In 1995, Stephen Baxter earned multiple awards an international acclaim for The Time Ships, an authorized sequel to H.G. Wells The Time Machine that took the story in bold new directions. Two decades later, he’s at it again: he and space opera master Alastair Reynolds have co-written The Medusa Chronicles, the followup to Arthur C. Clarke’s Nebula Award-winning 1971 novella A Meeting with Medusa. The Medusa Chronicles will be published in the U.S. by Saga Press in June.
Saga Press Editorial Director Joe Monti acquired the book and has given us a chance to show off the cover, and he sounds quite pleased with the book:
A Meeting with Medusa won the Nebula Award for best novella in 1971. Baxter and Reynolds have written an authorized sequel to it, and produced one of the great hard science fiction adventure novels of the year. It’s tremendous fun, and you don’t need to have ever read Clarke’s novella to enjoy it. I bought the North American rights without having read it, and fell in love with it utterly. Baxter and Reynolds have taken some of Clarke’s big ideas and not only expanded them in the way they have done so very many times, but grounded them in characters whose flaws and voices take you through a grand tour of our solar system as it changes radically over the next several hundred years.
Keep reading past the publisher’s blurb for a look at the final cover art.
In Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s Nebula Award–winning novella, “A Meeting with Medusa,” we are introduced to Howard Falcon, the first astronaut to explore the skies of Jupiter. He survives an accident that almost destroys his experimental helium-filled airship, and at a high price, as his damaged body was largely replaced with prosthetics, making him into the world’s first cyborg—part human, part machine. Returning to Jupiter’s atmosphere—this time in a hydrogen-filled airship named the Kon-Tiki—Falcon encounters giant jellyfish-like creatures he calls “medusae.” His encounter with what he believes is the first sentient life outside of Earth both inspires him and fuels the growing detachment he feels toward humanity.
Inspired by Clarke’s novella, The Medusa Chronicles continues the story of Howard Falcon, perhaps humanity’s greatest ambassador and explorer, and the centuries of his adventures among our solar system, the rise of artificial intelligence, and our expansion on to other planets, written with the permission from Clarke’s estate by two of our greatest science fiction writers, Stephen Baxter and Alastair Reynolds.
The Medusa Chronicles is an awe-inspiring work by two modern masters of science fiction who have taken the vision of one the field’s greatest writers and expanded upon it, combining cutting-edge science, philosophy, and technology into a transcendent work of fiction that offers a plausible future for our solar system through the eyes of one of its great fictional heroes.
Alastair Reynolds was born in in 1966 in Barry, South Wales. He studied at Newcastle and St. Andrews Universities and has a PhD in astronomy. He stopped working as an astrophysicist for the European Space Agency to become a full-time writer. Reynolds is a bestselling author and has been awarded the British Science Fiction award, along with being shortlisted for the Hugo Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the John W. Campbell Memorial Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Award, and the Locus Magazine Award.
Stephen Baxter is one of the preeminent science fiction writers of his generation. With Terry Pratchett, he has coauthored the Long Earth novels. As a world-renowned bestselling author, Baxter has won many major awards in the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, and Japan, including the British Science Fiction award, the John W. Campbell memorial award, the Philip K. Dick award, and the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award. Born in 1957, Baxter has degrees from Cambridge and Southampton. He currently lives with his wife in Northumberland.