The Firstborn–the mysterious race of aliens who first became known to science fiction fans as the builders of the iconic black monolith in 2001: A Space Odyssey–have inhabited legendary master of science fiction Sir Arthur C. Clarke’s writing for decades. With Time’s Eye and Sunstorm, the first two books in their acclaimed Time Odyssey series, Clarke and his brilliant co-author Stephen Baxter imagined a near-future in which the Firstborn seek to stop the advance of human civilization by employing a technology indistinguishable from magic.
Their first act was the Discontinuity, in which Earth was carved into sections from different eras of history, restitched into a patchwork world, and renamed Mir. Mir’s inhabitants included such notables as Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and United Nations peacekeeper Bisesa Dutt. For reasons unknown to her, Bisesa entered into communication with an alien artifact of inscrutable purpose and godlike power–a power that eventually returned her to Earth. There, she played an instrumental role in humanity’s race against time to stop a doomsday event: a massive solar storm triggered by the alien Firstborn designed to eradicate all life from the planet. That fate was averted at an inconceivable price. Now, twenty-seven years later, the Firstborn are back.
This time, they are pulling no punches: They have sent a “quantum bomb.” Speeding toward Earth, it is a device that human scientists can barely comprehend, that cannot be stopped or destroyed–and one that will obliterate Earth.
Bisesa’s desperate quest for answers sends her first to Mars and then to Mir, which is itself threatened with extinction. The end seems inevitable. But as shocking new insights emerge into the nature of the Firstborn and their chilling plans for mankind, an unexpected ally appears from light-years away.
“Clarke and Baxter have mastered the art of saving the world in blockbuster style.”—Entertainment Weekly
Returned to the Earth of 2037 by the mysterious and powerful Firstborn, Bisesa Dutt is haunted by 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 just a day after her disappearance?
Bisesa’s questions are answered when scientists discover an unnatural anomaly in the sun’s core—evidence of alien intervention more than two thousand years ago. Now plans set in motion by inscrutable observers light-years away are coming to fruition in a sunstorm designed to eradicate all life on Earth in a bombardment of radiation. As the apocalypse looms, religious and political differences on Earth threaten to undermine every countereffort. And all the while, the Firstborn are watching. . . .
Praise for Sunstorm
“An absolute must for science fiction fans.”—All Things Considered, NPR
“Enthralling . . . highly satisfying.”—The New York Times Book Review
“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.”—Chicago Tribune
In an instant, Earth is carved up in time and reassembled like a huge jigsaw puzzle. Suddenly the world becomes a patchwork of eras, from prehistory to 2037, each with its own indigenous inhabitants. The explanation for this cataclysmic event may lie in the ancient city of Babylon, where two groups of refugees from 2037—three cosmonauts and three U.N. peacekeepers—have detected strange radio signals. The peacekeepers find allies in nineteenthcentury British troops and in the armies of Alexander the Great. The cosmonauts join forces with the Mongol horde led by Genghis Khan. Both sides set out for Babylon, vowing to win the race for knowledge—as a powerful and mysterious entity watches, waiting.
Praise for Time’s Eye
“A rousing adventure.”—The New York Times Book Review
“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.”—Entertainment Weekly (Editor’s Choice)