“Clarke and Baxter have mastered the art of saving the world in blockbuster style.”—Entertainment Weekly
Returned to the Earth of 2037 by the mysterious and powerful Firstborn, Bisesa Dutt is haunted by memories of her five years spent on the strange alternate Earth called Mir, a jigsaw-puzzle world made up of lands and people cut out of different eras of Earth’s history. Why did the Firstborn create Mir? Why was Bisesa taken there and then brought back just a day after her disappearance?
Bisesa’s questions are answered when scientists discover an unnatural anomaly in the sun’s core—evidence of alien intervention more than two thousand years ago. Now plans set in motion by inscrutable observers light-years away are coming to fruition in a sunstorm designed to eradicate all life on Earth in a bombardment of radiation. As the apocalypse looms, religious and political differences on Earth threaten to undermine every countereffort. And all the while, the Firstborn are watching. . . .
Praise for Sunstorm
“An absolute must for science fiction fans.”—All Things Considered, NPR
“Enthralling . . . highly satisfying.”—The New York Times Book Review
“Will keep readers turning pages.”—Publishers Weekly
Set in the same universe as Clarke's 2001 and its sequels, Clarke and Baxter's second and final Time Odyssey book (after 2004's Time's Eye) will especially appeal to fans of hard SF who appreciate well-grounded science and humans with a can-do attitude to problem solving. In 2037, the same day the enigmatic alien Firstborn return Bisea Dutt, the heroine of Time's Eye, to her home in London, the city grinds to a halt as a sun storm sends a massive surge of energy to Earth, temporarily destroying the world's electronic infrastructure. This surge presages another, much larger sun storm, due to hit in 2042, which will utterly annihilate life across the globe. Against all odds, the nations of Earth come together to construct a huge space umbrella that will shield the planet from the worst of the barrage. The answer to why the sun's activity is being manipulated to wipe out life on Earth must wait, given the day-to-day difficulties and politics of the construction project. The five-year sweep of events, the plethora of characters and the cuts from Mars to Earth to the moon during the climactic sun storm give the story a movie montage feel, but the focus on the enormously challenging task at hand will keep readers turning the pages.