Neptune Crossing

Volume 1 of
The Chaos Chronicles


When survey pilot John Bandicutlalis Into a cavern on Triton, his lif changes forever . . . and for an alien quarx, one hundred million years of solitude suddenly comes to an end.

The quarx, part of an eons-old interstellar civilization that use advanced chaos theory to predict catastrophic events, cannot by itself prevent the cometary collision that threatens to devastate the Earth. John Bandicut must help this strange disembodied alien, knowing that Humanity's very existence rides on the result. He has to break all the rules and sacrifice everything he has ever known or loved to prevent a cataclysm that neither he nor any human can possibly detect.

Hurtling across our solar system at incredible speed in a stolen ship, Bandicut can only hope that his desperate gamble will save the Earth. Even it he doesn't live to see it again.

"Those that read this one will surely return for a second helping . . . Carver has a fascinating vehicle here, he's going someplace interesting, and there are still seats available. Grab one."
—Thomas A. Easton, Analog

Cover Art by Alan Gutierrez

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This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this novel are either fictitious or are used fictitiously.

First printing, January 1994

A Tor Book
Published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC.
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New York, NY 10010

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Carver, Jeffrey A.
Neptune Crossing / Jeffrey A. Carver.
p. cm.
"A Tom Doherty Associates Book." ISBN 0-812-53515-4
1. Life on other planets-Fiction. I. Title.
PS3553.A7892N46 1994
813'.54-dc20 93-44423

Printed in the United States of America

ISBN-13: 978-0-812-53515-0
ISBN-10: 0-812-53515-4

Copyright© 1994 by Jeffrey A. Carver
Author's web site:

This e-book edition has been prepared by the author for a limited, free-distribution offer to the reading public. Read it, enjoy it, share it with friends! But the author's trying to make a living, too, and he reserves the right to withdraw the offer at any time. Commercial and derivative uses are not authorized without express permission from the author or his agent.

"This electronic edition, and no other, has been distributed with my consent and co-operation. Those who approve of courtesy (at least) to living authors will download it, and no other."
—Jeffrey A. Carver

Electronic version by Baen Books

For Julia Dakota Carver ...
there's a galaxy waiting for you out there.


FOR SCIENTIFIC AND technical advice concerning Triton, I gratefully acknowledge the assistance of Dr. Robert H. Brown of NASA's Jet Propulsion laboratory, as well as JPL's public information office. I am, of course, grateful for the Voyager 2 spacecraft itself, which sent back so many fine photos of my distant subject. I would also like to acknowledge the editors and contributors to The Planetary Report, Science News, and Ad Astra, who provided inspiration and information in ways too numerous to list. Finally, I must acknowledge James Gleick's book, Chaos, which is a wonderful introduction to the strange and fascinating science of chaos and Charles Carver, who first showed it to me.

Many thanks to Amy Stout and Jim Frenkel, sharp editors and good friends, and my stalwart agent Richard Curtis, who helped steer this project to publication despite some difficult and unexpected complications. And special thanks to Tom Doherty, who gave me a vote of confidence when it was needed most.

And need I say it? The writing group, as always; and most of all, my family, for giving me reason and sanity for writing the book in the first place. Thanks.  

Books by Jeffrey A. Carver

Seas of Ernathe
Star Rigger's Way
The Infinity Link *
The Rapture Effect*
Roger Zelazny's Alien Speedway: Clypsis
From a Changeling Star
Down the Stream of Stars
Dragons in the Stars*
Dragon Rigger*
Neptune Crossing*
Strange Attractors*
The Infinite Sea*
Eternity's End*
Battlestar Galactica (miniseries)*
Sunborn (Fall 2008)*

*denotes a Tor Book