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Moonseed

Written By:Stephen Baxter - 1998

  • Moonseed - Stephen Baxter cover

Synopsis

It eats planets. And it's here.

It started the night Geena and Henry broke up.

What was that strange light in the sky? A new star? A comet?

Neither. It was the death of Venus.

As if to commemorate the end of NASA's golden couple, our neighbor planet exploded into a brilliant cloud of dust and debris, showering the Earth with radiation and bizarre particles as big as bacteria—wiping out all the crops and half the life in the oceans, frying the ozone layer, forcing survivors to wear protective suits on city streets.

Days later, a few specks of moon rock from the last Apollo mission landed on a lava crag in Scotland. That was all it took. The ground itself began to shimmer, forming into spreading pools of luminous, almost liquid dust. Pools that grow larger every day, as the cultists of Infinite Egress drum and chant with apocalyptic joy...

So begins Stephen Baxter's most ambitious, most exciting, and ultimately most fascinating movel: Moonseed, the story of a menace that falls to Earth from and unimaginably distant past, pushing us to the brink of an extinction event unparalleled in our plant's history.

For what has demolished Venus, and now threatens Earth itself, is part machine, part life-form: a ten-dimensional superstring nanovirus that literally eats rock, transforming it into liquid, and then into molecule-sized black holes that devour the very fabric lof space-time.

Feasting on Edinburgh's primeval basalt, Moodseed is steadily eating its way toward Earth's core. The death toll rises by the hour as buildings collapse into streets that flow like water; as hundred-foot tsunamis obliterate Seattle and Vancouver; as volcanoes sprout like weeds across the planet's quickly decaying mantle.

NASA "rock-jockey" Henry Meacher and his Japanese colleague, Blue, race to cut off the virus and save what is left of the Earth. Meanwhile Henry's ex, Geena, straps in with a Russian cosmonaut for a daredevil Moon voyage, ultimately reuniting with Henry and searching for the lunar ice deposits that might make possible the greatest evacuation since Noah braved the Flood.

And a mother and her young son clamber for the last solid ground in the liquefying Scottish Highlands, under the baleful stars of a dying universe...

Blurb

Audacious beyond comparison, grand in conception, and gripping in execution, Moonseed is the first modern novel to do justic to the awesome terror and promise implicit in quantum science. Like all of Baxter's work, it blazes new paths from which science fiction will surely follow in the years to come, and becomes required reading for anyone wishing to understand the awesome promise—and threat—revealed by modern science.

Catastrophe:

cosmic

Type:

realistic