Fiction Reviews


Titan

(1997) Stephen Baxter, Voyager, 16.99, hrdbk pp581, ISBN 0-00-225424-7

This is the first of Baxter's work I've read and I don't think it will be the last. The novel kicks off in an irritating manner; I found the constant acronyms and so forth really annoying. If I wanted to know all of the details about shuttle launches, landings and the rest, I would read a non-fiction book dedicated to it. To Baxter's credit, however, it doesn't last too long, or maybe I simply, mentally, edited it out. The main thrust of the novel soon takes over and a haphazard mission is duly launched using spacecraft leftovers and antiquated technology to propel a crew of five to the Saturnian moon of Titan. The technology is ordinary, the characters interesting and believable, and I was at least partly seduced by the rhetoric on the need for space exploration and the dissemination of human beings throughout the solar system. All in all, an absorbing tale, even if Baxter has the current fad for using the word 'regolith' far more than he need. He is not alone.

Graham Connor


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