Xeelee Sequence

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The Xeelee Sequence is a series of hard science fiction space opera novels, novellas and short stories by British science fiction author Stephen Baxter. The novels span several billion years, describing the future expansion of humanity, its war with its nemesis (an alien Type IV civilization[1]) called the Xeelee, and the Xeelee's own war with dark matter entities called Photino Birds. Other important Xeelee Sequence species include the Qax, the Squeem, and the Silver Ghosts. Several novels also deal with humans and posthumans living in extreme conditions, such as the heart of a neutron star (Flux) or a universe with considerably stronger gravity (Raft).

Baxter's Destiny's Children series is part of the Xeelee Sequence.

The novels, in chronological order (not publication order) are:

Title Year Published Year in Story Notes
Coalescent 2003 AD 476-2005 Part 1 of Destiny's Children. Arthur C. Clarke Award nominee, 2004[2]
Transcendent 2005 AD 2047 Part 3 of Destiny's Children. World of Michael Poole.
John W. Campbell Memorial Award nominee, 2006[3]
Timelike Infinity 1992 AD 3717
Ring 1994 AD 3951 before Great Northern launches
Exultant 2005 AD 24973 Part 2 of Destiny's Children.
Raft 1991 AD 104,858 Arthur C. Clarke Award nominee, 1992[4]
Flux 1993 AD 193,700
Transcendent 2005 AD 500,000 Part 3 of Destiny's Children. World of Alia.
Ring 1994 AD 5,000,000 after Great Northern returns

The novellas and short stories are collected in:

Title Year Published Year in Story Notes
Vacuum Diagrams 1997
Resplendent 2006
Xeelee: Endurance 2015

In 2009, Baxter posted a detailed chronology of the Xeelee Sequence explaining the proper chronological reading order of all the novels, novellas, and short stories up to that year. The timeline was updated in September 2015.[5]

When asked directly for a suggested reading order, the author wrote: "I hope that all the books and indeed the stories can be read stand-alone. I’m not a great fan of books that end with cliff-hangers. So you could go in anywhere. One way would be to start with ‘Vacuum Diagrams’, a collection that sets out the overall story of the universe. Then ‘Timelike Infinity’ and ‘Ring’ which tell the story of Michael Poole, then ‘Raft’ and ‘Flux’ which are really incidents against the wider background, and finally ‘Destiny’s Children.’"[6]

An omnibus edition of the first four Xeelee novels; Raft, Timelike Infinity, Flux and Ring, was released in January 2010.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "TVtropes.org - Abusing the Kardashev Scale for Fun and Profit". 
  2. ^ "2004 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 3 August 2009. 
  3. ^ "2006 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 3 August 2009. 
  4. ^ "1992 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 3 August 2009. 
  5. ^ http://www.stephen-baxter.com/articles.html#xeelee
  6. ^ http://www.themanifold.co.uk/interview.php
  7. ^ "Books". Stephen Baxter. Retrieved 1 March 2012. 

External links[edit]