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Manifold: Origin (Manifold #3)

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  2,404 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
Stephen Baxter’s Manifold novels have struck the world of science fiction like a meteor. Heralded by Arthur Clark as “a major new talent,” Baxter stands time and space on their collective heads, envisions the future reflected in the past, and the past in the galaxy’s most distant reaches and unformed speculations. Claiming the legacy of Heinlein and Asimov, Baxter now retu ...more
ebook, 544 pages
Published March 19th 2002 by Del Rey (first published 2001)
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(showing 1-30)
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David H. Friedman
Aug 28, 2012 David H. Friedman rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Unpleasant. Spuriously violent and gory. Bleak. Uninteresting Grand Concept. Quite a letdown after the first two novels in the trilogy, which were very good.
Jul 03, 2010 Bryan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a decent book in here somewhere: Have you ever been a good portion of the way through a book and been faced with the total certainty that it's not going anywhere. And yet, you've invested so much time in it that you feel silly not bothering to finish it and besides, it's not that bad. It's just not great. This was the situation I found myself in reading this book and true to form I did finish reading it only to find that the book was merely okay. Not good, certainly not great, but just " ...more
Apr 07, 2014 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The third in the series, this ones sees Reid Malenfant and Emma Stoney come across a blue circle floating above Africa. But this time it's Emma who ends up falling through it and having most of the adventure, although Malenfant is determined to find her. Emma arrives on a the surface of a new moon, one that has suddenly appeared above the Earth. And living on the Earth are all sorts of hominids that humans have evolved from or could have evolved into.

The book takes some of the best ideas from s
Jun 29, 2008 Marman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The story moves really slow but surprisingly you don't feel it because of the amount of material that is thrown your way. The pay off however is well worth the wait. My only complain in this book is that Stephen Baxter was so incredibly cruel to a lot of the characters.
Aug 15, 2009 Doug rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
First two of the series were awesome. This was junk.
Sep 22, 2008 J rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
not great at all... pretty stupid actually
Ninke Hermsen
Sep 09, 2012 Ninke Hermsen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi

I didn't like this book as much as the previous two. Baxter explored an interesting thesis, but for me, it read a bit too much like a biology-book. As usual you have no idea how the plotlines wil develop, in this case however, the story ending didn't satisfy. Still, some of ir was quite entertaining.
N. Griffin-lloyd
Feb 02, 2010 N. Griffin-lloyd rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with extremely long attention spans.
I couldn't finish it. I can't say that about any of his other books. I don't know what happened with this one.
Aug 05, 2012 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the other two better. This one was interesting, but it lost me 3/4 of the way through.
Jan 25, 2013 Jesse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reid Malenfant and his wife Emma Stoney are in Africa when a mysterious blue ring/portal appears in the sky. They get too close to the show--Malenfant's fault, not surprisingly, if you are familiar with his character from the last two books in the trilogy--and the consequences are steep. Their lives are forever, irrevocably changed. But this time it is Emma who goes forward, Emma who goes through the portal, Emma who has the adventure. And Malenfant is left, at the outset, at home...unable to fo ...more
Peter Goodman
Jan 20, 2014 Peter Goodman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction

“Manifold: Origin,” by Stephen Baxter (Del Ray, 2002). This is the third and concluding volume of the Manifold trilogy. Solid. After dealing well with Time, less well with Space, Baxter goes back to the beginning. Many of the same characters: Reid Malenfant, Emma Stoney and the mysterious Japanese astronomer Nemoto. In this case, a Red Moon appears in the sky, close to Earth, easily accessible, with a completely habitable environment, lighter gravity, breathable atmosphere, and apparently popula
Brian Maicke
The third book in Baxter's Manifold series. Each of these books follows the exploits of Reid Malenfant and his associates through slightly different universes. All of the books are 'first contact' type stories with the first two focusing on Reid's obsession with getting back into space, primarily through building private sector space flight.

The third book departs from that approach and treats the build up to space flight with only a cursory mention. While this is understandable given the focus o
Liz Finlay
Jul 23, 2013 Liz Finlay rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy Stephen Baxter in the sense that I borrow him from the library but am unlikely to read his books twice - so I don't purchase them. I generally enjoy his willingness to create & explore 'alienness'. And I enjoy his descriptions of the science.

I enjoyed the previous two books in this trilogy - the exploration of the different possible lives of the protagonists, and indeed of the universe.

So I was particularly disappointed in the third book of the trilogy. I didn't finish it. I read a
Apr 17, 2015 Bertie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I keep coming back to Stephen Baxter despite his terrible, leaden prose and his awful characters. Often his big ideas and his cosmic sweep are enough to keep me going – but not this time. It's a dull and disappointing conclusion to an otherwise interesting trilogy.

