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Firstborn (A Time Odyssey #3)

3.72  ·  Rating Details ·  2,488 Ratings  ·  133 Reviews
The Firstborn-the mysterious race of aliens who first became known to science fiction fans as the builders of the iconic black monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey-have inhabited legendary master of science fiction Sir Arthur C. Clarke's writing for decades. With Time's Eye and Sunstorm, the first two books in their acclaimed Time Odyssey series, Clarke and his brilliant co-a ...more
Hardcover, 364 pages
Published December 26th 2007 by Del Rey Books (first published 2007)
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Nov 22, 2009 Bryan rated it really liked it
Well... I am suitably impressed with the way this series just got better and better. This book was the best of the trilogy, and that's a feat because I was quite satisfied with book #2 (after being a bit underwhelmed with book #1).

The first book (Time's Eye) seemed like a science fantasy to me. (Of course, it's still Clarke & Baxter, so the science included will be accurate.) In the vein of Barsoom, in which an alternate Earth (called Mir) is explored, and alternate time-streams result in a
Nov 21, 2014 Krbo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
dosta ljudi je komentiralo kako im je znanost ovoga zadnjeg nastavka Vremenske odiseje strana i tegobna za razumijevanja.

meni nije bila kako imam neko obrazovanje iz fizike no moglo bi biti problema tako da "čudne" rečenice jednostavno treba prihvatiti kao takve.

finale bih smjetio negdje između prve dvije knjige po kvaliteti, a cijelom serijalu ide jedna dobra četvorka, recimo 3,8 no moj opći dojam je kako mi je bilo ugodno potrošiti vrijeme uz njega.

netko od dvojca (vjerujem kako je Clarke ovdj
Like some other readers, I had a harder time getting into this book than Time’s Eye and Sunstorm . I'll admit that one reason was my inability to fully grasp the scientific concepts involved. However, I also think that Stephen Baxter uses so much ink developing the technological and theoretical concepts that character development gets neglected.

Nevertheless, I loved the last 70 pages or so. Once Mr. Baxter gets past the predictable fate of the Q-bomb, the story opens up into a fascinating
May 14, 2015 Alex rated it liked it
This series was all over the place for me. Time's Eye was interesting and fun but not necessarily amazing, but then I'd consider Sunstorm one of my favorite Clarke books. Sunstorm is classic Clarke and extremely well done. An alien threat that seems insurmountable, many failed attempts to stop it to the point that you're just as nervous as the characters to find out what they're going to do, and ingenious science that makes it all come together.

This, the third and final book in the series, has a
Massimo Marino
Apr 16, 2016 Massimo Marino rated it it was ok
An ancient race that will not share the available energy in the universe with other civilizations, and therefore is devoted to pursue the destruction of other intelligences as they become ‘competitors’; this is the premise of the great fresco by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter dedicated to the fight of humanity against the Firstborn who first became known to science fiction fans as the builders of the iconic black monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Firstborn have inhabited legendary mast ...more
Jan 02, 2012 Rusty rated it really liked it
I try to remind myself that my enjoyment of a book, or movie, or TV show, or game, whatever, stems from my expectations going into it. Which of course is why I’m sure I’ll hate the new Avengers movie when it comes out later this year, but I’ll probably love something that should be lame, like The Phantom Menace 3D experience – which I would probably see in 2D.

Anyhow, the last book I reviewed I was a bit harsh on. I expected a fun romp through a future universe full of FTL and mysterious aliens,
Aug 02, 2013 Dan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
The third in the trilogy by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter which sees the Earth of the near-future face the threat of the firstborn, a malevolent alien race who want to destroy humanity. The book once again follows Bisea, who has survived the time-spliced version of Earth in Time's Eye and the huge sunstorm in Sunstorm. This time the threat is a quantum bomb heading straight for Earth.

Oddly we actually spend very little time on Earth as Bisea is taken to Mars to see a discovery which chang
Rick Ludwig
A conclusion that ties up the other two books, but I was disappointed. I rank this between the other two. the first in the series was my favorite and promised more than the subsequent two delivered. This one was better than the second in the series, which had little to do with the first. I wish I had stopped after reading Time's Eye to be honest. Taken on its own, Firstborn had some good moments, but they were scattered. I was glad to see Bisesa return to Mir and to see what had happened there, ...more
Cian Beirdd
Sep 27, 2014 Cian Beirdd rated it it was ok
Unsatisfying. For those of us hoping to see the aliens (which Clarke never does) or find some emotional conclusion, the book is a disappointment. Neat technology, fun science, but not much in terms of any real conclusion; at the end of this series the Firstborn are still an imminent threat, they still have technology beyond our imaginings, and they still want us dead. Mir is still in flux, Mars is gone but what that entails for the solar system is not explored. Frustrating is a good word for thi ...more
Mar 12, 2009 Joe rated it liked it
Somewhat more rambling and less satisfying than the previous two Time Odyssey books. Unsatisfying ending.
Nov 03, 2016 Sam rated it liked it
It took quite a while for the plot to go anywhere and when it did, it seemed like people knew exactly what was going on without any explanation of how they knew. I found the story to be quite disjointed.
Mark Easter

