Coalescent

Coalescent[Download] ✤ Coalescent ➸ Stephen Baxter – Bluevapours.co.uk When his father dies suddenly, George Poole stumbles onto a family secret He has a twin sister he never knew existed, who was raised by an enigmatic cult called the Order The Order is a hive a human h When his father dies suddenly, George Poole stumbles onto a family secret He has a twin sister he never knew existed, who was raised by an enigmatic cult called the Order The Order is a hive a human hive with a dominant queen that has prospered below the streets of Rome for almost two millennia After Poole enters the Order s vast underground city and meets the disturbing inhabitants, he uncovers evidence that they have embarked on a divergent evolutionary path These genetically superior humans are equipped with the tools necessary to render modern Homo sapiens as extinct as the Neanderthals And now they are preparing to leave their underground realm.

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 Year he also won the John W Campbell Award and the Philip K Dick Award for his novel The Time Ships He is currently working on his next novel, a collaboration with Sir Arthur C Clarke Mr Baxter lives in Prestwood, England.

Paperback  ¾ Coalescent PDF ✓
    Paperback ¾ Coalescent PDF ✓ evidence that they have embarked on a divergent evolutionary path These genetically superior humans are equipped with the tools necessary to render modern Homo sapiens as extinct as the Neanderthals And now they are preparing to leave their underground realm."/>
  • Paperback
  • 527 pages
  • Coalescent
  • Stephen Baxter
  • English
  • 09 November 2017
  • 0345457862

10 thoughts on “Coalescent

  1. Bradley says:

    Sometimes I think Baxter is a hit or miss kind of author, thinking he goes over the same ground in rather interesting new ways, but when I think about it His George Poole characters are all rather DIFFERENT Yes, yes, George Poole is here, again, but the kind of story told isn t spanning the world or the galaxy or all of time this time Rather, we ve got a rather cool Roman historical romance of a kind that brings together old English history and the Celts in rather awesome ways while Sometimes I think Baxter is a hit or miss kind of author, thinking he goes over the same ground in rather interesting new ways, but when I think about it His George Poole characters are all rather DIFFERENT Yes, yes, George Poole is here, again, but the kind of story told isn t spanning the world or the galaxy or all of time this time Rather, we ve got a rather cool Roman historical romance of a kind that brings together old English history and the Celts in rather awesome ways while jumping back to the current time in a cool family history mystery.I was frankly entertained Both sides of history and later on, a future history, were fascinating and thrilling and reminded me at times of Greg Bear s Darwin s Radio, a historical drama, and a first contact SF All three are wonderful and at some moments I was reminded of Poul Anderson s The Boat of a Million Years That s high praise I m into this enough that I have to jump on the second book right away After all, we re talking about a full transformation of humanity into a HIVE MIND Yay It s what I asked Santa for Christmas

  2. Nick Borrelli says:

    Full review forthcoming

  3. Palmyrah says:

    A very bad book, but it did keep me reading all the way to the end As to why, later.The construction of Coalescent is a sloppy mess Essentially there are two narrative streams told in alternate chapters One is set in the present day c.2000 and one begins in fourth century Britain soon after Constantine left it to go purple hunting in Rome, taking most of the Roman garrison with him and leaving the island wide open to plunder by the Saxons.This Roman stream is told in the third person Mos A very bad book, but it did keep me reading all the way to the end As to why, later.The construction of Coalescent is a sloppy mess Essentially there are two narrative streams told in alternate chapters One is set in the present day c.2000 and one begins in fourth century Britain soon after Constantine left it to go purple hunting in Rome, taking most of the Roman garrison with him and leaving the island wide open to plunder by the Saxons.This Roman stream is told in the third person Most of it concerns the life of a young Roman Briton called Regina, who goes to rather far fetched lengths to ensure the preservation for all time of her family Except that after a while we leave Regina behind and go tripping lightly forward through the centuries till we reach the Victorian era Not very elegant, nor very easy to follow.The present day stream mostly stays in the present day, but evenconfusingly than the Roman stream, it begins as a first person narrative, suddenly slips into the third person to cover events the narrator could not possibly have experienced, then cheekily slides back into the first person And then, to make matters worse, in the last three chapters of that stream, the narrative suddenly leaps forward twenty thousand years into the future, springs back to the present day and jumps forward yet again.Cripes Couldn t the guy have found a less clumsy way to tell his story An epistolary frame, or a nested Thousand and One Nights style narrative could easily have done the trick Or can t Baxter write at all, without Arthur C Clarke around to hold his hand And then there are all these strange lights in the sky, in Roman times and modern, which are clearly vital to the action but which we are never really told anything about Obviously we ve got to buy Part II, or maybe Part III, to find out what they re all about I call that a rip off Stephen Baxter is no Gene Wolfe his story ideas and literary skills aren t nearly of a calibre deserving of such trust from his readers This blatant and cheap sales ploy really made me angry, and is why this book only gets one star from me instead of two.These days, a lot of commercial SF such as the works of Alastair Reynolds are targeted at a juvenile audience, and are none the worse for that Baxter is clearly aiming at adults, but his book is far less acceptable in terms of quality than anything Reynolds and I am not a fan of his has done I shan t be wasting my time with any subsequent volumes of this tale.I did say it kept me reading That s because I soon came to detest one of the principal characters so much I just had to see him her it get his her its comeuppance Guess what He she it didn t.Thank the Powers I borrowed this from a library If I d paid good money for it, I d be kicking myself.Oh, and did I mention that the filth and decay of civilization throughout the Roman stream was so endlessly overdone and harped upon it actually did nauseate me

