Michael Poole finds himself in a very strange landscape . . .
This is the centre of the Galaxy. And in a history without war with the humans, the Xeelee have had time to built an immense structure here. The Xeelee Belt has a radius ten thousand times Earth’s orbital distance. It is a light year in circumference. If it was set in the solar system it would be out in the Oort Cloud, among the comets – but circling the sun. If it was at rest it would have a surface area equivalent to about thirty billion Earths. But it is not at rest: it rotates at near lightspeed. And because of relativistic effects, distances are compressed for inhabitants of the Belt, and time drastically slowed.
The purpose of the Belt is to preserve a community of Xeelee into the very far future, when they will be able to tap dark energy, a universe-spanning antigravity field, for their own purposes. But with time the Belt has attracted populations of lesser species, here for the immense surface area, the unending energy flows. Poole, Miriam and their party, having followed the Ghosts, must explore the artefact and survive encounters with its strange inhabitants – before Poole, at last, finds the Xeelee who led the destruction of Earth…
I love to dive into the future and Stephen Baxter is an author that really delivers for me as a reader. Here within this book the reader is treated to a whole host of short stories that add flavour and background to enrich Stephen's Universe. As with his other books, its well written, delivers some great characters and of course a whole host of tales from different parts of his timeline in order to get a fuller picture.
This impressive collection is a fine introduction to Baxter's fascinating, complex world
A sense of grandeur few other SF novelists can even hope to match.
a...terrific compilation of stories, best read as a companion to the novels, but strong enough to stand on its own.
A true epic, this series ranges across aeons and features one of the most enigmatic aliens ever conceived.
Peter F. Hamilton, Shortlist Magazine
If you're in search of some gripping science fiction utilising big concepts and backed by brilliant writing, look no further than Endurance. 10/10