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Moonseed (NASA Trilogy #3)

3.7  ·  Rating Details ·  1,235 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
In the 1970s astronauts brought rock samples back from the Moon. Many remained locked away for decades ... including one unique piece of bedrock, the Moonseed. At last exposed to daylight, it proves to be deadly, though not to people. It kills the Earth. In his new novel, Stephen Baxter, 'the best SF author in Britain' (SFX), contemplates rock -- living rock. Transported t ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 535 pages
Published August 1999 by Voyager (first published January 1st 1998)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Arun Divakar
The whole aspect of destruction is one that arouses a lot of interest for a non-connected observer. This could explain why newsreel footage of terror attacks, calamities and accidents glue so many viewers across continents to their television sets. Movies like Independence Day ,Deep Impact and Armageddon were totally unsettling for me when I watched them as a child. Dinosaurs roaming around in my hometown was an aftermath (in a dream form !) of Jurassic Park. The common thread across most of the ...more
Robert Laird
I've read many Baxter novels, so when I started reading this, it seemed apparent that it was an earlier effort. I could hear his Scottish accent throughout!

The idea is, if you'll pardon the pun, novel, and he fleshes it out fairly well. The characters aren't nearly as well developed as in his later attempts, which was, again, something that told me it was an earlier book, yet they were still quite good... fairly believable. His science is VERY hard in this book except for the MacGuffin -- the se
Jul 03, 2010 Bryan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you ever wanted to be an astronaut, this is the book for you.: This is really two novels in one. In the beginning of the first half, Venus explodes into a cloud of gas. However, this is merely coincidental and has nothing directly to do with the rest of the plot (except to foreshadow what may happen to Earth.) The scientists begin examining this problem and eventually figure out that a substance (which eventually gets called "moonseed") was brought back to Earth along with geologic samples fr ...more
Brent Werness
May 08, 2012 Brent Werness rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book, but don't have too much to say about it. Probably the second best of Baxter's NASA trilogy after Voyage. This book is hard-core geology fiction with some space and disaster fiction thrown in on the side. A good read if that appeals to you at all.

I do have one comment I'd like to make about the entire series in general about all the comments people have about the trilogy being depressing. I disagree completely. While it is the case that two of the books feature (view spoiler)
Jan 13, 2015 Todd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There may be a bunch of geology-heavy sci-fi out there, although if so I certainly don't stumble over much of it despite reading voraciously. It gave this book a novel (heh) flavor that I definitely enjoyed. And, hey, the end of the world, so you know I'm in. :D

(Don't get the impression that because these books are known as the "NASA Trilogy" they're related in any form whatsoever. They vary widely in tone, timeframe, and plot. The world depicted in each novel is a completely different one. The
Mar 26, 2011 Andreas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This novel starts off rather slowly and without fanfare, with our hero moving to Edinburgh to work on a moon rock. This moon rock is taken out of the lab and lost. It slowly starts to devour the landscape. Weird premise, but Baxter does it well. It’s all about how the humans of today would cope with the Earth literally disappearing under them.

I very much enjoyed how the novel starts small and events snowball into a massive cataclysm by the end. Well worth a look.
Jan 19, 2012 Ruth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the concept of this one! It is so possible, and so ingenious. Talk about a disaster movie… I have actually bought this book multiple times to give to several people.
Mr JL Mckeown
Nov 23, 2016 Mr JL Mckeown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book.

Really don't understand all the criticism of this book. An early work of Baxter's...a fine author honing his craft. Thoroughly enjoyed it.
Ce livre raconte les mésaventures de l’humanité après "l’activation" d’une pierre lunaire qui semble apparement contenir des composants actifs. Difficile d’en dire plus sans déflorer l’intrigue. Donc, pour ceux qui souhaitent le lire et que ce genre de procédé émeuvent, arrêtez maintenant la lecture. Ce roman nous raconte donc les aventures de Henry Meacher, géologue lunaire à la NASA, chargé de l’étude d’une pierre de lune redécouverte dans les affaire d’un astronaute farceur. Etrangement, cett ...more
Peter Goodman