  4. Bob(by) says:

    Some lady who hangs out with King Arthur goes into hiding and creates an insect like hive society Some modern day dude happens upon it Hijinks ensue.

  5. Daniel Roy says:

    Let s be upfront about it Coalescent is not a book for everyone It alienates Baxter fans who are used to distant future high concept space opera, and it alienates casual fans who might pick this up as a historical novel Essentially, it pleases neither crowd So, is it worth reading Absolutely, but you better be patient.The story starts at the Fall of the Roman Empire, and follows a young British Roman woman named Regina as her world falls apart around her The majority of the novel focuses o Let s be upfront about it Coalescent is not a book for everyone It alienates Baxter fans who are used to distant future high concept space opera, and it alienates casual fans who might pick this up as a historical novel Essentially, it pleases neither crowd So, is it worth reading Absolutely, but you better be patient.The story starts at the Fall of the Roman Empire, and follows a young British Roman woman named Regina as her world falls apart around her The majority of the novel focuses on Regina s trials, as she escapes war torn Britain and ends up in Rome by way of Avalon More on this in a moment In parallel with this, we follow the actions of a mild mannered British man, a descendant of Regina, who discovers he has a long lost twin sister secluded in an Italian religious order.If this doesn t sound like exciting SF, well, that s because it ain t The story of Regina is somewhat interesting, but a lot of time is spent by Baxter showing us how much historical research he put into making this a geniune historical novel There s a somewhat interesting segue to the story as Regina joins King Arthur s court, becoming the historical inspiration for Morgan by virtue of being Merlin s rival however, it serves no real purpose except being clever, and actually detracts from the goals of Regina s story arc, which is to provide a historically believeable context to the founding of the Order.The modern storyline, following a descendant of Regina as he comes to grip with the existence of a long lost twin, also unfortunately feels like filler This is mostly because the main character, mild mannered, middle aged George Poole, is not that interesting at all Fortunately, his eccentric and paranoid geek friend, Peter McLachlan, provides for tasty SF ideas such as galactic scale weapons and Dark Matter starships These moments are few and far between, but they provide a hint as to the greatness that is to come.If you manage to get through the dreary start, things suddenly kick into overdrive Regina gets to Rome, and founds a secretive Order that still exists centuries later George Poole, in modern times, discovers the ramifications of the Order as he finds his lost sister That s when things get really crazy, and we finally understand where Baxter was going all along.I m not gonna spoil it for you I had the pleasure of reading this novel without forewarning, and I suggest you do the same Suffice to say that the point of Coalescent is to provide a deep reflection on the nature of human society, and in this aspect, itthan delivers If this kind of payoff seems appealing to you regardless of the obstacles I described previously, then go ahead and pick up Coalescent.In the end, Coalescent returns to solid SF grounds, and the perspective is dizzying and highly satisfying As a book of Big Ideas, Coalescent works perfectly, and is well worth the time investment It s a book that rewards patience, in spades.Coalescent is technically the first of a trilogy called Destiny s Children The novel was strong enough to make me pick up the sequel, Exultant, but I must warn you that the sequel is nowhere near the level of Coalescent Yes, passing references are made to it in the sequel novel, but they amount to a poor novel paying hommage to a much superior one, and you won t miss anything by skipping Exultant Do yourself a favor and consider Coalescent a stand alone story

