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Flux (Xeelee Sequence #3)

3.62  ·  Rating Details  ·  863 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Star Humans are microscopic, but their hopes and fears, and loves, are not. And the future of humans everywhere, on Earth and among the stars, depends on their courage in the face of attack by the mighty Xeelee, owners of the Universe.

A novel of the Xeelee Sequence from the acknowledged heir to the visionary legacy of Clarke and Wells, heralding a new Golden Age in scienc

Hardcover, 366 pages
Published December 6th 1993 by Collins (first published 1993)
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(showing 1-30 of 1,734)
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Jan 30, 2014 Apatt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I try to read most books without reading the synopsis first, it is more fun discovering the story that way, but for Stephen Baxter’s books this never work out. Baxter has an immense imagination backed by a profound knowledge of science. He is also quite a good storyteller, definitely an ideal combo for writing hard sci-fi… but! I suspect he may find it difficult to conceive how little the layman understand scientific principles that he takes for granted. I imagine he hasn’t been a layman since t ...more
Jan 08, 2011 Kane rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to like this book, I really did. But I didn't. It's certainly not because I don't enjoy hard sf. Far from it. The first two in Baxter's Xeelee sequence, while far from literary triumphs, at least kept my attention and were fun to read. I have to admit that after 160 pages of Flux, I was forced to do something I never do: skim through sections until I hit some meat, which was much closer to the end of the story than I would have liked. I didn't care about any of the storylines except one ...more
Feb 03, 2015 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: e-books, read-2015
3 Stars

Flux by Stephen Baxter, Book 3 in the Xeelee sequence, did not live up to the first two novels. I made a huge mistake in that I should have never moved on to this book after immediately having read Timelike Infinity. I absolutely loved that book and was thrilled with the hard science, deep philosophy, and great characters. With such an emotional impact, I should have waited a bit to move on to this book. I am giving this read 3 stars only because the world building is that good.

It is sad
Esteban LV
Jan 06, 2016 Esteban LV rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ugh! Even worse than "Raft"!

Well, it's not that they're bad novels per se, it's just that they're so... parroquial. They're absolutely not space operas, but small stories of a small group of ignorant people on a remote corner of the universe. That universe happens to be the same as "Timelike Infinity", so I read them just because of that, but if you're planning to read the Xeelee saga, you can skip Raft and Flux and have a better time sleeping.

Disappointing, lame, boring. The characters react un
Jan 11, 2012 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible. Life inside the mantle of a star, where breathable "Air" is actually more nearly a liquid than a gas with a density nearly identical to a human body, where "humans" essentially swim instead of walk. In addition to the hard science fiction aspects, I really enjoyed the contrast between the primitive but wise outsiders with the cultured but ignorant people of the city.

I've enjoyed Baxter's novels, but this was the best so far. The climax kept pushing until the end, and the story had so
Jun 14, 2014 Arnab rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Here's a memorable quote from the book -

"Painfully slow,..." There. Yes. That's a quote. From the book. I'm not gonna give the context, since I think it is never out of place in the ENTIRE book, the storyline being good for about 1/5th or even 1/10th of its size.

And the science. It is all off. Flux lines! Flux lines can't hit you! They are not discrete as implied in the story multiple times. Smelling photons. Impossible because it depends on a faster than light physiology. Not to mention instant
Mar 01, 2015 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved the concept of this book, I loved the world and the "humans" in it and the feeling of a deep strangeness, of reading about a totally alien culture, at first without being aware of it. But it was so tiring! I know a little bit about quantum physics and possible ways of space travel and this was not the first example of excellent and well-researched science fiction I read. But I'm not a physicist, I don't have the energy to read every page of a book about 10 times until I finally understan ...more
Michael O'Donnell
Aug 13, 2015 Michael O'Donnell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Dura woke with a start. There was something wrong. The photons didn’t smell right.”

Any story which begins like that can’t help but pique one’s interest and draw you in, and this is just what Flux does.

The third novel in Stephen Baxter’s Xeelee sequence is set inside a neutron star and follows microscopic Human Being, Dura, on a journey from the boondocks of the star’s mantle, downflux to the city of Parz, near the south pole. On arrival in Parz, Dura must survive ‘Glitches’ in the star’s magnet
If you enjoyed Hot house by Brian Aldis or Dragon's Egg by Robert Forward, you should enjoy thus too. Set in the far future, it's about a race of people genetically engineered to survive in a neutron star. They think of themselves as human even though everything is different, their body chemistry is based on tin, not carbon. They smell photons and see by echo location, and they are very, very small. They live in an inverted world inside a star, the crust where plants grow is above, the quantum s ...more
Jose Solis
Feb 13, 2015 Jose Solis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-sf
Me gustó mucho mas esta novela que las dos anteriores de la serie (Raft, Timelike Infinity). La premisa es intrigante: una comunidad de seres humanos viviendo dentro de una estrella de neutrones. Por supuesto, la historia lleva relación con el tema mas amplio de los enigmáticos Xelee y sus mega proyectos galácticos... Muy recomendable.
Roddy Williams
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Promising but, disappointing: The most striking thing about this novel is the setting. The events take place within a thin layer just below the surface of a neutron star.

Somehow, life is possible within this environment and the main characters are a tiny race of beings created by humans to be able to live in the environment.

