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(NASA Trilogy #2)

3.71  ·  Rating details ·  1,403 ratings  ·  74 reviews
2004 : les analyses de la sonde Cassini-Huygens sur la composition de la surface de Titan, l'une des lunes satellites de Saturne, révèlent que toutes les conditions atmosphériques et chimiques permettant l'existence d'une vie organique y sont rassemblées.
Motivée par les spectaculaires découvertes qui pourraient en découler, une équipe de la NASA met au point le projet d'u
Mass Market Paperback, Millénaires, 700 pages
Published January 9th 2001 by J'ai Lu (first published 1997)
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Shawn I didn't and still enjoyed the book... I am not sure the "first book" of the trilogy was published before I read this one...

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3.71  · 
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 ·  1,403 ratings  ·  74 reviews

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Nick T. Borrelli
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this one a lot but I usually enjoy Baxter's books. Titan is the second book in the NASA trilogy (Voyage being book 1 and Moonseed being book 3). A great story about finding signs of life on Saturn's largest moon Titan. We are treated to a bunch of fascinating science, which is per usual as Baxter likes to show his technical and scientific knowledge quite regularly in his writing. The entire trip to Titan was well done and then what happens once the team lands is worth the read in and o ...more
Lis Carey
Jan 12, 2011 rated it did not like it
Shelves: f-sf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 07, 2011 rated it did not like it
Flying to Saturn on chemical rockets...technically possible if you can find a crew willing to sit in a cramped cabin for 6 years or so, and Baxter does a good job of explaining just how it would get done. But even Baxter can't make it believable that we would actually go do it.

The single-election-cycle takeover of American society by a Taliban-esque religious right is lame. It's one-dimensional, lazy, ignorant and unbelievable. He gets important details of American government factually wrong, an
Peter Pier
Sep 07, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anybody interested in the future of life
Shelves: sf
Its... strange.
Youll have to read first. But it has something to learn from- and it teaches. About the endurance of life. Simply read.
Mar 03, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Baxter, I feel is a visionary, in the way that he builds his stories not in years or even centuries but the stories extends in eras and eons, astronomical timelines, at least the ones I have read including Evolution & Xeelee stories. While of course the writing is dry and made all the more drier by the hard science and technical details, it is those very scientific reference and details make such implausible plots seem possible, and concepts awe inspiring unlike some other grand space operas ...more
Paul McFadyen
Nov 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
Serious. Very serious. As plausible a book I've read about near-future space exploration, with a decent stab at second-guessing our species' behaviour on THIS planet over the next few years.

Whilst it's ultimately positive about mankind's ability to adapt to and occupy different environments (trying not to throw in any obvious spoilers here), it definitely takes some pretty blooming bleak routes to get there - this is not a book I'd recommend to anyone suffering any kind of existential crisis.

Baal Of
Hard science-fiction with an emphasis on highly detailed descriptions of launch capability, rockets, shuttles, procedures, life support systems, and a myriad of other things necessary to survive a prolong space flight. Many pages dedicated to dealing with shit and piss in space. Baxter might be a little bit obsessed. The good - a fairly plausible (with a few major exceptions) series of events leading to the sending of 5 astronauts on a 6 year trip to Titan - the launch occurs around 250 pages in ...more
Jan 22, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sf-f
I desperately want to give this book five stars: it has detailed accounts of how a manned trip to Saturn might take place in the present day, and how life on Titan might actually work day to day. All of this is done in a very readable format. However, there are some huge problems countering these.

1) The plan is to go to Titan and essentially set up a human colony there. So they send five people in a small rocket on a trip of several years. Obviously such a small space would send everyone on boar
Brent Werness
May 02, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is quite a book. Not only quite big at 580 pages but a big concept. In some ways it's like his earlier book 'Voyage', profiling a prospective trip to Mars with all its politics and logistical wrangling. Titan is similar. 2 thirds of the book are about dealings with NASA and the USAF, and then a mission profile to Titan is begun. Eventually we get there. And when Baxter takes us somewhere we really know about it! Good stuff.
M. Lawrence
May 05, 2014 rated it liked it
I'll go ahead and admit it right now: I skipped through most of the beginning of this book, finding the political intrigue on Earth tedious and boring. I wanted to get into the Titan stuff as fast as possible.