“Moonseed,” by Stephen Baxter (HarperCollns, 1998). My goodness but I have not been keeping up with science fiction. Even though this book is 16 years old, it was already his 11th, and he had not even begun the major series. By now I am familiar with the way Baxter works. He seems to relish the end of the world---over and over. The usual huge cast of characters, many of them not connected but intended to show the breadth of the events he is chronicling. In this case, an American astronaut happen
The Earth dies hard in this novel, puking lava, belching toxic gases, crying acid rain; all because of the Moonseed infection. What will mankind do if the Earth dies completely?
This is a hard Sci-fi novel that is:
(1) weak on characterization; after 662 pages I still don't know who Henry is as a person, other than a cardboard cut-out of The Scientist, and I don't care about him
(2) has too many throw-away characters (some of which are introduced simply to die and illicit some sort of emo
Feb 05, 2013 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christine Bowles
Feb 02, 2014 Christine Bowles rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-book-shelf
While this is not my first Baxter book to consume, it is one of his earliest works I have had the chance to read. Compared with his latter books, the writing style was a little sketchy and I could see the areas in which he has progressed over the years. I also have to say that as a fellow writer I was a bit disappointed in his characters, as nearly all of them were introduced simply to give Baxter examples of ways for people to die. But then this novel covers all the bases with the destruction o ...more
Mike Perkins
Nov 22, 2010 Mike Perkins rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This started out with an interesting premises that quickly became a bit convoluted. I had two major complaints with how the story progressed: the ancillary characters that served no purpose and the difficulty in following the timeline of the story.
The stray characters that popped up now and then throughout the story simply distracted me from the main story line, which was hard enough to follow along at points. The way these scenes would pop up with these random characters felt like a side scene
Sherri Moorer
The book started out well and had a great plot and premise, but it had one major flaw that I just couldn't get past: Lack of characterization. There was virtually no character development. They seemed immune to the fact that the planet was dying and it seemed to have absolutely no impact on their personality at all, save from a few romantic connections and even those relationships were described in flat, generic terms. I think this could have been a really great book if we knew more about the ch ...more
Bruce Baugh
Jan 26, 2014 Bruce Baugh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very satisfying disaster story, that strikes hard at the convention that the chosen people get to have and keep a haven of tranquility even as the world at large falls apart. There are no havens in Moonseed, and the fact that everyone has to keep struggling for and losing safety did a lot to hold my attention.

Part of the fun in any disaster story is seeing what fresh awfulness the author has to deliver to us. Baxter is great for this, with calamities not a lot like anyone else's, applying clas
Darla Ebert
Jan 22, 2016 Darla Ebert rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was happily surprised by this rendering of Stephen Baxter's. In his earlier books, Baxter wrote sublimely and kept me riveted. In succeeding years his books seemed to veer off the deep end and lost me somewhere, bogging down in unnecessary details and mumbo jumbo that left me baffled. Though periodically made impatient by the generic personalities and characters which Baxter attempted to use as examples of everyday people from all categories of society, I found the story itself intensified in ...more
This was a weird book. For one, it was technically hard scifi, but it was hard scifi based on string theory. which, well, isn't really cutting edge anymore or even in vogue. The book's only 10 years old, but this fact made it seem outdated. The writing style is very standard. So the standard style + the outdated science made the book somewhat drab. It wasn't bad, I would say it was good. it just wasn't exceptional.
This is my second Baxter book, and it seems the guy has a bit of morbid fascinati
Mar 25, 2016 Cubisticanus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Klassische Hard-SF um ein gesteins- (und damit welten)zerstörendes Nanoelement (keine Ahnung, wie man den Moonseed nennt) vom Mond, ein wenig Liebesgeschichte, viel Einführung in die Geologie, außerdem ansatzweise Erstkontakt & ein klein wenig Aufbruch der (verbliebenen) Menschheit zu den Sternen. Gefällt. Auch wenn es die Baxter typischen, wörtlich genommen, Längen hat. Daher vier unfaire Sterne, etwas gestrafft und fünf wären möglich. Aber es muss ja noch Luft nach oben geben.