Within this world, the author creates a preindustrial society whose attitudes bear an odd resemblance to those on the planet Norfolk in Peter Hamilton's "Night's Dawn" series

Sep 20, 2013 Ardee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Innovative projection of the future of humanity, but kind of a mish mash as a novel. The characters are so-so, the real focus of the book is that they're microscopic, and genetically engineered to live in an unnatural environment. Once that idea is spelled out, it's mainly the interaction of the characters to keep you involved, and Baxter isn't that great at dialog or interpersonal development. You really don't care about any of the characters, their emotions are so repressed. When you finally g ...more
Wynand Schoonbee
I did not enjoy Flux nearly as much as Timelike Infinity. It eventually started dragging in the middle making me want to skim to more intresting parts, but I persevered to the end. Let's hope the next book in the Xeelee series (Ring) is more engaging.

Perhaps it's because I've read neutron star science fiction (notably the novels Dragons Egg & it's sequel Star Quake by Robert L. Forward), and the contrast in the world building and hard science fiction in those novels are markedly superior to
Jul 22, 2014 Todd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Yes, there are some very questionable "scientific" ideas in this book, but then again, any sufficiently advanced technology would seem like magic to us, yadda yadda yadda. :) Ignoring that to a certain extent, this was a fascinating idea told with all of Baxter's usual flair.
Apr 12, 2014 Tfitoby rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
The third book in Stephen Baxter's Xeelee sequence is his most straight forward and entertaining book of the three so far. Gone is the overwhelming physics info dumps, replaced with an Asimov-esque adventure tale, a story of a culture clash and the exploration of similar themes to the effect of the Empire in Asimov's universe.
Chris Hinchley
Jul 01, 2015 Chris Hinchley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm spending 2015 slowly re-reading Baxter's earlier stuff for a second time around - maybe as an antidote of hard, mind-spinning SF to his Long Earth whimsies. This is stronger and stranger than I remember, and the first time around was petty good!
Kieren Bonner
Jan 31, 2015 Kieren Bonner rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i really enjoyed this book i have been working through the entire xeelee sequence and this book really helped me grasp a deeper understanding of the universe that stephen baxter has built.
Lee Belbin
About a 200m spherical world inhabited by 'humans'. Some 'steam punk' aspects. The usual comparisons of 'modern' vs tribal worlds. Easily put down.
Apr 27, 2014 Misanthropist rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read as part of the Xeelee, an omnibus volume. Review in Spanish:
Rob Katovcic
Not as gripping as the previous two in the series.
May 08, 2016 Vít rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Druhý díl Xeelee je opět výborná hard SF a Stephen Baxter mě tentokrát dostal snad ještě více než ve Voru. Člověk až žasne, s čím dokáže přijít - a přitom všechno naprosto věrohodně popíše a vysvětlí, aniž by příběh ztrácel napětí a čtivost. Mikroskopičtí lidé, prohánějící se obalem neutronové hvězdy v autech poháněných prasečími prdy, no uznejte sami, není to okouzlující?
David Ramirer
Jul 16, 2013 David Ramirer rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: early-readings
stephen baxter kann wirklich gute science fiction schreiben, das hat er in etlichen büchern eindrucksvoll unter beweis gestellt. hier allerdings hat er danebengetroffen und ein restlos aufgeblasenes miniaturuniversum geschaffen. die story könnte verlustfrei auf die hälfte entdampft werden und wäre immer noch langweilig. schade: das lesen dieses buches war zeitverschwendung.
Mar 26, 2011 Andreas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As he did in Raft, Baxter plays with an idea in this novel. Heavily modified humans have colonized the mantle of a neutron star. The micro story taking up most of the novel is rather pedestrian, but the setting is magnificent. The macro story is about the fulfillment of a long lost purpose. Fun idea but not such a fun read.
Lord Humungus
May 14, 2010 Lord Humungus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Probably my favorite book in the Xeelee/Ring Cycle, and one of my favorite Baxter books. Incredibly imagined with a showstopper ending (at least for me). I didn't know it was part of the sequence when I read it and this made it all the more unusual. The only reason Time Ships gets more stars is because Time Ships was also incredibly fun and entertaining.
Sep 10, 2012 Joe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Started to read this book (the 3rd in Baxter's Xeelee Sequence), but it was, even for me, a little too "out there" and after a couple of chapters, it really just wasn't working, so I set it aside and moved onto the next book (Ring).
Sep 12, 2007 Mikel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi
This was my first Stephen Baxter book. It took a while to understand his style but once I did, WOW. For hard core scifi readers I highly recommend this book.
Kristin Lundgren
I'd been looking for this one for a long tiem - part of the Xeelee sequence. It's about tiny "humans" who have adapted to live in the heart of a neutron star.
Aug 07, 2011 Scott rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
An entertaining read about a race of human-made mini humans who live within a star. Nothing ingenious or incredible but a good read for a vacation.
Aug 22, 2014 Stephen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great mental workout but a rather unsatisfying ending. Hopefully Ring will sort out the rest.
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What's The Name o...: Young Woman lives in a Neutron Star [s] 4 27 Oct 19, 2011 02:13PM  
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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

Xeelee Sequence (1 - 10 of 15 books)
  • Raft (Xelee Sequence, #1)
  • Timelike Infinity (Xelee Sequence, #2)
  • Ring (Xeelee Sequence, #4)
  • Vacuum Diagrams (Xeelee Sequence, #5)
  • Making History & Reality Dust (Xelee Sequence, #6)
  • Riding the Rock (Xelee Sequence, #7)
  • Mayflower II
  • Coalescent (Destiny's Children, #1)
  • Exultant (Destiny's Children, #2)
  • Transcendent (Destiny's Children, #3)

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