Obelisk – Stephen Baxter

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Seventeen stories from Stephen Baxter, covering previously unseen incidents from his Proxima-Ultima sequence, events from alternative histories, and miscellaneous sci-fi moments from the near future.

All good stuff, although some of the alternative histories were bogged down by necessary exposition. My favourite story from this was the one about the time-travelling rats, although the creepy story about a small boy wandering around after the apocalypse stuck with me.

What really surprised me was all the romance. The first story had a couple fall in love after literally crashing into each other in the Martian sky, in another a royal governess flirted with a high-ranking soldier, and divorced dad protagonist of the rat story was visibly attracted to his daughter’s science teacher. That’s a far happier ending than I expect for Baxter characters. I’m not complaining, it’s just a bit weird.

Still, Obelisk is full of great science fiction, so if that’s what you need right now, check it out.

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