  6. Daniel says:

    I really enjoyed book one of the Destiny s Children series The format of alternating between present day and 300 A.C.E Rome was an interesting way bring all the events of the story together It also made me question our human perception of time as a thing to be experienced as linear By alternating each chapter between the present and ancient times events, I was able to think of the events in time as if they were happening concurrently as opposed to hundreds of years apart I m not sure if thi I really enjoyed book one of the Destiny s Children series The format of alternating between present day and 300 A.C.E Rome was an interesting way bring all the events of the story together It also made me question our human perception of time as a thing to be experienced as linear By alternating each chapter between the present and ancient times events, I was able to think of the events in time as if they were happening concurrently as opposed to hundreds of years apart I m not sure if this was Baxter s intent, but it is one thing I took out of this book The story was really interesting In Coalescent Baxter spends a lot of time building up the events taking place on Earth that set up the future of the series as mankind eventually spreads out into the galaxy A glimpse into that future won t happen until the final couple of chapters of Coalescent You may find yourself wondering how this book qualifies as Sci Fi as you read through the first 90 percent of it Just wait

  7. Peter Walton-Jones says:

    Once again I have been drawn into a series of stories where the first part has left me uncertain as to whether I really wantScience Fiction at its best challenges our view of people history, the future, technology, religion, power, politics, culture, etc This is a fairly good story with some interesting ideas about evolution and genetics It spans across time from the days of Arthur to today and hints of the future The genetic mutation people mimicking hiving insects as a survival m Once again I have been drawn into a series of stories where the first part has left me uncertain as to whether I really wantScience Fiction at its best challenges our view of people history, the future, technology, religion, power, politics, culture, etc This is a fairly good story with some interesting ideas about evolution and genetics It spans across time from the days of Arthur to today and hints of the future The genetic mutation people mimicking hiving insects as a survival mechanism , the Kuiper Anomaly in space, the mysterious dark matter are interesting themes, but the book is generally too long and repetitive the narrative sometimes grinds out without really adding very much overall I guess I will be taking on part 2however I do not feel I must

  8. Faith Justice says:

    First of all, the back cover info is a trifle misleading, which is a shame because the real story is just as good and absorbing as the cover hype The book weaves together three narratives George Poole s first person mystery as he searches for his lost sister the historical fiction 5th Century exploits of one of his ancestors Regina, who lives through the fall of the Roman Empire in Britain, moves to Rome, and founds the Order and the modern SF story of Lucia, one of the members of the Order First of all, the back cover info is a trifle misleading, which is a shame because the real story is just as good and absorbing as the cover hype The book weaves together three narratives George Poole s first person mystery as he searches for his lost sister the historical fiction 5th Century exploits of one of his ancestors Regina, who lives through the fall of the Roman Empire in Britain, moves to Rome, and founds the Order and the modern SF story of Lucia, one of the members of the Order Of the three, I found George s story to be the weakest He is basically a foil for introducing the other two and a stand in for the reader someone to whom things can be explained rather than an active agent As the book progressed I actually became a little impatient with the George story and always looked forward to the next installments of Regina and Lucia.The book is a fascinating meld of science fiction and historical fiction Baxter does a great job showing how the withdrawal of Rome from Britain resulted in the rapid decline of cities, withering of trade, decline of population and the loss of education and skills in other words, the rapid onset of the Dark Ages in just a couple of generations King Arthur makes an appearance as two different characters that are frequently cited as sources for the legend as well as Merlin Baxter also does a credible job of creating the Order, giving it a sound basis in science and biology, and evolving it through 1500 years to the semblance of a hive Although there is no dominant queen and they don t plan an invasion of the rest of earth, as trumpeted in the back matter.I do have a nit to pick Baxter has a penchant for punning names In another book I reviewed, his rogue protagonist was Malenfant bad child in French In this one, the founding mother of the Order is Regina queen He also named some secondary characters after historical figures that lived in those times The fictional ones had nothing to do with the historical characters, so I found it jarring whenever they appeared There are plenty of names that don t carry any associations, which could have easily been used Naming is a tricky thing and there is nothing wrong with using a name to reinforce a character, but if it pulls the reader out of the story, it s a distraction.To summarize, I enjoyed the book The writing is straight forward, the characters interesting, the plot unique Baxter is a deep thinker who sprinkles his narrative with discussions of social behavior, philosophy, morals, and science I d recommend this book to both the SF and HF communities

