From: Michael Egan
Location: Knottingley, West Yorkshire
The month of September looks very exciting in the world of Sci-Fi. In particular, I'm referring to the release of the latest novels by Alastair Reynolds and Stephen Baxter. And it's Baxter's novel, for me, which has got me really excited; because Proxima, as it's called, seems to deal with the colonization of a world orbiting our closest stellar body after the sun. An advance review of this book likens it to Lord of the Flies in its depictions. Others seem to hint at some deep-time intelligence which has a bearing on the story. I personally can't wait to get my hands on it; I e-mailed you a while back decrying the lack of this kind of fiction, and I've since wondered if the major authors are 'scared off' extrasolar migrations by the astonishing advances being made in astronomy, particularly with regard to those worlds found to be orbiting other stars. If so, that's a great shame. As I have said previously, I do wonder at the drama which might arise surrounding the first crewed expedition to Barnard's Star, or Tau Ceti (Or maybe even Sirius - wow! All that solar energy. Keep your distance!) In any case, it seems the outstanding Mr Baxter might be coming to my rescue. And my fervent hope is that this novel will kick-start some kind of new trend in Sci-Fi, one which sees us get back to the world of exploration. If so, all we'll need then is that dusty time travel manuscript you have, languishing in that secure vault surrounded by barbed wire and electric fences, and the Grand New Revolution in Science Fiction could at last be said to have truly begun. How's about it, Greg? Are you going to show all these newbies - not to mention a few expectant fans - how it's really done? (Although you certainly have been doing that for years now anyway, sir)
From: Greg Bear
Thanks, Michael! I too look forward to Stephen's new book. He's definitely one of our greats.