David Brin and Gregory Benford come together again to issue a new edition of their bold collaboration about our near human future in space, planting our boots . . . and staking our destiny . . . on becoming the People of the Comet.
Prescient and scientifically accurate, Heart of the Comet is known as one of the great "hard sf" novels of the 1980s. First published in 1986, it tells the story of an ambitious manned mission to visit Halley's Comet and alter its orbit, to mine it for resources. But all too soon, native cells— that might once have brought life to Earth—begin colonizing the colonists. As factions battle over the comet's future . . . and that of Earth . . . only love, courage and ingenuity can avert disaster, and possibly spark a new human destiny.
Tremendously imaginative . . . a breathtaking effort from two of science fiction’s brightest stars. — The San Diego Union
To celebrate the rturn of Halley's comet this year, two of SF's best young writers have collaborated on this long, intriguing but ultimately depressing novel that begins with the next fly-by in 2061. An ambitious expedition uses the iceball as a natural spaceship but their discoveries soon include a deadly viral lifeform that decimates the crew. Then, the already volatile conflicts between factions explode into violent confrontation as the Orthos attack the genetically enhanced Percells. Against this background, the novel highlights the love affair of biologist Saul Lintz, who helped create the Percells, and Percell computer engineer Virginia Herbert, who is pioneering a biologically based computer possessing genuine artificial intelligence. Although they eventually save the mission from itself and a hostile Earth, the multiple examples of mankind's perversity make this a frustrating experience. 40,000 first printing; $40,000 ad/promo.