{4.5/5} “And on the longest of timescales, what is there not to fear? We are motes, our very worlds are motes, floating in a universe that was born in unimaginable violence. Our little corner of the universe is tranquil now, relatively. But it was not always this way, and why should it remain so?”

Proxima by Stephen Baxter, published in 2013

Earth sends colonists to a planet in the Proxima system — but the colonists aren’t volunteers, they’re conscripts. Like Yuri Eden, who was plucked from Mars for this mission. Yuri sees his life as a sequence of opening doors, and who knows where this one will lead. Meanwhile, on Mercury a hatch is found deep within the planet — where does it lead, and who built it? Meanwhile, on Earth the UN and China are in a state of unfriendliness — in particular, China doesn’t like the UN’s monopoly on the mysterious and powerful kernels.

You might find the beginning of the book doesn’t grab you right away, but it’s worth it to keep reading.

It’s about colonization, exploration, AI, and dealing with circumstances you’ve been thrown into. It’s about great events — and terrible ones.

Baxter has boundless imagination — for one thing, he has some terrific speculation about life on another planet. You’ll want to read the sequel too.

I previously reviewed Baxter’s Weaver.

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