Baxter, as do most authors, allows certain themes to permeate
throughout his novels and short stories. While it is true that many of these are sole survivor
type affairs, in the same way that much of Tolkien
's work dealt with the fear of death, it seems that this is simply a result of his normal thought process. Remember that several novels take place over thousands or millions of years
, and with the photino bird
accelerated death of the universe depicted in the Xeelee Sequence
it is, perhaps, the order of things
that everyone will die. Those that find a way to escape however will make a fine story.
Many of Baxter's tales are interesting in that he finds themes in the bending or blatant breaking of a law of physics. What if you could change the value of a component of gravity? What if you could reduce the Planck Constant?
Another method he uses is the combination of two unrelated ideas, such as religion and Burgess shale creatures or early primates and the death of the solar system.
In any of these cases you will find that he never enters into complex mathematics, but explains principles in a straightfoward manner which is neither confusing to the layman or insulting to those already familiar with certain aspects of quantum physics. This, I believe, is the primary reason Baxter is so enjoyable to read.