Filling in the gaps on Baxter's ambitious, almost audacious, 10-million-year timeline called the "Xeelee Sequence," Vacuum Diagrams is a collection of revised, previously published short stories that bridges together his popular novels set in this same "future history"--Raft, Timelike Infinity, Flux, and Ring. Baxter's universe is rotten with life, from strange tree-stump-like creatures with superfluid ice skeletons to dark matter "birds" to sentient beings composed of pure mathematics. And Baxter's reverence for life's beauty, for its voracious robustness, is hard to resist--especially when it comes to humanity and its tentative, eager rise. The cycling timeline follows humans as they come into their own as a star-faring race, from their first sporadic steps to their near dominance of the universe and beyond.
Vacuum Diagrams is a great introduction to Baxter for those unfamiliar with him and a good primer for the other "Xeelee Sequence" novels. If you already love Baxter or the other novels in the sequence, Vacuum Diagrams is certainly a safe bet. Besides, any book that sends you scurrying quizzically after your college physics text deserves a closer look. Check it out. --Paul Hughes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Another outstanding Baxter book - complex story with some very imaginative science. Hard sci-fi at its best. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Firdaus Janoos
Baxter is so gifted with his prose that he introduced me to perspectives I never imagined. This one will stay with me.Published 3 months ago by Truman Sparks
Especially the vacuum diagrams and tyranny of heaven short stories. I have the electronic and paperback versions, is how much I respect this book.Published 4 months ago by Ugochukwu Nwogwugwu
Not a good read. Flow was poor and forced. I would not suggest it unless you like short stories trying to be a novelPublished 4 months ago by Toni
I like the story's expansive time frame. It express a desire to overcome our self destructiveness and evolve to a higher plane of existence.Published 7 months ago by Spartalives
Never could understand what was going on in the book...just felt lost and nothing seemed to pull it together; hence I never finished the last 50 pages.Published 9 months ago by G. Michael Griffin
Any fan of hard scifi should take a look at Stephen Baxter. His stories are thought provoking and often based in scientific theory, the sense of wonderment I get from reading... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Pen Name
This is one of my all-time favorite books. Sadly, most of Baxter's other work pales in comparison and a lot of the original books this was based on are nearly out of print.Published 13 months ago by Eric Cox
About 3/4 the way through this collection of short stories, am very impressed with the galactic scale of the series that reminds me of when I read Asimov's "Foundation Trilogy"... Read morePublished 15 months ago by A Forest Fan