The Firstborn–the mysterious race of aliens who first became known to science fiction fans as the builders of the iconic black monolith in 2001: A Space Odysseyhave inhabited legendary master of science fiction Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s writing for decades. With Time’s Eye and Sunstorm, the first two books in their acclaimed Time Odyssey series, Clarke and his brilliant co-author Stephen Baxter imagined a near-future in which the Firstborn seek to stop the advance of human civilization by employi

Patrick Gibson
Mar 21, 2011 Patrick Gibson rated it it was ok
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the 3rd book in the series, the collaboration between Clarke and Baxter further explores both authors interests in god-like aliens and the Fermi paradox. Unfortunately for me, it was a disappointment.

As in the previous Sunstorm, earth is threatened with extinction, this time by an "unstoppable" cosmological bomb. This is the device to keep the plot moving along, which it does, although ultimately the solution is poorly thought out and unsatisfying.

The better points of the book are the
Profundus Librum
Sep 10, 2013 Profundus Librum rated it it was amazing
Nagy örömmel fedeztem fel, hogy a harmadik regényben tökéletes arányban keverednek az első kettő könyv nekem legjobban tetsző részei. Újra visszatérünk a Mir-re, az alternatív Földre, ami a különböző történelmi korok időmetszeteiből lett véletlenszerűen összerakva egy elképzelhetetlenül fejlett földönkívüli civilizáció által. Megismerjük néhány hátra maradt régi ismerős – a kötetek közt 27 esztendő telt el – életét ebben a kifacsart „ókori” bolygón, és közben újabb rejtélyekről is lehull a lepel ...more
Oct 16, 2014 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Falso final de la trilogía, con un final abierto que nadie sabe si tendrá continuación 7 años después. Tampoco si habrá una traducción al castellano de este tercer libro, ya puestos. Avanzamos un par de décadas en el tiempo respecto a Tormenta Solar para encontrarnos con otra amenaza para la Tierra, está claro que los Firstborn tienen recursos. El acierto de la historia es que se las apaña para unir las dos anteriores, completamente distintas entre sí, con una coherencia inesperada. Tenemos el g ...more
Jan 29, 2011 T4ncr3d1 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
E così la nuova Odissea nel Tempo giunge ad una conclusione. Forse.
Dopo il mediocre e banale secondo capitolo, questo terzo romanzo si presenta decisamente migliore, e non solo perché tutti i nodi finalmente vengono al pettine.
La trama si presenta ben dispiegata, equilibrata, e se anche può sembra un po' troppo priva di azione il ritmo rimane comunque incalzante.
Ciò che fa brillare comunque questo romanzo è la cura nei dettagli e la resa di tutto lo sfondo sociale-culturale-tecnologico del mondo
Richard Thompson
Sep 10, 2016 Richard Thompson rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
The third book in the Time Odyssey series. Presumably the last unless Baxter teams up with someone else to keep it going.

The Firstborn have targeted Earth again, the time with a Q-bomb. Colonists on Mars find evidence that an ancient civilization there had been attacked by the Firstborn. Bisesa travels back to Mir. A lot going on here! Space elevators, interplanetary sailplanes powered by the Sun's photons, long dormant plants growing on Mars, on Mir travelers from the Chicago time slice in Amer
Jul 04, 2015 Louis rated it liked it
Firsborn, and so concludes “A Time Odyssey” by Arthur C Clarke and Stephan Baxter.

Note, no spoilers but just touching on what’s revealed on the back cover of the book. Decades after the “firstborns” tried to wipe out all life on Earth in volume 2, they try once again with a quantum bomb!

Shades of finding out there is a second Death Star after the first was destroyed.

There were elements I liked about this book, but they were negated by what I didn’t like about it. There is a conclusion but… no
Michel Bonin
Dec 10, 2016 Michel Bonin rated it it was amazing
Like all ACC, there are original concepts, and is a very easy read.

My only complaint is that the series seems to want to go further but it stops when the world starts expanding past earth.

Still a 5 star
Army of Penguins
Oof. I'll say this series was... interesting. I hadn't been a big fan of Time's Eye, but Sunstorm had been absolutely epic. And now this book... ends up somewhere between the other two, which is kinda fitting since it also tries to balance the uber-epic threat level of Sunstorm with the fantastic setting of Mir from Time's Eye.

I won't go into too spoiler-y plot details here, so I'll just say that my main issues with this book were the pacing and the last few chapters, which left me mildly confus
Amir Ljubijankic
Nov 10, 2014 Amir Ljubijankic rated it really liked it
Memoir- Besea decides to freeze herself in 2034. In 2069, she is awaken by her daughter who now is a semi-senior, them being almost the same age.