I'll give Baxter this: he's done his research, and I was continually impressed with his descriptions of a possible voyage to Titan and what landing and exploring this alien world might be like. Ultimately, I found myself feeling oppressed and a bit depressed by the futility of life on Tita
Neil Fein
Jun 05, 2009 rated it really liked it
This dystopian space tale was out of date shortly after it was published, but it's still a good story with an important message - space travel is bigger than short-term interests, and politics will always nuke expensive programs. The Apollo moon landings were a freak, needed to put the commies in their place, so to speak.

In the early 21st century, the dying days of the space program are in sight. The possibility of life is discovered on Titan, one of Saturns moons. A new NASA director gets the
Andy Mac
Dec 18, 2014 rated it it was ok
Reading this on the Kindle, I'm not sure how long it was, but it felt like it took a long time to get through. Part of that, though, was that some of this was pretty slow reading. There's a detailed, and pessimistic description of NASA going forward in here as well as very detailed space journeys. I like that, it's detail I like to see, but it also does make it harder (slower) to read.

Overall, the book definitely seemed pretty pessimistic, and that's ok, but then the ending jumped us into somet
Jul 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Great critique of the modern space program, as well as the modern attitude (politcal and intellectual) towards the hard sciences and engineering. So great that it really opens your eyes on certain things that Baxter argues are happening in this world right now.

Great concept, great story. Definitely a much broader epic than I was initially expecting when I picked this book up. However, the ending was a little strange and the book in its entirety seemed to drag at times. Great read though, defini
Aug 06, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: other-sf
A little too much pontification for my taste. The author basically uses this book as a vehicle for an extended anti-conservative, anti-Christian, anti-military rant.

If you are rabidly anti-conservative, anti-Christian, anti-military, and you enjoy reading such rants, maybe you will enjoy this. Otherwise, you probably won't.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
1.5 Stars
There was too much stupidity and not enough story. Way to many important details left out, and too much BS left in. The USA doesn't change anything as fast as in this book. Why does he hate the USAF anyway? Just craziness and laziness. He needs an editor with a firm red pencil.
Aug 12, 2008 rated it it was ok
It is a great book until the last chapter - whatever you do do not read the last chapter you will be extremely disappointed and that is why it gets two stars for a book worth 3 to 4 until then!
Jul 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
I felt a special affinity for this book. It was written in 1997 (the year of Cassini's launch) and Cassini's mission has a large part to play. Having worked on the Cassini mission at JPL, I could tell the author had been to JPL doing extensive research. His description of the facility and mission were spot-on. It was fun to read of his characters walking through the very building and floor where I was working at the time of the characters' visit. His descriptions of the results of the Cassini mi ...more
Dwayne Coleman
Perhaps overly bitter and cynical about the value of human spaceflight and the attitude of the American public. Not giving anything away, but the ending also seemed formulaic to me. Apparently, this book is part of a trilogy, and I've read the first two. I don't know if I'll read the the third book since the first two were mediocre at best.
Kay Smillie
Similar to the first in the trilogy, not Stephen Baxter at his best. A bit hard going at time and very much techy sci-fi. Oddly enough I recall reading Moon Seed many years ago and thoroughly enjoying it. Getting back to this novel, I thought it was a great ending, Baxter at his most imaginative.

