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Ark has already been described by one reviewer as perhaps Baxter's masterpiece. It is certainly an extraordinary work of science fiction and one of the most evocative and compelling explorations of the Generation Ship concept ever written.
Ark is the sequel to Flood, Baxter's post-climate change nightmare scenario where rising sea levels just keep rising. Set in the 2040's as internally displaced refugees migrate inland from the inundated Pacific and Atlantic US coasts, Flood documents with high realism the political and social impacts of catastrophic climate change. But there are rumours of a secret project - a star ship for a select few to flee Earth and start again in a distant solar system.
The star ship, or Ark, is constructed under the utmost secrecy, its destination a terrestrial extra-solar planet some 22 light years away. When they finally reach Earth II, however, it is barely habitable, raising the question: do they stay on Earth II, do they keep looking for another planet, or do they return home to Earth in the hope that a solution has been found?
The power of Ark is in the human realism. The power of humanity to engineer technical solutions to their self-created problems is never in doubt but human error, pride and factional politics is as destructive in Baxter's future as it is in today's world.
Intelligent, incisive and absorbing, Ark is hard science fiction at its literary best.
Reviewed by Richard Bilkey, Booktopia Buzz Editor
In FLOOD Baxter drowned the world, in ARK he shows that mankind's future is no less perilous.
As the waters rose in FLOOD, high in the Colorado mountains the US government was building an ark. Not an ark to ride the waves but an ark that would take a select few hundred people out into space to start a new future for mankind.
Sent out into deep space on an epic journey centuries, generations of crew members carry the hope of a new beginning on a new, incredibly distant, planet.But as the decades pass knowledge and purpose is lost and division and madness grows. And back on earth life and man, find a new way. This is the epic sequel to the acclaimed FLOOD; a stirring tale of what mankind will do to survive and the perfect introduction for new readers to one of SF's greatest tropes; the generation ship.
Written by one of the most significant SF writers of the last 30 years, a man considered to be the heir of Arthur C Clarke as a writer with a unique ability to popularise science and science fiction for the largest possible audience. FLOOD and ARK together form a landmark in modern SF.
The science is immaculate. This is one man who really understands how to put the science in science-fiction. [The Courier Mail] A well-crafted exploration of the effects of a world-engulfing deluge at a personal level. A great page turner. [Aurealis] Baxter skilfully makes it all sound plausible. [Herald Sun] Baxter is a master of story telling employing the catastrophe theme. [The Specusphere] Baxter delivers in spades with his tale of the last years of mankind's existence. He spins a winning and plausible yarn. [The Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin]
Published: October 2009
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.6 x 3.5
Weight (kg): 0.63