Wheel of Ice, a Doctor Who novel featuring the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe.
  • The Medusa Chronicles, co-authored with Alastair Reynolds; sequel to Arthur C. Clarke's A Meeting with Medusa.
  • The Massacre of Mankind, an official sequel to H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds.
  • Galaxias, One day the sun vanishes from the sky for exactly twenty four hours, and that's just the start of humanities problems as it becomes clear we've attracted the attention of something powerful and alien...
  • The thousand Earths. In the mid 2100's an astronaut sets out in a journey that due to time dilation will take him trillions of years into the future and through all of human history...
  • Universes. Short story collection. Includes a few stand alone as well as stories set in the anti-ice and Flood universes.
  • Last and first contacts. Short story collection, as with Traces follows no particular series and collects stand alone stories.