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Description de l’éditeur
The Solar System is finally recovering from the Great War - a war that devastated the planets and nearly wiped out the human race - and the population of the outer moons, orbiting Jupiter and Saturn, is growing.
On one of those moons, Alex Ligon, scion of a great interplanetary trading family has developed a wonderfully accurate new population model and cannot wait until the newly reconstituted "Seine", the interlinked network of computers that spans the planets and moons and asteroids, comes back online. But when it does, and he extends his perfect model a century into the future, it predicts the complete destruction of the human race.
On another moon, the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence goes on, undaunted by generations of failure. And to her amazement, Millie Wu, a young genius newly recruited to the project, has found a signal... a signal that is coming from outside the solar system.
And in his new retreat on a minor moon of Saturn, the cranky genius Rustum Battachariya is still collecting weapons from the Great War. He thinks he may have stumbled on an unexpected new one...but he'll need to disarm it before it destroys the Sun.
Fans of tangled plots, detailed settings and taut adventure will have a great time with Nebula Award winner Sheffield's follow-up to Cold as Ice (1992). Earth and settlements on our moon and on Mars languish following the Great War, while colonies in the Asteroid Belt and on the moons of Jupiter and Saturn are now thriving centers for business and research. Alex Ligon, heir to Ligon Industries, has turned his back on the family business to pursue mathematical modeling of development in the solar system. As Alex frets over his latest model, which shows humanity mysteriously dying out within a century, his family manipulates him into visiting Bat, a brilliant but antisocial hacker who owns the lease on Saturn's moon Pandora, where the Ligons want to place a new processing facility. Eager to acquire a cosmically devastating weapon left over from the Great War of which he's heard rumor, Bat agrees to meet with Alex out of curiosity over the mathematician's population model and a possible connection between it and the weapon. In the meantime, a man who may be the key to Bat's hypothetical superweapon is on his way to Ganymede, and SETI investigator Milly Wu has discovered the first real signal from an alien intelligence. Sheffield ties all the threads together a little too neatly by the end, but there's plenty of yarn left over for another sequel. The world he creates here seems imminently possible, and his characters, especially Milly and Bat, are portrayed with humor as well as the intellectual rigor demanded by a hard SF plot.