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A Darkling Sea by [Cambias, James L.]
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A Darkling Sea Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Length: 353 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

"A stunning debut! Alien races to rival Larry Niven, world-building to rival Hal Clement, and lots of rip-roaring adventure. James Cambias will be one of the century's major names in hard science fiction."
--Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of "Red Planet Blues

"

"Fast-paced, pure quill hard science fiction.... Cambias delivers adroit plot pivots that keep the suspense coming."
--Gregory Benford, Nebula Award-winning author of "Timescape

""This is great fun--traditional science fiction but with today's science. And I love the aliens."
--Jo Walton, Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning author of "Among Others

"

"The best story about an alien race and its environment that I've read in a long time. Cambias is in the same league as Hal Clement."
--Vernor Vinge, Hugo Award-winning author of "A Fire Upon the Deep

"

"Cambias's exploration of truly alien politics is fast, fun, and packed with characters you'll cheer for. It's exciting to welcome an exuberant new voice to the ranks of hard science fiction!"

--Karl Schroeder, author of "Ventus"


"A compelling read."

--Michael Flynn, author of "On the Razor's Edge
"
"A fascinating exploration of alien lives at the extreme edges of an alien world."
--Brenda Cooper, award-winning author of "The Silver Ship and the Sea"

"An impressive debut by a gifted writer."
--"Publishers Weekly, " Starred Review"An exceptionally thoughtful, searching and intriguing debut."
--"Kirkus, " Starred Review"Like Silverberg, who developed fully realized alien societies in such novels as "Downward to the Earth "(to which this novel bears some thematic resemblance), Cambias makes the Sholen and Ilmataran people and cultures as real as the more familiar human component. Beautifully written, with a story that captures the imagination the way SF should."
--"Booklist, " Starred Review

"A stunning debut! Alien races to rival Larry Niven, world-building to rival Hal Clement, and lots of rip-roaring adventure. James Cambias will be one of the century's major names in hard science fiction."
--Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of "Red Planet Blues
"

"Fast-paced, pure quill hard science fiction.... Cambias delivers adroit plot pivots that keep the suspense coming."
--Gregory Benford, Nebula Award-winning author of "Timescape
""This is great fun--traditional science fiction but with today's science. And I love the aliens."
--Jo Walton, Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning author of "Among Others
"

"The best story about an alien race and its environment that I've read in a long time. Cambias is in the same league as Hal Clement."
--Vernor Vinge, Hugo Award-winning author of "A Fire Upon the Deep
"

"Cambias's exploration of truly alien politics is fast, fun, and packed with characters you'll cheer for. It's exciting to welcome an exuberant new voice to the ranks of hard science fiction!"

--Karl Schroeder, author of "Ventus"


"A compelling read."

--Michael Flynn, author of "On the Razor's Edge
"
"A fascinating exploration of alien lives at the extreme edges of an alien world."
--Brenda Cooper, award-winning author of "The Silver Ship and the Sea"

Cambias's exploration of truly alien politics is fast, fun, and packed with characters you'll cheer for. It's exciting to welcome an exuberant new voice to the ranks of hard science fiction!--Karl Schroeder, author of Ventus

A compelling read.--Michael Flynn, author of On the Razor s Edge"

An impressive debut by a gifted writer. "Publishers Weekly, Starred Review"

An exceptionally thoughtful, searching and intriguing debut. "Kirkus, Starred Review"

Like Silverberg, who developed fully realized alien societies in such novels as "Downward to the Earth "(to which this novel bears some thematic resemblance), Cambias makes the Sholen and Ilmataran people and cultures as real as the more familiar human component. Beautifully written, with a story that captures the imagination the way SF should. "Booklist, Starred Review"

A stunning debut! Alien races to rival Larry Niven, world-building to rival Hal Clement, and lots of rip-roaring adventure. James Cambias will be one of the century's major names in hard science fiction. "Robert J. Sawyer, Hugo Award-winning author of Red Planet Blues"

Fast-paced, pure quill hard science fiction.... Cambias delivers adroit plot pivots that keep the suspense coming. "Gregory Benford, Nebula Award-winning author of Timescape"

This is great fun--traditional science fiction but with today's science. And I love the aliens. "Jo Walton, Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Award-winning author of Among Others"

