Cover to the first edition
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
|LC Class||PR6052.A849 M34 2002|
|Preceded by||Manifold: Space|
|Followed by||Phase Space|
Manifold: Origin (2001) is a science fiction novel by British author Stephen Baxter, the third instalment in the Manifold Trilogy. As with the other books, the protagonist Reid Malenfant is put through a scenario dealing with the Fermi paradox. Each novel is an alternative scenario rather than a chronological sequel, and does not occur in the same universe. Manifold: Origin explores primate evolution to create an explanation for our lack of contact with other intelligent species.
The scenario begins when a portal appears in the sky and transports a select few individuals including Malenfant's wife to a new red moon which has appeared in place of the moon we know. Blaming himself, Malenfant launches a mission to find his wife and solve the Fermi Paradox once and for all.
Jeff Zaleski was mixed in his review for Publishers Weekly saying that "a variety of characters speculate on the simpler aspects of Darwinian theory, but somewhat disappointingly they all reach the same conclusion. Gratuitous violence from time to time offers relief from the challenge of keeping straight the host of loosely related story lines. Baxter fans should be well satisfied, but those who prefer more thought-provoking SF will need to look elsewhere." Roland Green in his review for Booklist was much more positive saying "Baxter uses many more characters and viewpoint shifts than Arthur C. Clarke in support of a theme that recalls Clarke's classic Childhood's End (1953). He also details survival in primitive societies unsparingly; as a result, much of the book is not for the weak of stomach. Lovers of intelligent variations on classic sf themes, however, will embrace this worthy successor to Manifold: Time (2000) and Manifold: Space (2001)."
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