What is the plot?
Proxima, by Stephen Baxter was written in 2013, and is about a far future humanity that has burned most of Earth out, but has discovered an inhabitableplanet around Proxima, the closest star to our solar system. If this sounds familiar, it's because scientists think that have found just that, in real life, earlier this year.
How Does It Work?
Proxima is an idea piece. It's one of those SF books that hinges on one or two ideas, and those ideas keep you reading. The ideas in this piece are good, and interesting to me, due to current events in the field of space exploration.
What Didn't Work?
Since Proxima is an idea piece, or think piece, the characters are not as full and interesting as they could have been. But I do not think they were cardboard by any stretch either. They are more of a link between a speculative idea and the reader, than characters you'll fall in love with. Speaking of speculative, the parts in which Proxima seems to struggle the most is when the real speculative aspects of Baxter's writing comes out. It wasn't something new--and when you write an idea piece, it hinges on new ideas. I don't feel as if I got that here.
What Is The Subject Matter?
As with many space exploration books, the subject matter deals predominantly with where humans fall in the grand scheme of things if Earth is no longer our home.
Who Will Like This Book?
I think anyone who is interested in the real discovery of the planet around Proxima Centauri will find this quite interesting. People who enjoy conjecture about wormholes, as well. This book toes a line between space opera and exploration. For those who seek an educated guess of what life on another planet could be like, this is a solid read.