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The alien Metalmark offered mankind a starship and its advanced technology in a trade for the rights to planet Mercury and moon Triton. What could go wrong? But his appearance sent the nations of Earth into turmoil as many people suspected danger and a trick. Our dreams of futuristic breakthroughs made Metalmark a celebrity in the West, but inflamed the Islamic world. A scientist with the space agency and a CIA spy became two of Metalmark's defenders. Our chance to join superior beings and travel the stars depended on the clash of futurists with ancient traditions. Could he sell us the means to a quantum jump in progress? But . . . he wanted Mercury and Triton for habitats where his species could spawn . . . what did that mean?
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The Metalmark Contract combines a vision of how realistic, advanced alien beings might arrive on Earth with insights into how we could be our own worst enemies if that happened. Our religious beliefs, laws and political habits will govern how we respond when aliens arrive. If that happened in the next decade (the timeframe of the novel) then we would not be prepared to take full advantage of the opportunities.
Our baggage of mystical delusions, militaristic preconceptions, oppressive treatment of even the most accomplished women, and reactionary politics all sabotage our liaison with an advanced being who offers us a quantum jump in technological progress. Our only hope is the alien's forbearance and vulnerability, which make him persist in the hope of combining forces with us to save himself from lethal pursuers.
Contemporary events like the faltering of the US space program and the rise of repressive Chinese governance shape the lives of the characters in The Metalmark Contract. Our chance to join advanced beings and travel the stars is hostage to ancient beliefs, and seems doomed. Can it be saved?
The world after Metalmark arrives is transformed, as well as the Solar System, which he begins to reshape. Our best role is partner to his sculpting, but adversaries rise at the book's end. And politics in the polarized USA sabotages the greatest nation's partnership with destiny.
David Batchelor is a physicist and science writer. He has been consulted on futurist topics by Wired Online, The Economist, The San Francisco Chronicle, National Geographic Online, NBC Nightly News, Star Trek Communicator magazine, Fortean Times magazine, and the French Geek Le Magazine. He also appeared on television shows such as the 2009 PBS special "Science Trek." Dr. Batchelor is employed as an Astrophysicist at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. He has published numerous scientific articles in journals such as The Astrophysical Journal. He has taught at the University of Maryland. The Metalmark Contract is his first published novel.
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Book Description Black Rose Writing, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Never used!. Seller Inventory # P111612960111
Book Description Black Rose Writing, 2011. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1612960111