Raft - Steven Baxter - 1992 ROC Paperback - Bob Eggleton Cover (Foil Embossed Edition)

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Cover art: Bob Eggleton


Imagine a universe whose force of gravity is one billion times stronger than today's. Human beings have detectable gravity fields. Stars are only a mile across and burn out within a year of their formation.

Centuries before these events, a spaceship accidentally crossed into this universe and promptly collapsed upon itself. Somehow the crew survived. They emerged into a cloud of breathable atmosphere.

Five centuries later their descendants are still struggling for existence....“

Our review: “Some books sit on your shelf for years, begging to be read. Weirdly enough, I’ve been meaning to read Raft for 10 years. It’s been one of those under-the-radar classics folks tell me about but I had never set aside time to conquer it. I managed to finally dive in during my honeymoon and I am so freaking glad I brought it! This is the first book in the Xeelee sequence and is a story of survival and class warfare. At this book’s core, it’s about pain, loss, and discovery. It’s a tale of humanity clawing our way forward to an uncertain future. What I loved most about it, is that it is about seemingly insignificant people making sacrifices to save the greater good. Above all, it is a story of redemption and evolution. Oh and they ride trees in space. That was pretty fun.

Admittedly, with all our science and know-how, we still seemingly know very little about humanity's trajectory. Musk talks about our need to be multi-planetary to better ensure our long-term survival. There seem to be so many possible paths humanity will face once we begin to spread out beyond our original gravity well. Baxter does a monumental job at exploring what that path could look like with variable physics. Raft is a must-read for any lover of sci-fi! Surprisingly it has whittled its way into my top 25.“