By the winner of the 1995 Nebula Award for best novel, a superb new science-fiction thriller: Aliens have arrived on Earth … and they seem friendly.
Set in the present day, communication with the aliens – bizarre creatures with four-fold rather than two-fold symmetry from the Alpha Centauri system – is relatively straightforward. Their mother ship has been damaged and the people of Earth are asked to manufacture replacement parts, with the offer of alien technology in return. It will take a couple of years.
But the story climaxes in a tense courtroom drama with one of the aliens on a murder charge. It is a scenario that gives an entirely new slant to the broad moral issues and intense legal dilemmas beloved of Grisham readers: ET meets A TIME
TO KILL. The aliens actually have an INDEPENDENCE DAY-type agenda, but dissenters amongst them, one of whom is the alien accused of murder, are opposed to their government’s policy of sterilization of all other worlds.
… Then another starship arrives from Alpha Centauri with DIFFERENT aliens on board carrying news that eclipses all that has gone before.
The pace is remorseless, terrific, buttressed by the flow of exotic information – the aliens’ religion is especially interesting and relevant. Absorbing and exciting. Sawyer is a natural writer with a big future.