Still, I got very excited about the sex scene from the point of view of a squid in the first book of the series, so it’s only fair to point out that if you’ve ever fantasised about being trapped on a strange moon with a selection of h
Jens Ivar
I loved the manifold books. But this one is the odd one out. I liked the idea. The different species of Hominid were great. The description of violence was intense and powerful. There are better characters in this book then in the other manifold book.

But there were few things that bothered me (view spoiler)
Mal Watts
Three stars for the concepts, two stars for the quality of the writing and the frustrating single-dimensional characters; one star for how bloody long it took to get to the end. I just wanted it to be over. I might not have persisted, despite the interesting premise, if I hadn't already invested my time in the earlier books. Would have been a much better book at half the size, with a tighter plot and less filler.
Jonathan Ring
May 31, 2015 Jonathan Ring rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Almost as good as Manifold:Space. I really enjoyed this book and the depictions of early human ancestry. The mystery of the Red Moon is more than enough to keep you hooked, although the bloodshed by the Hominid species helps. It was nice reading another of Malenfant's journeys, even if it is not the "same" Malenfant. And of course, who could forget Nemoto. I thought she was just as much of a bitch in this one as Space. I look forward to reading all of Stephen Baxter's books.
Jun 01, 2008 Tom rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Oh well, I wanted some airplane scifi. It was interesting at points, but, really, not that interesting. I set the book adrift in the wild on a park bench with a "free for anyone" invitation. Lots of hominid beatings and attempts to describe neaderthal thought process, but just made them sound dumber than dogs.
There were some awesome bits in this novel which could have been SF short stories. I didn't feel the need to devour it. The overall science fiction speculations were interesting enough to keep me from throwing it on the did not complete pile. I would only recommend this to hard bitten sciffy fans who are fans of ppl like Asimov and Clarke.
Mar 18, 2015 Pat rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this one (& the series as a whole). What I love about Baxter is just how massive the ideas are. Granted, sometimes at the expense of other things (like character development) & I'm no astrophysicist so it could all be utter bollocks but he always manages to make my head spin. I could have lived without all the monkey erections though.
Jun 11, 2008 Mike rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Least favorite of the series. The book really only got interesting 1/2 way through - I seriously could have gone without the character intro and buildup from the first 1/2. Just get right into the action please.

As other reviews mention, Baxter does seem way into the primates, way more than I really wanted to read about.
Jul 08, 2015 Craig rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lots and lots of material on chimpanzee, bonobo, orangutan and general primate behavior mixed in with some characters that just seemed to lack depth. Didn't help that I was just in a hurry to get thru this.
Michael Cooley
I gave this author my attention through 3 books in this series, hoping that he would pull it together and make a good ending, but he didn't. He has a great style and interesting plots, but the ends are a big let down.
Jan 04, 2013 Drew rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good story and easy to read. But man, some of the characters undergo awful, sadistic experiences. And the reader gets to experience every detail of said sadistic experiences. I liked the story well enough but could have done without some of the gruesome things that happened.
Jul 07, 2011 Laura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I probably should have read this sooner after finishing the other. I enjoyed parts of this book. I found the different hominids interesting at first, but then the different stories took a while to come together.
Grant Aagard
The first 2/3 of the book was pretty good. Then the stories got lost someplace. Finally in the end there was a quick wrap up that made me feel like the writer realized he was almost to the number of pages the publisher asked for.
Jan 09, 2008 Bob(by) rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My favorite of this series. I really really like ape violence. And ape sex. There is a lot of both in this book. Apparently some artificial moon that carries the entire human lineage appears in orbit around Earth. I thought the alternate Earth gorilla dudes were cool.
Jul 12, 2014 Jojo rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy Baxter's writing. I read the first 2 books in this series? Space & Time and the idea he was trying to cover made sense.

But Origin made no sense to me at all. It is filled with gratuitous violence for no good reason and I was unable to grasp the overall point of the book.
Travis Weir
Oct 27, 2013 Travis Weir rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Tired concept of evolutionary man. This is not science fiction. I dropped this one when I was reading far too much prose about Neanderthals or homo erectus, rather than proper science fiction.
Boo !
leider lässt baxter hier das egientlich interessante science-fiction zeug größtenteils weg und konzentriert sich auf die schilderung von grausamkeiten. mit abstand schwächster der 3 bände.
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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

Manifold (4 books)
  • Manifold: Time (Manifold, #1)
  • Manifold: Space (Manifold, #2)
  • Phase Space

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“… It was dark. There were no dead stars, no rogue planets. Matter itself had long evaporated, burned up by proton decay, leaving nothing but a thin smoke of neutrinos drifting out at lightspeed. But even now there was something rather than nothing. The creatures of this age drifted like clouds, immense, slow, coded in immense wispy atoms. Free energy was dwindling to zero, time stretching to infinity. It took these cloud-beings longer to complete a single thought than it once took species to rise and fall on Earth...” 1 likes
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