Regular price: $18.80

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $18.80

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

For eons, Earth has been under observation by the Firstborn, beings almost as old as the universe itself. The Firstborn are unknown to humankind - until they act. In an instant, Earth is carved up and reassembled like a huge jigsaw puzzle. Suddenly the planet and every living thing on it no longer exist in a single timeline. Instead, the world becomes a patchwork of eras, from prehistory to 2037, each with its own indigenous inhabitants. Scattered across the planet are floating silver orbs impervious to all weapons and impossible to communicate with. Are these technologically advanced devices responsible for creating and sustaining the rifts in time? Are they cameras through which inscrutable alien eyes are watching? Or are they something stranger and more terrifying still?
The answer may lie in the ancient city of Babylon, where two groups of refugees from 2037 - three cosmonauts returning to Earth from the International Space Station, and three United Nations peacekeepers on a mission in Afghanistan - have detected radio signals: the only such signals on the planet, apart from their own. The peacekeepers find allies in nineteenth-century British troops and in the armies of Alexander the Great. The astronauts, crash-landed in the steppes of Asia, join forces with the Mongol horde led by Genghis Khan. The two sides set out for Babylon, each determined to win the race for knowledge...and the power that lies within.
Yet the real power is beyond human control, perhaps even human understanding. As two great armies face off before the gates of Babylon, it watches, waiting.
©2005 Arthur C. Clarke and Stephen Baxter (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Show More Show Less

Critic Reviews

"An exciting tale full of high-tech physics, military tactics and larger-than-life characters in the first of two novels related to the bestselling senior author's Space Odyssey series." ( Publishers Weekly)
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Tim on 10-17-09

A nice road to nowhere

This is really a review of the series of three books. The premise is interesting - an earth suddenly reassembled from fragments of deferent epochs - and the writing reasonably good, but the resolution is at best unsatisfying. I'm not convinced that the central premise (the actions of the firstborn) is even that sound.

Two quibbles. First, as many have noted the contrived accents are horrible in the first book, particularly those of the Americans. Second, anti-American prejudice underscores the series. American characters are at best chauvanistic cowboys and at worst mass murderers, while the non-Americans are sensitive and enlightened. The authors matter-of-factly trumpet some questionable philosophy as an easy panacea for all the worlds ills. This sort of thing can usually be shrugged off, or may in fact appeal to many readers.

The idea of an earth reassembled in time has been explored before, notably in the excellant "October the First is Too Late" by Fred Hoyle (1966, no audio that I am aware of).

Read More Hide me

27 of 29 people found this review helpful


By curtis matthes on 08-18-08

Disjointed

I was very disappointed with this. Found it disjointed, hard to follow. Concept had potential but did not flow well.

Read More Hide me

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Chris on 02-01-11

Didn't quite make it

This book operates at two levels. One is the concept of an Earth divided up and reassembled from pieces from different times. What manner of advanced beings could have such control over the very fabric of space-time and what could be their motive? The second explores the potential clash caused by a sudden juxtaposition of cultures from different times in man's history (and future, the book is set in 2037). The problem is that the book switches rather unconvincingly from one to another. Its starts promisingly enough and progresses to explore what might happen if people from the 21st and 19th century encounter the armies of Alexander the Great and Genghis Khan before returning rather abruptly to the the science fiction element at the end. Each aspect is well enough written and the whole is competently read, but neither achieves the potential that you feel it could have.

Read More Hide me

7 of 7 people found this review helpful


By Stuart on 07-19-08

Could not put down for a moment.

This is the first audio book I've listened to and I am so happy I did. From the moment it began I didn't want to stop listening. The story its self is amazing and it is read perfectly. As soon as it finished I downloaded part two of this series and I am about to get the third. If you enjoy science fiction or just a plot that will leave you wanting for more this is definitely an ideal listen.

Read More Hide me

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

See all Reviews
© Copyright 1997 - 2018 Audible, Inc