The best story about an alien race and its environment that I've read in a long time. Cambias is in the same league as Hal Clement. "Vernor Vinge, Hugo Award-winning author of A Fire Upon the Deep"

Cambias's exploration of truly alien politics is fast, fun, and packed with characters you'll cheer for. It's exciting to welcome an exuberant new voice to the ranks of hard science fiction! Karl Schroeder, author of Ventus

A compelling read. Michael Flynn, author of On the Razor s Edge

A fascinating exploration of alien lives at the extreme edges of an alien world. "Brenda Cooper, award-winning author of The Silver Ship and the Sea""

About the Author

James Cambias has been nominated for the Nebula Award, the James Tiptree Jr. Award, and the 2001 John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. He lives in Western Massachusetts. "A ""Darkling Sea" is his first novel.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 994 KB
  • Print Length: 353 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (28 Jan. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00FO6HV20
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #256,357 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Deep within the oceans of watery, ice-covered planet Ilmatar lies a deep-sea laboratory built by humans and full of scientists. Their mission is to study and absolutely not interfere with the native species of Ilmatarans, a sentient blind lobster-like race that lives on the ocean floor, farming algae and fish and harvesting the mineral-rich vents. This peaceful co-existence (founded on ignorance on one side and curiosity on the other) is strictly monitored by a third species, the offworld Sholen. If the Sholen were to learn that humans had made their presence known to the Ilmatarans then they would force them off the planet, or worse.

It's unfortunate, then, that Henri Kerlerec, an adventurer scientist and media favourite, should choose to test the invisibility of his new diving suit on a bunch of Ilmatarans. It's even more unfortunate that these particular Ilmatarans should be an expedition of scientists who cannot believe their good fortune in discovering such an oddity swimming in their environment. So curious are they, and so odd is it, that they have no choice but to rush it back to one of their labs and dissect it, bit by bit. Henri's suit camera films it all. It's not long before the Sholens are in orbit. And from then on things can only get worse. There will be war.

A Darkling Sea is a captivating first contact novel. It mixes perfectly the horrific and the fantastic by skillfully mixing the perspectives of these three species as they get to know each other kilometres below the surface of the ice-bound planet. We focus on a few representative individuals from each race - the humans Rob and Alicia, the Ilmataran Broadtail and the Sholen Tizhos and Gishora.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A Darkling Sea is a science fiction novel about scientists and explorers. They are exploring a moon, covered in a thick layer of solid ice, with a liquid, bittercold ocean underneath. There are three sets of scientists: humans, there to study the native life forms, native creatures, researching their own world, and another alien species, coming to tell the humans off for violating a space treaty that prohibited them from interacting with any intelligent aliens (which one of the explorers inadvertently did).

With a novel that has two alien civilisations at its heart, there is huge room for imagination to run wild. So I was slightly disappointed that these aliens were not, psychologically, terribly alien. The natives may be beluga-sized crustaceans with claws and feelers and pincers - but their social order and organisation and mindset is only alien around the edges. They might have different notions of nurturing the young ones, no interest in sex, and other superficial differences - but they still talk and think and interact and converse and research in ways that seem not that different from humans. In fact, it is perfectly conceivable that tribal and feudal systems on Earth could have much in common with their society. There is something interesting going on in the way they recall events and talk about the past, but it's not alien enough for my taste. The second alien species is all about sex, emotions, consensus, but they, too, could feasibly be a human society, when it comes to their own culture and psychology (and their Rousseauesque notions of noble savages).
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very good read. One of those books that pulls you into the story and it all comes alive in you mind. Highly recomended for those who enjoy a good science fiction story with some good science facts on the side .
It takes place under the ice of a distant planet in a realistic universe with the facts and consequences in good order. There is a political game with two well described alien species and humanity and it gives an interesting perspective of various standpoints.
The book reads a bit like a thriller, being rather fast paced, which is quite nice but I'd preferred a bit more flesh on the bones and a less abrupt ending to give it a fifth star.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Up there with the best scifi of 2014, very little tops this impressive debut. Well-written, providing enough detail to keep things scientifically plausible and make the aliens convincing.
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was surprised how much I enjoyed this book. A good standalone story covering some interesting concepts. Maybe Europa is like this.
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