“Fans of Lucas Davenport and Virgil Flowers will eat this up.” --Stephen King
For fans of THE MARTIAN, an extraordinary new thriller of the future from #1 New York Times–bestselling and Pulitzer Prize–winning author John Sandford and internationally known photo-artist and science fiction aficionado Ctein.
Over the course of thirty-seven books, John Sandford has proven time and again his unmatchable talents for electrifying plots, rich characters, sly wit, and razor-sharp dialogue. Now, in collaboration with Ctein, he proves it all once more, in a stunning new thriller, a story as audacious as it is deeply satisfying.
The year is 2066. A Caltech intern inadvertently notices an anomaly from a space telescope—something is approaching Saturn, and decelerating. Space objects don’t decelerate. Spaceships do.
A flurry of top-level government meetings produces the inescapable conclusion: Whatever built that ship is at least one hundred years ahead in hard and soft technology, and whoever can get their hands on it exclusively and bring it back will have an advantage so large, no other nation can compete. A conclusion the Chinese definitely agree with when they find out.
The race is on, and an remarkable adventure begins—an epic tale of courage, treachery, resourcefulness, secrets, surprises, and astonishing human and technological discovery, as the members of a hastily thrown-together crew find their strength and wits tested against adversaries both of this earth and beyond. What happens is nothing like you expect—and everything you could want from one of the world’s greatest masters of suspense.
In this thoroughly absorbing first-contact yarn from author Sanford (the Lucas Davenport thriller series) and photographer Ctein, the Americans and Chinese reenact the fable of the tortoise and the hare in a race to claim the richest scientific find in human history. When Sanders Heacock Darlington takes a position at the Caltech Astrophysics Working Group, it's only a way to keep himself occupied until his inheritance comes through. By accident, he's first to observe an alien object decelerating in the solar system. This draws the attention of Crow, security adviser to President Amanda Santeros. Political power and social ideology create a volatile mix, with brinkmanship and errors of hubris that swiftly reduce the characters to their bare humanity. Scenes of wonder and beauty are joined with moments of helpless calamity at a pace that leaves the reader no time to look back and consider what just happened. The authors include plenty of fascinating technology and inside jokes for SF fans, and the conclusion is inevitable and satisfying.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Correction of misinformation
Apologies for jumping in. I feel an author should not argue with readers, who are entirely entitled to feel however they do about a book. I am, of course, disappointed bobsa didn't enjoy our book, but that's his right.
I'm posting because of the need to correct wrong information. Bobsa seems to think I am someone named "Barry Stein." Until his review, I'd never heard of Barry Stein. My name, my full and legal name, really is Ctein. I don't write under any pseudonyms. I am highly Googleable.
I also apologize for starring our own book, but I couldn't figure out any way to post this without stars, so I gave it the average rating on other sites. Hopefully this will only minimally distort the legitimate results.
That's all. I return you to the program in progress.
Hugo Award Candidate!
If you like (and miss) good HARD science fiction with a detailed, plausible and technical narrative, this one is for you. Good character development, dialogue and plot. The only thing I found a bit wanting and preventing a five star rating was the ending.
Especially after playing Kerbal Space Program, I loved the hard science. Character development was very good. I dropped a star because the actual alien interaction was disappointing.