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Kevin D. Randle

Average Review Rating Average Rating 8/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Ace Books

Published : 2003

Copyright : Kevin D. Randle 2003

ISBN-10 : PB 0-441-01039-3
ISBN-13 : PB 978-0-441-01039-4

Publisher's Write-Up

For years we have watched the skies and listened for some indication that we share the Universe with other intelligent life.

Now, in the desert of New Mexico, the monitoring devices pick up faint but unmistakable sounds.


Coming from a mere fifty light-years away. From a source headed toward Earth. Proof, finally, that we are not alone. But what next? Will the approaching beings be friendly? Or otherwise?

As the Governments of Earth struggle toward a unified response, and panic spreads around the globe, the signals grow ever clearer, ever closer.

We are about to meet our neighbours...

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Reader Reviews

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Review by Paul Lappen (310505) Rating (8/10)

Review by Paul Lappen
Rating 8/10
Set in near future Earth, a signal has been received from space whose origin can't be explained. The initial thought is that it comes from one of the planets or moons in this system, or that it's some previously unknown pulsar or other interstellar noise maker. All that is known about the source of the signal is that it is 50 light years away, and that it is heading in Earth's general direction. For a few weeks, the signal is lost; when it is regained, "it" is only 30 light years away and still heading generally toward Earth. All known attempts to decipher the signal fail; the possibility is that the signal is internal, from ship to ship, and not meant as a message to another species.

Meantime, an ambitious American state senator latches on to the issue as a way to propel himself to Washington. Using some very questionable science, and some huge jumping to conclusions, he does a fine job of changing the public's focus from Unexplained Signal From Space to ALIEN INVASION! Panic and rioting spreads all over the world. (If this really is an invasion, how is stealing anything not already nailed down going to help?) The initial government and military response is to look like they are doing something (it's probably nothing, or this will quickly blow over). By this time, "it" is less than ten light years away and still heading toward Earth.

An obsolete space station, already in orbit, is retrofitted with appropriate engines and sent to the edge of the solar system. All they can do is to make themselves as noticeable as possible, and hope the aliens stop and have a look. They do stop, but First Contact ends up being rather anticlimactic.

This one is really good. The first of a four-part series, it focuses more on the people involved than on the science or the Contact part. It's a strong, well-done piece of writing.
Paul Lappen (31st May 2005)

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