2004: NASA's Cassini probe reaches Saturn - and the story of Titan begins.
Titan is the epic saga of one woman's will to succeed and the triumph of a dream over bureaucracy and fear. Paula Benacerraf, grandmother and astronaut, is appointed to oversee the dismantling of the Shuttle fleet after another Challenger-type disaster. Instead, she listens to the oddball JPL scientist Rosenberg, who is determined to explore the ammonia-based life Cassini discovers on Titan.
Using NASA's rusting Saturn rockets, mothballed Apollos and remaining Shuttles, frail humans are hurled, in the face of violent opposition from the military, to the edge of the Solar System to the edge, also, of sanity.
'Baxter handles a complex and gripping plot with his customary aplomb . . . The ending will blow your mind. Buy Titan, read it - and then go out and buy everything else that Baxter has ever written' New Scientist 'This is a tale of equivalent scope to 2001, while the visions of Titan life have that sense of Clarke-style cosmic sorrow' SFX 'A plausible tale of America's last gasp at interplanetary exploration . . . Stephen Baxter proves what a cosmic thinker he is' Washington Post Book World