Ach nebenbei:
Jun 27, 2011 Wil rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gym
Without giving away too much, I liked the explanation of what the Moonseed is, where it came from, and what it does to our planet. The science behind many of the explanations was sound, but the exposition of the book dragged. Too much focus was given to individual stories which never amounted to anything- essentially becoming page fillers; some of the science could also have been presented more concisely and cleanly. And interestingly, I think it was the last few chapters of the book that I enjo ...more
Jul 11, 2008 John rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although the science behind Stephen Baxter's Moonseed was interesting, the hackneyed characterization and melodrama left me uninspired and, frankly, bored for the last 200 pages. I love hard science fiction, and on that level, Baxter's work has always been top-notch. However, while some sci-fi authors have coped with their difficulties in crafting convincing characters by simply eliminating excessive dialogue and character interaction, Baxter spends pages doing the exact opposite. Consequently, ...more
Richard Thompson
Mar 19, 2016 Richard Thompson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The death of Venus, Earth being gobbled up by some kind of weird nanovirus and a desperate seat-of-the pants flight to the moon... some pretty heavy duty stuff here...

Not pretty, but compelling and Baxter keeps the reader dodging and weaving very nicely through all the eruptions, flowing lava, collapsing infrastructure and environmental chaos. (Many of the characters are not so lucky.)

The trip to moon has a bit of a space cowboy flavor to it, but I think Baxter carries it off.
Yet another story about how the world ends. Mr. Baxter, being a NASA nerd, had a bunch of the NASA culture and the tech down -- this is the highlight of the story. The downside was that in order to tell a world-spanning story like this one, you have to jump around to different characters. The net result is that you really don't care about any of them... even the protagonist who finds himself at the center of the entire story arc.

Clayton Yuen
Oct 13, 2013 Clayton Yuen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
544 pages! What an epic intricate complicated confusing enlightening crazed adventure? 544 pages of fantastically detailed descriptions that went on and on and on ... way too much, way too long.

I give this novel 3 stars for a great story line, but there it is. Stephen Baxter writes beautifully, just way too much for my liking. I think that he could have created a 300 page classic with his imagination, but 544 pages .... ouch!
Peter Greenwell
Feb 24, 2012 Peter Greenwell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Finbar Giusti
Apr 18, 2016 Finbar Giusti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I hadn't read anuly other books of the NASA trilogy, but I found this book to be very well written and thought provoking.

It begins with the health of the world threatened by a bacteria that feeds on the olivine in rocks and evolves into the earth frantically searching for a solution or praying to every daeity to be spared.

I loved it.
Cyron Macey
Really enjoyed this. Hard science, and an exo geologist lead character. It's not about the characters though, this is a book about the concept, and exploring the ongoing impacts it brings to the world.
Nov 08, 2016 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stephen-baxter
It's the 3rd book in his NASA series and of the 3 , this is by far the best of the lot.
The characters were interesting and varied.
Difficult to comment more without giving away the plot.
Looking forward to reading his collaborations with Terry Pratchett. Stephen needs t add a bit more humour!
Feb 20, 2012 Chris rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: f-sf
Well written but I had trouble with the science-yes I know it is meant to be science fiction but it had to make sense, and the seed, and the denouement just wasnt realistic. A pity because the characters were well drawn mostly and the plot, apart from the dodgy science, believable.
Oct 14, 2008 Martha rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I don't read science fiction as a rule, but had this book & decided to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised that it was as entertaining as it was. A good story is a good story no matter what genre.
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Stephen Baxter is a trained engineer with degrees from Cambridge (mathematics) and Southampton Universities (doctorate in aeroengineering research). Baxter is the winner of the British Science Fiction Award and the Locus Award, as well as being a nominee for an Arthur C. Clarke Award, most recently for Manifold: Time. His novel Voyage won the Sidewise Award for Best Alternate History Novel of the ...more
More about Stephen Baxter...

Other Books in the Series

NASA Trilogy (3 books)
  • Voyage (NASA Trilogy, #1)
  • Titan (NASA Trilogy, #2)

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