After an unexplained moment of surveillance by an alien intelligence no further contact has been made for twenty-five years. But all this is about to change. For a man hiding in the Oregon desert is about to play a key role in the next stage of human evolution. February 13, 2082, First Contact. Sixty-two thousand objects of unknown origin plunge into Earth's atmosphere - a perfect grid of falling stars screaming across the radio spectrum as they burn. Not even ashes reach the ground. Three hundred and sixty degrees of global surveillance: something just took a snapshot. And then... nothing. But from deep space, whispers. Something out there talks - but not to us. Two ships, Theseus and the Crown of Thorns, are launched to discover the origin of Earth's visitation, one bound for the outer dark of the Kuiper Belt, the other for the heart of the Solar System. Their crews can barely be called human, what they will face certainly can't. 'A tour de force, redefining the First Contact story for good' Charles Stross. 'If you only read one science fiction novel this year, make it this one! ... it puts the whole of the rest of the genre in the shade ... It deserves to walk away with the Clarke, the Hugo, the Nebula, the BSFA, and pretty much any other genre award for which it's eligible. It's off the scale ... FÃ¢ Ã¢ king awesome!' Richard Morgan. 'State-of-the-art science fiction: smart, dark and it grabs you by the throat from page one' Neal Ascher.
'Brilliant and merciless' SFX. 'If you read one SF novel this year, read this one' Richard Morgan. 'State of the art. Smart, dark and it grabs you by the throat from page one' Neal Ascher. 'Exhilarating, up-to-date science fiction' New York Times. 'Remarkable' Gene Wolfe. 'A tour de force' Charles Stross.
Peter Watts is a science fiction writer and a reformed marine-mammal biologist. He is the author of the Rifters trilogy, a winner of the Aurora, Hugo and Shirley Jackson awards and a Locus, Sturgeon and Campbell award nominee. Watts lives in Toronto. Visit www.rifters.com