“Well, yes, though as I said they’ve got hurricanes pretty much licked these days.” He glanced at the sky. “But further up there are other hazards”

Alexei, the 2nd space generation to be born into space on a ship, is a very intelligent human being who understands the Earth’s atmosphere more than the average person. While everything down on the Earth is s
Oct 26, 2013 Nazim rated it it was amazing
The alien race, the Firstborn, created a bomb which is now approaching Earth. Once on contact it will destroy our planet utterly. Humans attacked that bomb by various sophisticated weapons like antimatter torpedoes, let alone of course “classic” fusion bombs but all no veil. As became apparent the sole purpose of the alien’s bomb, Q-bomb was to eliminate all regulated energy consumption. As we use energy in regularly basis, we fall in that category.

As it turned out the Firstborn had attacked ot
Dec 18, 2016 Nicole rated it really liked it
Was, unfortunately, the final book. I would love to read more. And more. I really liked the hard science and the science fiction mixed together. It made me more curious about the stars.
Nov 12, 2012 Katie rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi
Gah, this series just won't end. It's no Wheel of Time, true...but still. I think I read two other books while messing about trying to finish this one.

Earth is at war with aliens. Only it's not all about spaceship battles & shootouts. These are intelligent aliens. They trigger catastrophic sunflares to wipe us out, send bombs to tear hunks of the planet into alternate realities, basically engage us with the elements while never revealing themselves. Humanity continues to prevail, but barely
Joe Constantine
I didn't enjoy Firstborn as much as I did the previous two instalments in this series - in fact I think it would be fair to say my interest in the series waned with each sequel. I suppose that's partly due to the first two books, Time's Eye and Sunstorm, being quite different in subject and style despite being connected, and my preferences lie, in this instance at least, for the science fiction fantasy of Mir, the time-sliced alternate Earth which saw Ghengis Khan and Alexander The Great occupy ...more
A solid sci-fi story that is more about the cool near-future technology than the impending doom of humanity. While the stakes are high (pretty much the same as the two previous books... humanity's existence) there's never much doubt that the characters won't magic/science themselves out of harm's way.

I think I may have connected less with these characters because it has been several years since reading the first two. There were numerous references to past events that were nebulous to me; nothing
Sep 09, 2013 C rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Third in the series Time Odyssey
The story continues as Besesa is awoken from 25+ years of deep sleep. again the Firstborn have sent a threat to humanity i the shape of a disguised hammer" that travels through space as an asteroid to slam into Earth. Nothing humans try can take it off course or damage it. Besesa takes another trip to it via an eye found trapped on Mars. Communication between Earth and Mir cause the trapped eye to send a message to the "hammer" which then changes course to rescue
Jul 06, 2009 Stephanie rated it did not like it
Book 4 of the last series co-penned by Clarke (and his 2nd to last book), a supurb sci-fi futurist author. His works read as a future that is plausible and this one doesnt fall short. I enjoy the story line of this series, even though I am no fan of time distortion (if even that is what has taken place in this series) and I look forward to see where they go with this final book.
Finishing this book was a bit of a disappointment. The 'universe' was great , though a lot of it is much the same a
Maciej Janiec
Trzeci tom trylogii "Odyseja czasu" kończy się w sposób taktyczny - bezpośrednie niebezpieczeństwo przedstawione w książce zostaje zażegnane, ale główny problem pozostaje nierozwiązany.

Zastanawia mnie niska skuteczność działań podejmowanych przez tytułowych Pierworodnych. Niby tacy potężni, a - jak można przeczytać w książce - bardzo wielu (większości?) zadań nie udaje im się zrealizować, mimo że próbowali ich już co najmniej kilkakrotnie. Jakby zupełnie nie uczyli się na własnych błędach, tylko
The Tick
Sep 16, 2012 The Tick rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fiction
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Arthur C. Clarke was one of the most important and influential figures in 20th century science fiction. He spent the first half of his life in England, where he served in World War Two as a radar operator, before emigrating to Ceylon in 1956. He is best known for the novel and movie 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he co-created with the assistance of Stanley Kubrick.

Clarke was a graduate of King's Co
More about Arthur C. Clarke...

Other Books in the Series

A Time Odyssey (3 books)
  • Time's Eye (A Time Odyssey, #1)
  • Sunstorm (A Time Odyssey, #2)

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“The universe is full of energy, but much of it is at equilibrium. At equilibrium no energy can flow, and therefore it cannot be used for work, any more than the level waters of a pond can be used to drive a water-wheel. It is on the flow of energy out of equilibrium—the small fraction of “useful” energy, “exergy”—that life depends.” 2 likes
“Mammoths, building a signal to Mars, on the North American ice cap.” 1 likes
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