Stephen Baxter (author)

Stephen Baxter (born 13 November 1957) is an English hard science fiction author. He has degrees in mathematics and engineering.

Stephen Baxter
Stephen Baxter at the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention, 2005.
Stephen Baxter at the 63rd World Science Fiction Convention, 2005.
Born13 November 1957 (age 61)
Liverpool, England
OccupationWriter
NationalityBritish
GenreHard SF, Alternate history
Website
www.stephen-baxter.com

Writing style

Strongly influenced by SF pioneer H. G. Wells, Baxter has been Vice-President of the international H. G. Wells Society since 2006. His fiction falls into three main categories of original work plus a fourth category, extending other authors' writing; each has a different basis, style, and tone.

Baxter's "Future History"[1] mode is based on research into hard science. It encompasses the Xeelee Sequence, which of seven novels (including the Destiny's Children trilogy), plus three volumes collecting the 52 short pieces (short stories and novellas) in the series, all of which fit into a single timeline stretching from the Big Bang singularity of the past to his Timelike Infinity singularity of the future.[2] These stories begin in the present day and end when the Milky Way galaxy collides with Andromeda five billion years in the future.[2] The central narrative is that of Humanity rising and evolving to become the second most powerful race in the universe, next to the god-like Xeelee. Character development tends to take second place to the depiction of advanced theories and ideas, such as the true nature of the Great Attractor, naked singularities and the great battle between Baryonic and Dark Matter lifeforms. The Manifold Trilogy is another example of Baxter's future history mode, even more conceptual than the Xeelee sequence – each novel is focused on a potential explanation of the Fermi Paradox. The two-part disaster series Flood and Ark (followed by three additional stories, "Earth III," "Earth II," and "Earth I") which also fits into this category, where catastrophic events unfold in the near future and Humanity must adapt to survive in three radically different planetary environments. In 2013, Baxter released his short story collection entitled Universes which featured stories set in Flood/Ark, Jones & Bennet and Anti-Ice universes.[3] Baxter signed a contract for two new books, titled Proxima and Ultima, both of which are names of planets, and they were released in 2013 and 2014, respectively.[4]

Baxter Stephen
Stephen Baxter at the Science-Fiction-Tage NRW in Dortmund, Germany, March 1997

A second category in Baxter's work is based on readings in evolutionary biology and human/animal behaviour. Elements of this appear in his future histories (especially later works like the Destiny's Children series and Flood/Ark), but here it is the focus. The major work in this category is Evolution, which imagines the evolution of humanity in the Earth's past and future. The Mammoth Trilogy, written for young adults, shares similar themes and concerns as it explores the present, past, and future of a small herd of mammoths found surviving on an island in the Arctic Ocean.

A third category of Baxter's fiction is alternate history, based on research into history. These stories are more human, with characters portrayed with greater depth and care. This includes his NASA Trilogy, which incorporates a great deal of research into NASA and its history, and the Time's Tapestry series, which features science-fictional interventions into our past from an alternate-history future. The novel Anti-Ice is an earlier example of Baxter's blending of alternate history with science fiction. His most recent work in this direction is the Northland Trilogy, an alternate prehistory that begins with Stone Spring, set ten thousand years ago in the Stone Age, followed by Bronze Summer and Iron Winter, set in alternate versions of the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. In 2009, Baxter became a judge for the Sidewise Award for Alternate History, the first former winner among the panel.[5]

Another category, outside of the main body of Baxter's independent work, is sequels and installments of science-fiction classics. His first novel to achieve wide recognition (winning three literary awards) was The Time Ships, an authorised sequel to H.G. Wells' The Time Machine. The Time Odyssey series, a trilogy co-authored with Arthur C. Clarke, is connected to Clarke's four Space Odyssey novels. The trilogy consists of Time's Eye, Sunstorm, and Firstborn. Another novel is based on a synopsis written by Clarke, The Light of Other Days. Baxter has also published a Doctor Who novel, The Wheel of Ice. His most recent sequel is "The Massacre of Mankind", an authorised sequel to H.G. Wells' "The War of the Worlds".

In 2010, Baxter began working on a new series with Terry Pratchett.[6] This collaboration produced five books, The Long Earth, The Long War, The Long Mars, The Long Utopia and The Long Cosmos.

Baxter has also written non-fiction essays and columns for such publications as Critical Wave and the British SF Association's Matrix.

Literary awards

Award Name Year For book Short stories printed in
BSFA Award SF Novel 1995[7] The Time Ships  
Sidewise Award for Best Short Form Alternate History 1995 "Brigantia's Angels" Traces
John W. Campbell Award 1996[8] The Time Ships  
Philip K. Dick Award 1996[8] The Time Ships  
Kurd-Laßwitz-Preis for Best Foreign Language Novel 1996 The Time Ships  
Sidewise Award for Best Long Form Alternate History 1996 Voyage  
BSFA Award Short Fiction 1997 "War Birds" Phase Space
Premio Gigamesh 1997 The Time Ships  
SF Chronicle Award Best Novelette 1998 "Moon Six" Traces
Analog Award Best Short Story 1998 "Moon-Calf" Phase Space
Philip K. Dick Award 1999[9] Vacuum Diagrams  
Seiun Award for Best Foreign Language Novel 1999 The Time Ships  
Analog Award Best Short Story 2000 "Sheena 5" Phase Space
Locus Poll Award Best Novelette 2000 "Huddle" Phase Space
Asimov's Readers' Poll Novelette 2001 "On the Orion Line" Resplendent
BSFA Award Non-Fiction 2001 Omegatropic  
Analog Award Best Short Story 2002 "The Hunters of Pangaea" Evolution & The Hunters of Pangaea
BSFA Award Short Fiction 2004 "Mayflower II" Resplendent

Baxter's story "Last Contact" was nominated for the 2008 Hugo Award for best short story.

