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Sunstorm

Cover of Sunstorm

Sunstorm

Time Odyssey Series, Book 2
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When Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the greatest science fiction writer ever, teams up with award-winning author Stephen Baxter, who shares Clarke's bold vision of a future where technology and humanism advance hand in hand, the result is bound to be a book of stellar ambition and accomplishment. Such was the case with Time's Eye. Now, in the highly anticipated sequel, Clarke and Baxter draw their epic to a triumphant conclusion that is as mind-blowing as anything in Clarke's famous Space Odyssey series.

SUNSTORM

Returned to the Earth of 2037 by the Firstborn, mysterious beings of almost limitless technological prowess, Bisesa Dutt is haunted by the memories of her five years spent on the strange alternate Earth called Mir, a jigsaw-puzzle world made up of lands and people cut out of different eras of Earth's history. Why did the Firstborn create Mir? Why was Bisesa taken there and then brought back on the day after her original disappearance?

Bisesa's questions receive a chilling answer when scientists discover an anomaly in the sun's core--an anomaly that has no natural cause is evidence of alien intervention over two thousand years before. Now plans set in motion millennia ago by inscrutable watchers light-years away are coming to fruition in a sunstorm designed to scour the Earth of all life in a bombardment of deadly radiation.

Thus commences a furious race against a ticking solar time bomb. But even now, as apocalypse looms, cooperation is not easy for the peoples and nations of the Earth. Religious and political differences threaten to undermine every effort.

And all the while, the Firstborn are watching...

From the Hardcover edition.
When Sir Arthur C. Clarke, the greatest science fiction writer ever, teams up with award-winning author Stephen Baxter, who shares Clarke's bold vision of a future where technology and humanism advance hand in hand, the result is bound to be a book of stellar ambition and accomplishment. Such was the case with Time's Eye. Now, in the highly anticipated sequel, Clarke and Baxter draw their epic to a triumphant conclusion that is as mind-blowing as anything in Clarke's famous Space Odyssey series.

SUNSTORM

Returned to the Earth of 2037 by the Firstborn, mysterious beings of almost limitless technological prowess, Bisesa Dutt is haunted by the memories of her five years spent on the strange alternate Earth called Mir, a jigsaw-puzzle world made up of lands and people cut out of different eras of Earth's history. Why did the Firstborn create Mir? Why was Bisesa taken there and then brought back on the day after her original disappearance?

Bisesa's questions receive a chilling answer when scientists discover an anomaly in the sun's core--an anomaly that has no natural cause is evidence of alien intervention over two thousand years before. Now plans set in motion millennia ago by inscrutable watchers light-years away are coming to fruition in a sunstorm designed to scour the Earth of all life in a bombardment of deadly radiation.

Thus commences a furious race against a ticking solar time bomb. But even now, as apocalypse looms, cooperation is not easy for the peoples and nations of the Earth. Religious and political differences threaten to undermine every effort.

And all the while, the Firstborn are watching...

From the Hardcover edition.
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  • From the book ReturnBisesa Dutt gasped, and staggered.

    She was standing. She didn't know where she was.

    Music was playing.

    She stared at a wall, which showed the magnified image of an impossibly beautiful young man crooning into an old-fashioned microphone. Impossible, yes; he was a synth-star, a distillation of the inchoate longings of subteen girls. "My God, he looks like Alexander the Great."

    Bisesa could barely take her eyes off the wall's moving colors, its brightness. She had forgotten how drab and dun-colored Mir had been. But then, Mir had been another world altogether.

    Aristotle said, "Good morning, Bisesa. This is your regular alarm call. Breakfast is waiting downstairs. The news headlines today are--"

    "Shut up." Her voice was a dusty desert croak.

    "Of course." The synthetic boy sang on softly.

    She glanced around. This was her bedroom, in her London apartment. It seemed small, cluttered. The bed was big, soft, not slept in.

    She walked to the window. Her military-issue boots were heavy on the carpet and left footprints of crimson dust. The sky was gray, on the cusp of sunrise, and the skyline of London was emerging from the flatness of silhouette.

    "Aristotle."

    "Bisesa?"

    "What's the date?"

    "Tuesday."

    "The date."

    "Ah. The ninth of June, 2037."

    "I should be in Afghanistan."

    Aristotle coughed. "I've grown used to your sudden changes of plans, Bisesa. I remember once--"

    "Mum?"

    The voice was small, sleepy. Bisesa turned.

    Myra was barefoot, her tummy stuck out, fist rubbing at one eye, hair tousled, a barely awake eight-year-old. She was wearing her favorite pajamas, the ones across which cartoon characters gamboled, even though they were now about two sizes too small for her. "You didn't say you were coming home."

    Something broke inside Bisesa. She reached out. "Oh, Myra--"

    Her daughter recoiled. "You smell funny."

    Shocked, Bisesa glanced down at herself. In her jumpsuit, scuffed and torn and coated with sweat-soaked sand, she was as out of place in this twenty-first-century London flat as if she had been wearing a spacesuit.

    She forced a smile. "I guess I need a shower. Then we'll have breakfast, and I'll tell you all about it . . ."

    The light changed, subtly. She turned to the window.

    There was an Eye over the city, a silver sphere, floating like a barrage balloon. She couldn't tell how far away it was, or how big. But she knew it was an instrument of the Firstborn, who had transported her to Mir, another world, and brought her home.

    And over the rooftops of London, a baleful sun was rising.

    The Peak of Eternal Light

    Mikhail Martynov had devoted his life to the study of Earth's star. And from the first moment he saw the sun, at the beginning of that fateful day, he knew, deep in his bones, that something was wrong.

    "Good morning, Mikhail. The time on the Moon is two o'clock in the morning. Good morning, Mikhail. The time is two o'clock and fifteen seconds. Good morning . . ."

    "Thank you, Thales." But he was already up and moving. As always he had woken to within a minute of his personal schedule, without need of Thales's softly spoken electronic wake-up call, a schedule he kept independently of the Houston time to which the rest of the Moon was enslaved.

    Mikhail was a man of routine. And he would begin the day, as he began every day of his long solitary watches in this Space Weather Service Station, with a walk into the sunlight.

    He took a quick breakfast of fruit concentrate and water. He always drank the water pure, never polluted with...
About the Author-
  • ARTHUR C. CLARKE is considered the greatest science fiction writer of all time and is an international treasure in many other ways, including the fact that a 1945 article by him in 1945 led to the invention of satellite technology. Books by Clarke--both fiction and nonfiction--have sold more than one hundred million copies worldwide. He lives in Sri Lanka.

    STEPHEN BAXTERis a trained engineer with degrees from Cambridge and Southampton universities. Baxter is the acclaimed author of the Manifold novels and Evolution. He is the winner of the British Science Fiction Award, the Locus Award, the John W. Campbell Award, and the Philip K. Dick Award, as well as being a nominee for an Arthur C. Clarke Award.

Reviews-
  • The New York Times Book Review "A rousing adventure."
  • Chicago Tribune "Wonderfully entertaining . . . a story that engrosses you with its dramatized ideas about the nature of existence . . . You won't set the book down either to eat or sleep or work if you can help it."
  • Entertainment Weekly (Editor's Choice) "By the end, when two of history's most ambitious conquerors meet, we are so thoroughly invested in the characters, we can't wait for the sequel."
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    Random House Publishing Group
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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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