Evolution

Evolution

3.94 (2,276 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Stretching from the distant past into the remote future, from primordial Earth to the stars, Evolution is a soaring symphony of struggle, extinction, and survival; a dazzling epic that combines a dozen scientific disciplines and a cast of unforgettable characters to convey the grand drama of evolution in all its awesome majesty and rigorous beauty. Sixty-five million years ago, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, there lived a small mammal, a proto-primate of the species Purgatorius. From this humble beginning, Baxter traces the human lineage forward through time. The adventure that unfolds is a gripping odyssey governed by chance and competition, a perilous journey to an uncertain destination along a route beset by sudden and catastrophic upheavals. It is a route that ends, for most species, in stagnation or extinction. Why should humanity escape this fate?show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 645 pages
  • 106.68 x 175.26 x 30.48mm | 340.19g
  • Random House Publishing Group
  • Del Rey Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0345457838
  • 9780345457837
  • 201,530

About Stephen Baxter

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 coauthor (with Sir Arthur C. Clarke) of Time's Eye, the first of two SF novels linked to Clarke's bestselling Space Odyssey series.show more

Review quote

Spectacular . . . What is astonishing is how . . . entertaining as well as informative this book an episodic novel with evolution as its protagonist manages to be. The New York Times Book Review MAGISTERIAL AND UPLIFTING . . . A brilliant, grand-scale sampling of sixty-five million years of human evolution . . . It shows the sweep and grandeur of life in its unrelenting course. The Denver Post Strong imagination, a capacity for awe, and the ability to think rigorously about vast and final things abound in the work of Stephen Baxter. . . . [Evolution] leaves the reader with a haunting portrayal of the distant future. Times Literary Supplement A BREATH OF FRESH AIR . . . The miracle of Evolution is that it makes the triumph of life, which is its story, sound like the real story. The Washington Post Book World A work of outrageous ambition. Baxter s goal is nothing less than to dramatize the grand sweep of primate development. . . . Evolution is a cautionary tale, warning of the dire consequences to contemporary humans if we persist in behavior that threatens the survival of our ecosystem. The New York Times Book Review Baxter s depictions are brilliant, with some inspired conjectures to spice up events. . . . I highly recommend Evolution. . . . [It] provide[s] food for thought, confronts our notions of what it means to be human, and gives warning that nothing can be taken for granted in the ongoing struggle for survival. scifi dimensions Baxter chronicles the epic survival of the mammalian family that ultimately ended up with us. . . . The sheer timescale makes a great story that is panoramic in extent. I felt I was watching Walking with Beasts rolled into The Human Journey. Baxter s ability to turn science into exciting and readable fiction makes him one of the most accessible SF writers around. The Times (London) The overall narrative [is] a big, thick, geophysical stick upside the head to remind us all that things can change, at any moment, for any reason. The San Diego Union-Tribune I recommend this novel to anyone who appreciates novels that take chances. . . . Baxter is not shy about painting big pictures about big ideas. . . . [He] painstakingly moves us from the shrewlike creatures that coexisted with the dinosaurs through the walking, tool-using hominids of Africa, through Neanderthals, through humans, to an entirely speculative future that is beyond brief description. sfrevu.com A powerful fusion of science and imagination . . . Baxter makes an impressive job of putting flesh on to the bones of the scientific theory and in its imaginative vision Evolution deserves comparison with SF epics such as Olaf Stapledon s Last and First Men or Alfred Doblin s Mountains, Seas, and Giants. Baxter leaves you with a memorable yet unsettling sense of our insignificance in the scheme of things. In the story of evolution, as in all good thrillers, an extinction event is always lurking just around the corner. The Guardian (London) A tour-de-force . . . A sprawling, ambitious chronicle spanning millennia . . . The account of the Cretaceous-Tertiary extinction and the rise of mammals as the dominant life-form is particularly fascinating. . . . Similarly well crafted is Baxter s projection of a posthuman future. Booklist Taking a page from SF saga writers like Kim Stanley Robinson and Brian Stableford, British author Baxter portrays humanity s origins, growth, and ultimate disappearance in a loose-knit series of brutal vignettes spanning millions of years of evolution. . . . The book rises above its fragmented narrative . . . to reach a grim and stoic grandeur, which clearly has humanity s best interests at heart. Here is a rigorously constructed hard SF novel where the question is not whether humanity will reach the stars but how it will survive its own worst tendencies. Publishers Weekly Highly recommended . . . Spanning more than sixty-five million years and encompassing the entire planet, Baxter s ambitious saga provides both an exercise in painless paleontology and superb storytelling. Library Journal"show more

Flap copy

Stretching from the distant past into the remote future, from primordial Earth to the stars, "Evolution is a soaring symphony of struggle, extinction, and survival; a dazzling epic that combines a dozen scientific disciplines and a cast of unforgettable characters to convey the grand drama of evolution in all its awesome majesty and rigorous beauty. Sixty-five million years ago, when dinosaurs ruled the Earth, there lived a small mammal, a proto-primate of the species "Purgatorius. From this humble beginning, Baxter traces the human lineage forward through time. The adventure that unfolds is a gripping odyssey governed by chance and competition, a perilous journey to an uncertain destination along a route beset by sudden and catastrophic upheavals. It is a route that ends, for most species, in stagnation or extinction. Why should humanity escape this fate?show more

Rating details

2,276 ratings
3.94 out of 5 stars
5 36% (812)
4 35% (789)
3 20% (465)
2 7% (148)
1 3% (62)
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