Civilization rests on the backs of its outcasts.
So when civilization needs someone to run generating stations three kilometers below the surface of the Pacific, it seeks out a special sort of person for its Rifters program. It recruits those whose histories have preadapted them to dangerous environments, people so used to broken bodies and chronic stress that life on the edge of an undersea volcano would actually be a step up. Nobody worries too much about job satisfaction; if you haven't spent a lifetime learning the futility of fighting back, you wouldn't be a rifter in the first place. It's a small price to keep the lights going, back on shore.
But there are things among the cliffs and trenches of the Juan de Fuca Ridge that no one expected to find, and enough pressure can forge the most obedient career-victim into something made of iron. At first, not even the rifters know what they have in them—and by the time anyone else finds out, the outcast and the downtrodden have their hands on a kill switch for the whole damn planet...
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Peter Watts's first novel explores the last mysterious place on earth--the floor of a deep sea rift. Channer Vent is a zone of freezing darkness that belongs to shellfish the size of boulders and crimson worms three meters long. It's the temporary home of the maintenance crew of a geothermal energy plant--a crew made up of the damaged and dysfunctional flotsam of an overpopulated near-future earth. The crew's reluctant leader, basket case Lenie Clarke, can barely survive in the upper world, but she quickly falls under the rift's spell, just as Watts's magical descriptions of it enchant the reader: "Steam never gets a chance to form at three hundred atmospheres, but thermal distortion turns the water into a column of writhing liquid prisms, hotter than molten glass."
Watts is investigating monsters. Gigantic deep sea monsters, surgically-altered-from-human monsters, faceless jellied-brain computer monsters--which monsters are human, which are more than human, which are less? Watts keeps the story line stripped down to showcase the theme of dehumanization. The anonymous millions who live along the unstable shore of N'AmPac come under threat (a triggered earthquake, and perhaps a disaster that's slower but even more pitiless) from their own dehumanized creations. But Watts is less interested in whether Lenie can save the dry world as in whether she can save herself. In Starfish, Watts stretches the boundaries of humanity up, down, and sideways to see whether its dimensions reveal anything we'd be proud to be a part of. --Blaise SelbyFrom the Publisher :
"Peter Watts delivers--solid, inventive hard SF about the deep sea, but as we've never seen before. This moves like the wind." --Gregory Benford, author of Cosm
"Peter Watts bathes a gonzo, hopeless pessimism reminiscent of Philip K. Dick or Joanna Russ in the cold, edgy light of hard science fiction a la Benford, Bear, or Tiptree. In Starfish, Watts creates in his protagonist a poetry of dysfunction which is angry and eerily redemptive, and which makes compelling, almost compulsive reading." --Candas Jane Dorsey
"I read Starfish in several large gulps. The story drives like a futuristic locomotive. It's a hypnotic read, somber and compelling. Best thing I've read in a long time. Peter Watts is an author to watch for." --Robert Sheckley
"The dark universe of the sea bottom and the rich characterization captivate to the last page. Watts makes a brilliant debut with a novel that is part undersea adventure, part psychological thriller, and wholly original." --Booklist
"With gritty action and realistic science, Peter Watts brings to life a dark and vivid world." --David Brin
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Description du livre État : New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. N° de réf. du libraire 97822650894880000000