Obelisk - Stephen Baxter

Obelisk is a collection of short stories written by Stephen Baxter, first published in 2016. The stories are divided into four groups: Proxima-Ultima, Other Yesterdays, Other Todays, and Other Tomorrows. The first group consists of spin-off stories of the author's previous books, Proxima and Ultima. The other three groups consist of independent stories set in the past, the present, and the future, respectively. If I may choose one story to interest you in reading this book, I would choose a story titled Pevatron Rats. The story was about an investation of rats that could time-travel after being mutated by a particle physics facility. Nobody could stop these rats because they could go back in time whenever they're sensing a danger!

Now, first of all. It was my mistake reading this book first before reading Proxima and Ultima. Although I quite enjoyed the stories from Proxima-Ultima stories, I was definitely missing out on a lot of context that maybe could bolster my enjoyment of these stories even more. But if you made the same mistake as I did, don't be discouraged, as the book is quite solid on its own. My favorites stories of this book are titled A Journey to Amasia, Artefacts, and Rock Day. Rock Day was a story about three religious scientists that redirect an asteroid to strike the Earth to prove the existence of God!

This is my first book of the author, and I can quite sure say that the author's forte is in his strong background in science, mathematics, and physics. You can tell from the detailed explanations that this guy knows what he's talking about and not just throwing random science buzzwords. But I get a strange feeling that maybe this background serves as some kind of a double-edged sword for the author in a way that his stories would be too grounded to today's science, instead of making up new wacky and insane ideas that are beyond nowaday's knowledge.

Anyways, I'm also liking the characters that the author created for each story. Although their developments are bounded by only 30-40 pages, I could actually feel emotions and short attachments to these characters. I sure hope this quality can be enjoyed even more in the author's other longer novels. I want to read more of his books.

That is my take on this book. An interesting collections of stories. However, if you decided to read this book, maybe try reading Proxima and Ultima first lol.

Stephen Baxter
First Published
August 18, 2016