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Biased and superficial Science Fiction reviews


Copyright 1998 by Stephen Baxter

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SOJALS rating:     
one SOJALS point one SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point no SOJALS point    Mediocre (2/5)

I first read this in April 2000 and most recently on the 28th January 2010

American Henry Meacher tries to save the Earth and his Scottish Girlfriend from a planet-eating nano-technology that has already destroyed Venus. But Henry - brighter than a brass button - spots that the moon is still holding together and decides a trip up there would be of use.

He's done it again. What starts off as a perfectly acceptable thriller about brilliant scientists discovering a global disaster metamorphoses into nostalgic remembrance of passing time. Either Stephen has an obsession about looking back or he just can't work out how to wind up a plot crisply. Max's (i.e. moi's) motto is of course "Never look back" (and as far as I know there's never been anything behind me worthy of attention). I would simply have had Henry whisk Jane out of Scotland and for them together to have whipped up some thingymijig to neutralize the Moonseed. I could have done that within 100 pages, without the great writing of course. However Stephen, bless his cotton socks, drags it on for 662 pages in my edition and still doesn't quite tie up all the plot strings. Have to be a bit careful here though - I was losing interest and stopped 20 pages from the end this time around.

So yes, it's great writing, great imagination, but there's a certain tautness missing.

One might say the same thing about the King Crimson's 'Moonseed' track on their classic and magnificent album "In the Court of the Crimson King". Moonseed, unlike all the other tracks, is similarly lacking in tautness, in my view.

Loaded on the 20th March 2022.
Cover of Moonseed

Reviews of other works by Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter:
The Light Of Other Days

Reviews of other works by Stephen Baxter:
Timelike Infinity
Vacuum Diagrmas