  9. Heather says:

    The back cover text led me to believe that this was a very different flavor of book than it turned out to be Almost the entirety of that supposed teaser applies not to the entire book, but to the end of the book That s right instead of providing the premise, they provide the climax and some of that description is actually incorrect Also, the text presents an impression of a book that is heavily sci fi and suspenseful, which simply isn t the case The majority of the book is a combination of The back cover text led me to believe that this was a very different flavor of book than it turned out to be Almost the entirety of that supposed teaser applies not to the entire book, but to the end of the book That s right instead of providing the premise, they provide the climax and some of that description is actually incorrect Also, the text presents an impression of a book that is heavily sci fi and suspenseful, which simply isn t the case The majority of the book is a combination of George slowly tracking down his sister in parallel with the Order s origin story in ancient Rome Which means that most of the book is actually a historical with no sci fi content whatsoever There s also virtually no suspense to the pacing it s a slow unfolding of history, location, and plot, with a gradual, immersive pacing and a great deal of information to impart.Here s the really frustrating part of that it s a good book Despite the fact that historicals aren t my thing, I m not fond of didactic books that spend whole pages on geography and history lessons, and I was really looking forward to the SF suspense book that I thought I was getting, it totally hooked me in I loved it.The characterization is interesting Regina is the star of the show her drive to survive, and some of the things she does in order to do so, are fascinating Note that there s some dark material in here the sacking of places by invaders is rarely anything but horrific I also appreciated the use of Lucia, a member of the Order who doesn t entirely fit in, as a means to explore the modern day Order.The slow unfolding of both stories engaged me despite the fact that I d really wanted a suspenseful novel and don t normally read historicals I found some of the epilogue material, which jumps ahead very far in time, confusing, but that didn t ruin the rest of the book for me I just hope that my review allows you to decide whether you d enjoy the book based on the actual content.Visit my site for a longer review including premise

  10. Dan says:

    I always find I enjoy Stephen Baxter s booksthan most people seem to This one is very different from his other work but I loved it all the same Usually Baxter has a decent concept which he then builds a story around This one is slightly different in that the story sets up the concept, rather than the other way around The main story focuses on Regina, a young girl living in Britain as the Roman Empire begins to crumble We see the story of her whole life as her life of luxury soon turns I always find I enjoy Stephen Baxter s booksthan most people seem to This one is very different from his other work but I loved it all the same Usually Baxter has a decent concept which he then builds a story around This one is slightly different in that the story sets up the concept, rather than the other way around The main story focuses on Regina, a young girl living in Britain as the Roman Empire begins to crumble We see the story of her whole life as her life of luxury soon turns into a battle for survival as they travels across Britain, a country swiftly heading into the dark ages, and eventually makes her way to Rome It s very character driven, something which is unusual for Baxter There was obviously a lot of research involved here as post Roman Britain feels very real and there s a real sense of doom as civilisation literally falls apart Regina is a character created by her circumstances, turning from a spoilt child to a woman who will do anything to keep her family going We have alternate chapters set in the contemporary world, although these are considerably shorter George Poole is something of a loser and he returns home to deal with the death of his father Whilst sorting through his house he discovers he had a long lost sister and eventually decides to find her All he knows it that she is part of the ancient religious Order But just what is the Order and what is it for This is the big concept part of the book that is not really revealed until the final quarter of the book Essentially its an entirely different way for a human society to run It s difficult to give this a genre If a story is theoretically possible apart from a few minor details is it still science fiction There s no time travel or aliens well they are mentioned but not really part of the story or impossible gadgets or space travel or anything we d associate with science fiction I almost think this is its own genre, a sort of natural science fiction Anyway, I really enjoyed this A wonderful and disturbing concept housed with a great historical story to set it up Unique and brilliant

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