Second in the Rifters Trilogy, Hugo Award-winning author Peter Watts' Maelstrom is a terrifying explosion of cyberpunk noir.
This is the way the world ends:
A nuclear strike on a deep sea vent. The target was an ancient microbe—voracious enough to drive the whole biosphere to extinction—and a handful of amphibious humans called rifters who'd inadvertently released it from three billion years of solitary confinement.
The resulting tsunami killed millions. It's not as through there was a choice: saving the world excuses almost any degree of collateral damage.
Unless, of course, you miss the target.
Now North America's west coast lies in ruins. Millions of refugees rally around a mythical figure mysteriously risen from the deep sea. A world already wobbling towards collapse barely notices the spread of one more blight along its shores. And buried in the seething fast-forward jungle that use to be called Internet, something vast and inhuman reaches out to a woman with empty white eyes and machinery in her chest. A woman driven by rage, and incubating Armageddon.
Her name is Lenie Clarke. She's a rifter. She's not nearly as dead as everyone thinks.
And the whole damn world is collateral damage as far as she's concerned. . . .
At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.
This sequel to Canadian Watts's well-received debut novel, Starfish (1999), delivers more of the same exciting hard SF adventure and imaginative plot. A killer tidal wave created by an explosion at an underwater geo-thermal power station has left the West Coast a shambles. No one knows what caused the explosion, not even the survivors, cyborg deep-sea divers Ken Lubin and Lenie Clarke. Lenie returns to land with only one thing on her mind: revenge for all the ills done to her in the past, especially the sexual abuse suffered at the hands of her father. In her misguided ramblings ashore, however, she unwittingly becomes a symbol to the refugees from the quake, a catalyst for protest and change. In the meantime, Achilles Desjardins, an agent of the Complex Systems Instability Response Agency (CSIRA), discovers that an insidious new soil microbe called Behemoth is poised to take over the planet. After tracing its origins to a geothermal generating station nearly 4,000 feet down at Channer Vent the same station where Lenie worked Desjardins finds that Lenie's route parallels Behemoth's expansion. And somehow Maelstrom, the multilayered innerspace once called the Net, has a hand in the movements of both. How Lenie and Behemoth are connected, and what each will become, is a long and tangled story full of intrigue, lies and high-tech diversions. Watts has a deft touch with the complex storyline, full of unique characters, both human and non-human, trapped in an all-too-possible future.