An inventive, speculative adventure and the intimate tale of four people facing their most desperate hour - alone, together, at the edge of the universe.
The video changed everything. Before that, we could believe that we were safe. Special. Chosen. We thought the universe was a twinkling ocean of opportunity, waiting to be explored.
Afterward, we knew better.
Seven years after first contact, Providence Five launches. It is an enormous and deadly warship, built to protect humanity from its greatest ever threat. On board is a crew of just four-tasked with monitoring the ship and reporting the war's progress to a mesmerized global audience by way of social media.
But while pursuing the enemy across space, Gilly, Talia, Anders, and Jackson confront the unthinkable: their communications are cut, their ship decreasingly trustworthy and effective. To survive, they must win a fight that is suddenly and terrifyingly real.
'Providence is Philip K. Dick and William Gibson fueled by pure adrenaline (with a bit of Spielberg and Ridley Scott thrown in.) The brilliant, unstoppable imagination of Max Barry glows on every page of this action-filled yet emotionally resonant tale. It will keep you riveted from first page till last.' - Jeffery Deaver, author of The Never Game
This terrific sci-fi thriller from Barry (Lexicon) pits humanity against a powerful and rapacious alien enemy. In the near future, scientists studying bacterial growth aboard a research vessel in space die after being attacked by six-legged creatures, some human size, that spit tiny black holes. Earth declares war on the aliens, nicknamed salamanders, recruiting the best and the brightest to seek out and destroy as many of the creatures as possible. Seven years after that deadly first contact, five combat spaceships enhanced with advanced AI are launched. One is under the command of Capt. Jolene Jackson, whose crew consists of an IT expert, a weapons officer, and a life officer responsible for maintaining the crew's mental health. All four struggle with the challenges of their isolated and claustrophobic four-year mission, even as the vessel's AI makes most of their abilities redundant. Naturally, the assignment isn't as straightforward as it was billed, with the salamanders able to learn and adapt from every defeat, and each team member is tested both mentally and physically. Fans of Robert Heinlein open to more nuanced characterizations will be delighted.
Had a lot of good stuff to say about populist authoritarian states and social media that I loved. Great pace and dialogue.