Personal life

Baxter was born 13 November 1957 in Liverpool, England and studied at St Edward's College, a Catholic grammar school. He then read mathematics at Cambridge University, and obtained a doctorate in engineering at Southampton University,[10] and received an MBA from Henley Management College. Baxter taught maths, physics, and information technology before becoming a full-time author in 1995. He is also a chartered engineer and fellow of the British Interplanetary Society.[11]

References

  1. ^ Baxter uses this term in the foreword of Vacuum Diagrams.
  2. ^ a b "The Xeelee Sequence – Timeline". stephen-baxter.com. Retrieved 29 September 2011.
  3. ^ Upcoming4.me. "Stephen Baxter – Universes cover art and synopsis". Upcoming4.me. Archived from the original on 19 March 2013. Retrieved 12 March 2013.
  4. ^ "Stephen Baxter: News". stephen-baxter.com. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Stephen Baxter". Index of Judges and Jurors. Locusmag.com. 2010. Archived from the original on 8 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010.
  6. ^ "The Long Earth". SFX Article. www.sfx.co.uk. 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  7. ^ "1995 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  8. ^ a b "1996 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  9. ^ "1999 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 15 May 2009.
  10. ^ http://www.liverpoolecho.co/whats-on/arts-culture-news/clive-barker-returns-heres-eight-9289121
  11. ^ http://www.stephen-baxter.com/author.html

External links

Allen Stroud

Allen Stroud is a Senior Lecturer at Coventry University, where he teaches on the BA (Hons) Media and Communications degree. Previously he was the Course Leader for Film and Television Production and the Creative Writing for Publication degrees at Bucks New University. He is the editor of the British Fantasy Society Journal. He also composes instrumental music; however, Stroud is best known for his sci-fi fantasy novels and video game writing. He is the 2017 and 2018 chair of Fantasycon, the annual convention of the British Fantasy Society, which hosts the British Fantasy Awards.

In 2017, Stroud completed a PH. D. at the University of Winchester entitled An Investigation and Application of Writing Structures and World Development Techniques in Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Baxter (name)

Baxter is an Anglo-Saxon and Scottish name, originally from the English occupational surname meaning "baker," from the early Middle English bakstere and the Old English bæcere. The form Bakster was originally feminine, with Baker as the masculine equivalent, but over time both names came to apply to both men and women. Ancient variations in the spelling of the surname include Bakster, Baxstar, Baxstair, Baxstare and Baxster.

List of Christian Brothers school alumni

Since 1802, the Congregation of Christian Brothers have been engaged in education throughout the world. The religious institute, founded by Blessed Edmund Rice, opened its first school on Waterford's New Street in 1802. The following is a list of alumni of Christian Brothers educational institutions.

This list does NOT contain alumni of institutions operated by the French organization, De La Salle Brothers (also known as the Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools, the Brothers of the Christian Schools, the Lasallian Brothers, and the French Christian Brothers).

The alumni are listed as follows:

Name – occupation or significance – school

St Edward's College

St. Edward's College is a coeducational Catholic school with academy status in the UK located in the Liverpool suburb of West Derby. Founded in 1853 as the Catholic Institute, the college was formerly a boys grammar school run by the Congregation of Christian Brothers, known widely as the Irish Christian Brothers. St Edward's College is heavily oversubscribed every year, and has a reputation as one of the best schools in North West England.

Stephen Baxter

Stephen Baxter may refer to:

Stephen Baxter (author) (born 1957), English science fiction author

Stephen Baxter (footballer) (born 1965), football manager and ex-player

Stephen B. Baxter, American historian

Steve Baxter (entrepreneur), investor and entrepreneur from Brisbane, Australia

Steve Baxter (musician), American songwriter and guitarist

Xeelee Sequence

The Xeelee Sequence (; ZEE-lee) (Baxter cites pronunciation as “Chee-lee” in “Xeelee: Vengeance”) is a series of hard science fiction space opera novels, novellas, and short stories written by British science fiction author Stephen Baxter. The series spans billions of years of fictional history, centering on humanity's future expansion into the universe, its cosmos-spanning war with an enigmatic and supremely powerful Type IV alien civilization called the Xeelee, and the Xeelee's own war with dark matter entities called Photino Birds. The series features many other species and civilizations that play a prominent role, including the Squeem (a species of group-mind aquatics), the Qax (beings whose biology is based on the complex interactions of convection cells), and the Silver Ghosts (symbiotic organisms encased in reflective shells). Several stories in the Sequence also deal with humans and posthumans living in extreme conditions, such as at the heart of a neutron star (Flux ), in a separate universe with considerably stronger gravity (Raft ), and within eusocial hive societies (Coalescent ).The Xeelee Sequence treats ideas stemming from the fringe of theoretical physics and futurology, such as exotic-matter physics, naked singularities, closed timelike curves, multiple universes, hyperadvanced computing and artificial intelligence, faster-than-light travel, and the upper echelons of the Kardashev scale. Thematically, the series deals heavily with certain existential and social philosophical issues, such as striving for survival and relevance in a harsh and unknowable universe and the effects of war and militarism on society.As of August 2018, the series is composed of 9 novels and 53 short pieces (short stories and novellas), all of which fit into a fictional timeline stretching from the Big Bang to the eventual heat death of the universe and Timelike Infinity's singularity of the future. An omnibus edition of the first four Xeelee novels (Raft, Timelike Infinity, Flux, and Ring), entitled Xeelee: An Omnibus, was released in January 2010. In August 2016, the entire series of all novels and stories (up to that date) was released as one volume in e-book format entitled Xeelee Sequence: The Complete Series. Baxter's Destiny's Children series is part of the Xeelee Sequence.

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