Life abounds in the Universe, with every hospitable niche occupied, much primitive, some complex and occasionally intelligent. The abundance of life leads to fierce competition for resources, which sometimes produces strange encounters . . .
All Taylor MacPherson ever wanted was for his business to prosper so Vivian, his wife, wouldn’t have to work when they began their family. War in the Middle East—fueled by ancient hatreds and fought with modern weapons—spread globally. Islamic fanatics escalate the war with nuclear weapons. They paralyze the industrialized nations with massive electromagnetic pulses and follow up with decapitating missile attacks.
Chaos rules as the U.S. financial system fails—credit cards, checks, order entry systems—everything stops working. The orderly mechanisms of society halt, freezing all business transactions and the distribution of goods. Food, medicine, fuels and all sustenance for human survival become scarce. Those who possess guns soon make the rules. One by one, the lights of civilization fade, and the cruel night of anarchy dawns.
Meanwhile, the alien Qu’uda receives a faint television broadcast, which is Nixon’s resignation speech. It is proof yet another alien species exists. Hungry for living space, they form a consensus this nearby star system must be investigated. Using a small asteroid, the Qu’uda build a huge interstellar spacecraft to travel to the solar system. It takes thirty years, but this is no obstacle to the Qu’uda who are a long-lived, hermaphroditic species. Gender change is a survival characteristic brought on by living on a planet subject to periodic catastrophes.
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