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Manifold: Origin (Manifold #3)

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  1,914 ratings  ·  51 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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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
David H. Friedman
Unpleasant. Spuriously violent and gory. Bleak. Uninteresting Grand Concept. Quite a letdown after the first two novels in the trilogy, which were very good.
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
Peter Goodman

“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
Ninke Hermsen

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.
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.
N. Griffin-lloyd
Feb 02, 2010 N. Griffin-lloyd rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  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.
I liked the other two better. This one was interesting, but it lost me 3/4 of the way through.
First two of the series were awesome. This was junk.
not great at all... pretty stupid actually
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
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
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
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.
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)
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
Eric De vulpillières
Weakest of the three manifold book, ideas wise.
I really wish he'd done something with the story here. The setting is quite good but this feels rather lazy.
The Manifold Trilogy: Big Books, Big Ideas. Baxter explores three different concepts of the multiple-worlds hypothesis, all of them with interesting characters.

A long time to read, well-spent.
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.
Dane Riley
Everyone, I'm really sorry you are too simple-minded to enjoy this as much as the first two.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Travis Weir
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 !
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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
  • Phase Space
Manifold: Time (Manifold, #1) The Time Ships Manifold: Space Flood (Flood, #1) Ring (Xeelee Sequence, #4)

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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...” 0 likes
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