Ray Smillie
Dorian D-W
Sep 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Enjoyable, but not one of Baxter's strongest. Bleak, even for Baxter's usual fare.
Apr 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A different timeline from the first book, but still an interesting read.
George Ruddell
Jan 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book over a long period. I covered the first 350 pages, set it aside and then cane back to it. It was well worth finishing. Some interesting twists at the end.
Sep 09, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
It was interesting reading this book 20 years after it was written and noting the differences between its version of alternate history and how time (as we understand it) has actually progressed since. The most important divergence of course is that humanity has yet to send a manned mission to Titan - or anywhere else in the Solar System for that matter. We haven't even been able to return to our closest neighbor, the Moon, and soon we'll be coming up on 60 years since the glory days of space exp ...more
Aug 13, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story is well-written:

It is the turn of the twenty-first century.

The United States is dysfunctional. “United” may once again be questioned as in 1860.

The nation turns inward, isolationist. Peacekeepers are recalled from the Balkans. The internet available to the public is filtered into practically nothing. The President is dismantling NASA; American isolationism is cosmic as well as terrestrial.

Agriculture is barely balanced atop the blade of a scythe as the surprise of widespread blight and
Doctor Moss
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Reading this book is a real experience. It’s not always comfortable — there are some very intense moments in the story, not everything goes well, and in fact some things go very, very bad. But to Baxter’s credit, the detail he provides, and the pacing of the story, make it real. Just be prepared.

Titan might be the most fascinating object in our solar system (besides Earth). It has a geography, it has rain, it has lakes, it has chemistry. Who knows what it has. And that’s what drew me to the book
Mikael Kuoppala
May 27, 2012 rated it liked it
Stephen Baxter's "Titan" is all about good ol' NASA space exploration and politics.

Everything starts in the year 2004, when NASA's Cassini probe detects indications of life on Titan. However, due to the anti-science atmosphere of USA's concervative and closed-minded politics, it is up to a couple of NASA's most brilliant minds to launch a low-cost mission to Titan for further investigation. In lead of those science enthusiasts is Paula Benacerraf, a middle aged NASA technician, astronaut and a g
Eric Means
Nov 30, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hard-sf, sci-fi
I read Stephen Baxter's short story Last Contact a few years ago on an acquaintance's suggestion and found it to be three things: scientifically interesting, well written, and the most depressing short story I'd ever read.

Titan follows in a similar mold: the science generally seems realistic (and he obviously did a lot of research into the US space program), the story is engaging and interesting (in fact, having reached the last ~80 pages I could not put the book down until I had finished it; it
Michael Bafford
Sep 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
I usually give a book 50 pages before I toss it away, but I was on a trip and had only this book along so it got 100 pages. I'm glad it did. Because while the first 100 pages are 'OK', that's not enough to keep me reading. There was too much politics for my taste, and jumping around the NASA world in a future very like our own.

Then, Bang! When the mission finally took off, the book took off and I still had well over 500 pages before me.

This is, maybe, 4 books in 1. Internally Baxter has divided
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While I was familiar with Baxter's super-realistic, mostly-science-with-a-hint-of-fiction style of writing before, this novel has struck me with its dirty, no-shiny-paper-wrapping naturalism.

It has basically enough technical details about rockets, life support systems and such, to even be called a pop-science book (enough even to bore a techno-geek such as myself!). But even though it shows the ruff reality of spaceflight, it still keeps the reader dreaming about space exploration.

What I also en
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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

Other books in the series

NASA Trilogy (3 books)
  • Voyage (NASA Trilogy, #1)
  • Moonseed (NASA Trilogy, #3)
“Jiang was not Han Chinese. She was a Turkic Uighur, a Muslim minority which emanated from the westernmost province of Xinjiang. Jiang’s family came from the desert capital Urumqi; her family had moved to Beijing when she was a child when Jiang’s father, a mid-ranking Party cadre, was posted to the Minorities Institute in the capital in the 1970s. Since her father was both an official and a Uighur, the family had been treated with a special deference reserved for select representatives of minority groups who served as symbols for the Party’s efforts to build ‘socialist solidarity’ between central China and the non-Han regions. In Beijing, Jiang had attended a special ‘experimental’ school reserved for the children of the Party élite.” 1 likes
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