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“Stephen Baxter has been heralded, with some merit, as Arthur C. Clarke’s literary heir, and Proxima certainly reinforces this accolade in spades.”—Concatenation
Mankind’s future in this galaxy could be all but infinite.
There are hundreds of billions of red dwarf stars, lasting trillions of years—and their planets can be habitable for humans. Such is the world of Proxima Centauri. And its promise could mean the never-ending existence of humanity.
But first it must be colonized, and no one wants to be a settler. There is no glamor that accompanies it, nor is there the ease of becoming a citizen of an already-tamed world. There is only hardship...loneliness...emptiness, even as war brews in the solar system.
But that’s where Yuri comes in. Because sometimes exploration isn’t voluntary. It must be coerced.
hold on her arm. They were all watching him now, Laughlin looking embarrassed, King with an assumed expression of sympathy, Colonel Kalinski with what looked like genuine shock and sorrow, even Tollemache showing a kind of gruff respect. King spread his hands. “Then what will you do, Yuri Eden? Where will you go?” “There is another option. To go back to the only place I’ve ever been free.” “Dad—” Laughlin leaned forward. “You’re going back through the Hatch?” He glanced at Kalinski. “Is that
The upper layers do look like they are photosynthesizing—by Alpha light presumably, it must be a very slow process. But farther down I think we have mineral chompers, like the heat lovers in the mud pools. Call it a stromatolite, then, but of a strange, complex sort.” “And unimaginably ancient,” the ColU said. “There would be nothing to disturb them here. No predators. And all of this must be a kind of surface expression of the deeper community, the deep hot biosphere, which won’t care if it’s
filled up with a visual feed. The lunar plain was sharp to the horizon. And in the black sky above there was a ripple of light, reflections of moonlight washing over a roughly spherical panel. “More junks,” Earthshine said. “Yep. And they’ve already started hurling down rocks. As if getting their range. They know we’re here, that’s for sure. Well, they’re too late. Seven, six . . . Now they’re going to need to concentrate on getting out of our way. Full acceleration coming. Two, one—fire!” The
When the craft had drifted to a halt a rope ladder unrolled to the ground. And as they watched, astonished, a hatch opened, and a man clambered down the ladder. As soon as he reached the ground the man started toward them. He wore a plumed helmet, and a scarlet cloak over what looked like a bearskin tunic. His lower legs were bare, above strapped-up boots. He had a sword on one hip, and a gaudy-looking handgun in a holster on the other. Yuri called, “Who the hell are you?” The man, striding
testily. “So it’s to be guessing games, is it, all the way down?” “We want you to take a fresh look at what we found. I suggested it was best not to prejudice you in any way. Blame me, if you like.” Stef felt a shiver of awe, flying over this tremendous ruined landscape, which itself concealed a much more exotic mystery. What the hell were they being so secretive about? On the ground, in the chaotic shadows of Caloris, they were bundled into a rover. There was a driver and a couple of crew,