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Sunday, October 4, 2020

World Engines: DestroyerWorld Engines: Destroyer by Stephen Baxter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In a lot of ways, this is classic Clarkian SF complete with the classic big issue future history bent that is more concerned with the big issues along a planetary scale (from ecological fiction to future conservatory technology (including the disposition of AIs and future humans who learned to merely tolerate eath other to the disposition of the Solar System's survival)).

There's absolutely nothing wrong with this, but I will be the first to admit that I've seen a lot of it throughout the years. A lot of the same kinds of story tropes, too, including Baxter's somewhat infamous re-usable characters. (Yes, yes, they're all ALTERNATE UNIVERSE reincarnations, but still.)

Man out of time, sans the laughable OLD reasons for future heroism. That's fine, but also tricky.

I suppose what I really enjoyed about this Baxter was not the individual tropes individually, but the whole nostalgia factor. When we combine the subtle differences in the old whole Planet X theories, the multiple time-line crossovers, the examination of seeded life, the planetary engineering, and what it means to just CONTINUE, it becomes a much better book.

So what am I complaining about, then? Well, perhaps I didn't and have not really cared for THIS particular re-incarnation of the main character. Everything surrounding him and the subject matter was pretty okay, tho. This will never be my favorite Baxter, but the ideas are pretty sound and classically interesting without ever getting into the old problematic issues of much older SF. In this regard, it's pretty cool.

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