Resplendent (2006)

The accompanying collection to the Destiny’s Children trilogy covers similar ground as Vacuum Diagrams, the accompanying collection to the earlier Xeelee novels. It collects stories from the time of the Qax-occupation to the farthest future where the stars are dying and thus, instead of picking merely one slice of time of the tapestry of the Xeelee-sequence it tries to allow a panoramic view of Baxter’s future history. Like other Baxter collections the stories are all well written, full of engaging plots, characters and interesting ideas.

At times the whole Xeelee-sequence begins to creak continuity-wise, as some elements seem to contradict each other and some stories seem to tries to retcon earlier depictions of events, but mostly the whole chronology still works more or less. There’s even a new angle on what happens in the farthest future, with Earth’s spacetime getting changed. A chronology on Baxter’s own site implies that there are stories still not collected, that depict what happens on that far future Earth. I hope there’s another collection down the line that will collect these and all the other remaining Xeelee-stories that weren’t in Resplendent and Vacuum Diagrams.