Michael Crichton meets Marvel’s Venom in award-winning author Seth Dickinson’s science fiction debut
"Agonizing and mesmerizing, a devastating and extraordinary achievement."—The New York Times
“Magnificent. . . . A science fiction action juggernaut.”—Tamsyn Muir
A most anticipated book of 2024 according to Goodreads, LitHub, and The New Scientist
“Anna, I came to Earth tracking a very old story, a story that goes back to the dawn of time. It’s very unlikely that you’ll die right now. It wouldn’t be narratively complete.”
Anna Sinjari—refugee, survivor of genocide, disaffected office worker—has a close encounter that reveals universe-threatening stakes. Enter Ssrin, a many-headed serpent alien who is on the run from her own past. Ssrin and Anna are inexorably, dangerously drawn to each other, and their contact reveals universe-threatening stakes.
While humanity reels from disaster, Anna must join a small team of civilians, soldiers, and scientists to investigate a mysterious broadcast and unknowable horror. If they can manage to face their own demons, they just might save the world.
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
Survival is the measure of success for people overwhelmed by alien forces in this adroit alternate history of first contact from fantasist Dickinson (the Baru Cormorant trilogy). Anna Sinjari, a Kurd living in 2013 New York City, finds an eight-headed extraterrestrial casually snacking on turtles in Central Park. Bound soul to soul by a mysterious alien force, Anna and Ssrin, who turns out to be a rebel from the Exordia galactic empire, attempt to recover a crashed spaceship and avoid the enforcers coming to nab Ssrin. The trail leads them back to Kurdistan, where Anna must confront her mother, Khaje, and fellow villagers, who are all still wary of Anna after she made a devil's bargain to help them survive an Iraqi-led genocide. The rest of the world notices their struggle, bringing in a swarm of special forces units and nuclear-armed aircraft to an otherwise peaceful countryside. Layering in a bromance, an odd-couple pair of female physicists, an Iranian fighter pilot with a Top Gun obsession, and mother-daughter conflict, Dickinson skillfully puts the cosmic scale of the Exordian rebellion into manageably personal terms. With cool alien technology, admirably hopeful heroes, and SFF pop culture references littered throughout, this will have readers hooked.
Very bad for sleep, very good for reading
Really excellent. I preordered on the strength of his other books, and this totally lives up to them.