- 3,99 €
The end draws nigh....The year is 2053, and Earth has barely recovered from the Alpha Centauri supernova that destroyed much of the planet's infrastructure. Now the supernova's residual effect - a storm of high-energy particles - is racing toward Earth, and an international effort has been launched out of the Sky City space colony to save the planet. But the controversial plan - to build a giant protective shield for Earth - is falling dangerously behind schedule. A series of unexplained murders has disrupted the Sky City workforce, so much so that a brilliant but monstrous criminal has been enlisted to track down the Sky City killer.Then comes more startling news. Evidence indicates that the original supernova was caused deliberately, and that the lethal particle storm will arrive sooner than anyone expected. But who - or what - tried to destroy the Earth? And will the answer come in time to save it from its final apocalypse?
High-tech hard SF and murder mystery converge in Sheffield's (Aftermath) latest, multi-voiced narrative, but the result does credit to neither genre. After escaping from the "judicial sleep" in which he was to have spent six centuries atoning for killing 18 adolescent girls in order to clone happier versions of them, infamous murderer Oliver Guest hid in an Irish castle. More than 11 years later, in 2053, Guest, still on the lam, is found by Seth Parsigian, who blackmails him into helping to identify a serial killer who has been slaying teenage girls on Sky City. The murders are upsetting the city's dedicated residents, who are building a shield to help Earth survive an oncoming wave of deadly particles from Alpha Centauri. While U.S. president Celine Tanaka handles the political fallout from physicist Wilmer Oldfield's disastrous predictions about the proximity of the approaching particles, Gordy Rolfe, the short, depraved genius who is in charge of building the protective shield, sabotages Earth's plans for survival so he can rule the depopulated planet that will be left in the wake of the disaster. Though there is plenty of action--the murders are solved, a love affair begins, evil characters are vanquished--the many switches in points of view produce a herky-jerky narrative, and there are long, dull expositions about particle waves and space stations. Sheffield creates powerful space-faring women, but his dark wit sparkles most in his depiction of Oliver Guest, who is rewarded for his crimes by having a houseful of loving little girls always at his beck and call.